Pink Room, Manchester
Monday 13th February
Post-punk pioneers Preoccupations played to a busy Pink Room at YES in Manchester on Monday. Louder Than War were on hand to cover.
A shot of adrenaline kicks off proceedings in The Pink Room on Monday. Melbourne punks CLAMM waste no time in making themselves heard, shaking the four floors of YES as they fire through their set. Short, punchy songs are thrown into the quickly filled gig room: CLAMM are the sound of controlled demolition. For fans of Amyll and The Sniffers, Oh Sees and Flatworms, CLAMM are one to keep an eye out for.
Radio Six dads of the present and future are all in attendance. There is a circular nature to witnessing Preoccupations in Manchester, their sound bringing subtle influences of Joy Division. Relidved of bass duties, Matthew Flegal takes a stance over the microphone, delivering his stony yet emotive vocals. “Pre-occs, pre-occs,” chant a group down the front, Flegal is unsure how to respond. He also takes the opportunity to introduce us to his brother, who has taken the role of bass player, slotting in like a hand in glove.
Giving absolute value for money, the gig is a tale of two sets, the first being a full play through their latest record Arrangements. There’s a spacey escapism, inviting you to become immersed in wonky time signatures. The second half of the set kicks off with Continental Shelf before flying through a fan service-filled remainder including Dissarray and March of Progress.
Despite not playing the bigger venues and only really attracting a cult following, Preoccupations are a band who have helped to shape the current UK post-punk scene. With the likes of Protomartyr, it always feels like a victory when such bands can play such intimate shows in the UK, and they should be celebrated in such a way every time they are able to.
Stream Preoccupations’ latest album here, and found on Instagram.
Review by Will Metcalfe, whose author page can be found here.
Photography by Cal Moores, whose work can be found here
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