Clean Bandit Supported By Starley, Manchester Academy
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Australian singer Starley seemed the perfect fit to support Clean Bandit on their UK tour: their music seems to be appreciated by the same audience. She begins her short set with Touch Me before she starts to gyrate towards the floor. The track has a touch of Major Lazer about it.
She drops in a cover of Fast Car but probably the best track she performs is Love Is Love. It might have been autumn outside but this summery track warmed up the Manchester fans. Call on Me, her biggest hit to date in the UK was the perfect way to end an accomplished set.
The current notion is that pop acts who tend to sell more singles than albums find it difficult to translate that success to live gigs: tonight's gig had been moved from the larger Apollo to the slightly smaller Manchester Academy. Not that it made much difference to Clean Bandit, the act that have combined classical influences with piano based dance music, as they seem unstoppable.
With most of their hit singles sung by the likes of Jess Glynne, Anne-Marie and Zara Larson it was left to the two superb vocalists in the shape of Yasmin Green and Kristin Childs to share the vocals between them at the gig.
From the opening number of Stronger it was a pleasure to witness one of the best pop acts to come out of this country in the last few years. Brothers Jack Patterson and Luke Patterson along with Grace Chatto met while studying at Cambridge university but tonight was more a lesson in how to make pop music for the masses on an international scale.
By the second number Cologne the confetti cannons had already showered the audience. Extraordinary sounded just as good on record with the extra violinist adding to the track.
Chatto seems to revel in being centre stage, her charm and enthusiasm appeared infectious. When not playing the cello she was down the front of the stage with the two singers.
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The absence of Sean Paul on vocals did not detract from Rockabye whilst Real Love, sounded even more powerful live than the recorded version.
By the time they encore with Rather Be the confetti cannons had gone off again, Chatto was wearing her third different outfit of the night and the rest of the band had changed into black and white outfits which nicely summed up the detail that had gone into the show.
Clean Bandit Supported By Starley, Manchester Academy, 9th November 2017, 15:26 PM