The Deaf Institute.
There was a buzz about the Deaf Institute this evening. At the third time of asking, Smoke Fairies returned to this amazing venue. Having been cancelled twice before for obvious reasons, Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire have embarked on a short seven date tour in support of their 2020 album, Darkness Brings The Wonders Home.
Accompanying them on the tour are drummer Sean Fallowfield and bass/guitarist, John J Presley. Opening with Super Tremolo,the band launched into an hour long blues/folk hybrid that was edgy, beautiful and full of soul.
As you would expect, this was heavy with songs from the latest album. The retrospective Coffee Shop Blues sets the tone for the gig – packed with dirty guitar licks and angelic harmonies. Left to Roll ispacked full of swagger, despite the melancholic nature. As the gig progressed, Smoke Fairies are an altogether different beast from their recordings. This is more of a guitar led set than you might expect – which is by no means a complaint. The influence of New Orleans runs through the set, especially on Disconnect and the single Elevator.
In addition to the newer tracks, old songs Sunshine and The Three of Us are sprinkled into the set and are greeted warmly by the loyal fans in attendance. It’s obvious throughout the gig that the band have missed playing live and are happy to be back at the Deaf Institute. Judging by the reaction tonight Manchester has missed seeing them and on the basis of tonight’s gig it’s easy to see why. With shows in London and Southampton left on the tour, I can’t recommend enough what a great live band they truly are – here’s hoping for a few festival appearances too.