Middle Kids: Deaf Institute – Manchester
Reviewer: Matthew Forrest
It’s been a year of firsts for Middle Kids: Their debut album, Lost Friends, came out in the spring and now the band are on their first headline UK tour.
Lost friends earned huge critical acclaim across the board, with the NME calling it “timeless songs that sound like immediate classics“. Whilst Rolling Stone dubbed it “heartfelt, clever ruminations at the intersection of indie-rock and alt-country”. High praise indeed for a band that are developing quite a hard-core fan base: as was apparent at the Deaf Institute tonight with a great crowd.
Hailing from Sydney, the Aussie trio of Hannah Joy, Harry Day and Tim Fritz arrived on stage to a huge ovation. Working through the debut album and songs from their debut self-titled EP, they launch in to the opening album track Bought It followed by the dream–like Salt Eyes. Other big hitters include the upbeat On My Knees and the haunting,country inspired Maryland. What strikes you immediately is the way they bounce from genre to genre, country, grunge and indie rock: the band manage to fuse these together and it works.
The band lead from the front with Anna Joy, who has a tremendous voice and is a perfect front for the band: chatty, engaging, almost like a sedated Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Day chops and changes his guitar style effortlessly with what can be best described as controlled chaos, whilst Fritz anchors the band with his simple, no nonsense bass.
It’s a pretty chilled affair, with the band joking about their tour experiences thus far, including stage invaders in Brighton and both Day and Fritz falling foul of the Manchester music scene for completely different reasons. Certainly the band seemed to enjoy the gig as much as those in attendance.
Finishing with the melancholic but beautiful Lost Friends and the up–tempo Never Start, the band exit the stage the same way they arrive with happy faces and to thunderous applause.
Its often said that middle children are over looked by their parents: well there’s certainly no over–looking this band, and here’s hoping the band will be back some time next year for a catch up with some new friends, because based on tonight’s gig the band are certainly making lots of them.
Middle kids are currently touring the UK, tickets can be bought through: