Taking the stage soon after the heavy garage sludge of East London’s 2:54 and the quirky time changes of main support band Fiction, the girls ease into their set ushering a coy version of the self titled ‘Warpaint’. Following that, these exceptional musicians then treated Manchester to a confident display of meandering technicolor dream pop, so that by the time the opening chords of new single ‘Undertow’ ring out, the girls have effortlessly catalysed a crowd of quiet spectators into a mass of captivated revellers. This maybe because although Warpaint’s music makes a virtue of beautifully crafted guitar lines and sweetly trilled vocals, the girls – especially drummer Stella Mozgawa - have also mastered the art of creating insidious loose-limbed grooves, rendering it impossible to resist the urge to move ones feet. It’s also refreshing to see a band submerge them selves deep in their work so it looks for all the world as if they’re playing music for the sheer love of it, which visually does nothing but enhance the overall performance by the band
The majority of songs tonight are drawn from the groups debut LP ‘The Fool’, and it’s easy to hear that their initial recording weren’t accidental. This LP is a great piece of work and with any luck should be a contender for one of the records of the year.
At the end of their set Warpaint graciously leave to rapturous applause then return briefly to perform the charging ‘Elephants’ for the encore, though if the audience could have had their way, this wonderful band would still be playing now.
Review/photos by Phil King