Communion brings with it an impressive reputation, and a set of collaborators, founders and pals in general to be proud of. Taking place the first Thursday of every month, at Night and Day Cafe, we think this is one to put in your diary.
Originating at Notting Hill Arts Club, the London based powerhouse of a music night turned brand, boasts artist alumni such as Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, and Noah and the Whale. Since the success of the night has spread, so too has it’s definition; Communion now works with notorious festivals (SXSW and the Camden Crawl to name a few), and comprises a record label, representing a range of different talent all united in their powerful vocal abilities – The musical tastes of Communion’s Founder Ben Lovett (of Mumford and Sons fame) is evident in the signings, and he sure knows his stuff when it comes to beautiful melodies. As a side, I’m rooting for the label’s Australian born Matt Corby to take a trip to Manchester Communion – slightly reminiscent of Wild Beasts and Bon Iver in style, and certainly not a million miles from the toe tapping contagion popularised by Mumford and Sons, but with an undeniable uniqueness of his own – listen to him here.
The Manchester show debuted at Night and Day Cafe on Oldham Street, and it was nice to see the cafe once renowned as being one of Manchester’s premier locations for live music, being returned to its former glory. The crowd was energetic and the atmosphere was buzzing, in both the generic and Manc sense of the word. This will have had a lot to do with the clever formula the night pertains to: select a good handful of rising music stars and along will come a good handful of their loyal fans. Together, they make a full and enthusiastic audience. But with the success of the launch night there’s no doubt that future audiences will become more diverse each week. The night offers something for everyone – the diversity of the bands that are billed means that you’re bound to take a shine to at least one of the acts (favourites of mine from the first were Wild Birds and Taylor and the Mason – I’m a sucker for a beautiful harmony and both these acts have this art down to a T). As well, there’s none of the pretension that sometimes loiters in the air at showcase-type events; no ‘who-can-recommend-this-totally-cool-and-of-the-moment-band-to-6music-quickest’, just a communal appreciation for good quality, enjoyable music.
If the bill continues to handpick a great array of simply talented musicians, then this night looks set to become an integral part of Manchester’s gig diary and heritage. The next Communion falls on Thursday 1st March (note the non-coincidental coinciding with payday), and the price is just £5 in advance. Expect Libertines soundalikes, some more excellent harmonies (yessssss), and to fall in love with 18 year old songstress Rae Morris, heralding from Blackpool and soon to go on tour with Noah and the Whale. You’ve got a one in five chance of hearing some new music that’ll impress you, and their track record has been pretty good in Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, York, Oxford, Dublin, Belfast, Sydney and New York City. Worth a look, I’d say.
Photo Credits: Anna Rutherford