Making a triumphant return to Manchester after playing the small and bijou Ruby Lounge back in June, Allison and Catherine Pierce have now chosen the significantly larger Academy 2 in which to entertain their steadily growing army of fans. They did not disappoint. The larger stage of the Academy 2 suits the Pierces and gives their music more space to breathe, much to the pleasure of the eight hundred or so people who’ve made tonight’s show a sellout. Looking resplendent in long flowing gowns the girls set off running with ‘Kissing You Goodbye’, the latest single to be taken from the new CD. It’s a feature of the Pierces music that initially it appears to have the sunniest disposition, but closer listening reveal subtle nuances that mask darker sentiments.
One could be forgiven for thinking that continual touring and a clutch of festival appearances might have dulled The Pierces appetite for the stage, but after watching them breeze through the next two songs, ‘Love You More’ and ‘It Will Not Be Forgotten’ it’s easy to see the girls still go about their business with some zest. This is particularly on display when they perform a storming rendition of Deep South foot stomper ‘Sticks and Stones’ which raised the temperature by a good few degrees. The girls also have charm in abundance and even the two false starts to new tune ‘Piece of Me’ is made into a comedy of errors with the girls laughing as much as the audience. As successful as The Pierces have become, they’re still able to connect with their fans. The exquisite ‘We are Stars’ is preceded by a welcome to somebody who must be their youngest fan to date, eight years old Mariella. However this is just a prelude to the double whammy of hit singles ‘You’ll Be Mine’ and ‘Glorious’ which brings the main set to uproarious conclusion.
While it’s true that both sisters are easy on the eye, it’s the girl’s voices that provided the real beauty here tonight. This is none more true that the hypnotic cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic ‘Kathy’s Song’ which The Pierces sang unaccompanied. It’s not often you hear an audience fall completely silent, but the magic weave of these two artists voices was the only things that filled the room. The evening ended with the smooth cynicism of the Abbaesque ‘Boring’, though whether little Mariella asked her mum why marijuana, cocaine and heroin are so boring has yet to be confirmed. Where do the Pierces go from here? Well, on tonight’s showing it can only be onwards and upwards. It’s the only direction music this special can go.