Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Melody at the Deaf Institute

Some of the best things happen by accident, and even fewer happen by a series of accidents. I do not believe in fate (for me, it ruins the whole point of living), so when a series of accidents occur leading to something special, it's hard not to feel rather fortunate to experience them at all.

Such a series of accidents concluded last night as Pip and I found ourselves seated in a very small music venue called the Deaf Institute in Manchester, watching a band who most likely won't be playing small venues for much longer.

I discovered Melody's Echo Chamber by accident a few months ago before they released there debut album. The track 'Endless shore' was featured on NME's '10 tracks you have to hear this week' section, and I loved it. I got the album not long after it was released and went about enjoying it as you would any album.

Two weeks ago, Pip and I were enjoying a coffee at our favorite cafe (North tea power in Manchester's northern quarter) when I picked up a local art magazine called 'Crack' to sift through while enjoying our beverages. On the cover was a band whom I recently discovered called 'Daughter' that I'd missed recently for not looking to see whether they were touring. A few pages in I found a gig section which included Melody's Echo Chamber playing in a couple of weeks for only £8. Naturally, we finished our coffees and when straight home to book our tickets.

The evening arrived, and we turned up in good time thanks to a strangely punctual bus. The deaf institute is a neat little venue with different floors which have a cafe/bar on one, and upstairs a tiny music venue. As you can see by the photo I took, it can only hold a few hundred people but this made the show extra special. We purchased our usual drink at the bar and were able to take a seat behind the mixing booth on the mini grandstand. Why were we not closer down the front? We are elderly at heart and although a few years ago Pip and I would only be found in the front row at any given gig, we now like to observe in comfort, except on the occasions where we've had too many of our usual drinks.

I would love to find out who the opening act was. A well dressed, hipster looking man with a long fringe took to the stage and began in a brave a-capella style. His performance consisted of backing tracks and songs of self pity, but his brilliance was how he'd incorporate wit, vocal ability, and when he did pick up a guitar or ukulele, excellent musicianship. Who was he? I'd love to know, hopefully another accident. Melody's Echo Chamber does not have a dedicated website that I could find outside of social media. This added to the feeling that everyone here were very fortunate to be at this gig.

   I don't agree with taking camera-phone photos at gigs as they rob you of the experience and phone cameras do not perform well under the conditions. But, to demonstrate the point of this post, I decided to be a hypocrite just this once.
All of the aforementioned accidents lead up to the point where Melody and her band took to the stage and played a set which I wished would just keep going. They performed most of their debut album plus a new song and finished with a Jam. Pip and I loved it, and after the band left the stage we filed out of the beautiful but scorchingly hot venue, onto the street, and caught the (again strangely punctual) bus home.

A series of accidents had resulted in one of the best gigs we've ever been to. It is crazy to think that there are likely many artists who's names I see on a gig list, a music review site, or a poster pinned to a parking lot wall that I will miss out on for not looking them up. Perhaps I should take more notice in future and allow more accidents to happen.