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LISBON:'BBC MANCHESTER INTRODUCING LIVE' @ THE RUBY LOUNGE, MANCHESTER  29/7/2011 – REVIEW BY NIGEL CARTNER

 
Every last Friday of the month, ‘BBC Manchester Introducing Live’ presents a clutch of the finest new bands live on stage. At The Ruby Lounge, ‘Lisbon’, a recently formed band from the summer of 2010 took to the stage first. They are a five piece band from Manchester are a strange concoction; blending youth and experience. The drummer (Justin Ruscoe) and bass player (William Ellis) look to have a lot of mileage on the clock within the music industry. Add that to the more youthful guitar players of David Hatch and Jordan Marsland, and singer Robert Pollard, then you strangely get a band of a varied age range, yet bizarrely there is good chemistry on stage. Sometimes there is a keyboard player that makes up a sixth band member, but only five were present tonight. 

The band’s style is quite a modernised version of the guitar based pop bands from the 80s, reminiscent of ‘The Smiths’, with the lead singer, Pollard, sounding very similar to ‘Morrissey´ himself. All he was missing was a bunch of flowers to wave around on stage. The band’s aim is to create high-quality, modern songs with universal appeal, and they certainly succeed in that as their indie pop style mixes in with the tremendous guitar work of the lead guitarist, that gives the band a bit more edge to the music. The lead guitarist is like the secret weapon within the band as the rest keep the melodies flowing and supporting the music while he lets rip, with some very catchy and cool riffs. They are not too heavy, just very easy and enjoyable on the ears. There were some excellent tunes played on the night, with songs such as ‘English Smile’, ‘Four Walls’, ‘Swedish Nightingale’ and ‘Into the River’.

After a prolific song-writing period, ‘Lisbon’ are intent on imprinting their sound upon the public consciousness by embarking on a series of live performances in their home town. I think their style and demeanour would suit an older generation of music appreciators, rather than a more appearance orientated younger crowd, but I think that suits ‘Lisbon’ down to the ground as they will appeal to fans who do give the music a chance.

Their debut EP album, ‘Vulnerable Mind’ is now available for free download at http://lisbon.bandcamp.com consisting of 4 songs, ‘Empires’, ‘Vulnerable Mind’, ‘Memory Song’, and ‘Bedroom Window.’

Review by Nigel Cartner
Photos by Matt Johnston