Sometimes it takes just one strum of the guitar to have a crowd in the palm of your hands. That is exactly what False Advertising delivered at the Deaf Institute as they performed a set of grungy delight.
False Advertising have been steadily building a strong reputation around the Manchester music scene since forming in 2013. This reputation has been solidified with the release of their self-titled debut album this autumn. It’s an album which is raw, featuring the grungiest riffs with strong elements of 90s Seattle.
The trio of Jen Hingley (vocals, guitar and drums), Chris Warr (vocals, drums and guitar) and Josh Sellers (bass) only performed their first gig in April 2015, but it doesn’t show. In fact, they come across as incredibly assured and comfortable on stage, almost as if they are veterans of the live scene, belying their relative inexperience.
As Jen hits that first note of the set on her guitar, there’s a huge cheer from the sold out Deaf Institute crowd. They are off to a high octane start, Jen on guitar and lead vocals, Chris on drums and vocals. The guitar work is impressive. The vocals are strong. The bass and drums laying down a strong base and foundation for what is happening on top.
But there is quickly a change. As they ready to perform Cold Shoulder, Chris Warr makes his way from behind the drums to the front of the stage, picking up his guitar along the way. Down goes Jen’s guitar as she makes her way behind the drums and they restart, Chris now leading on vocals. There is no loss of momentum though. The changes are dealt with quickly and with a minimum of fuss. The tempo is still impressively high, and Chris’ guitar work and riffs just as strong and the vocals equally on point.
They remain in this setup for three songs, amongst them the impressive I Don’t Know. The riffs are coming thick and fast, although there is some variation as they also demonstrate an ability to perform the slow and melancholy well.
There’s then another swift change as they move towards the end of their set, Jen now fronting again. As the set draws to a close they become slightly less grungy also, particularly veering more towards traditional rock with their final two tracks Wasted Away and Dozer (the standout track of the evening).
Swapping over drums, vocals and guitar duties runs the risk of disrupting what is a strong performance, however, instead of coming across as disjointed, it helps to build the variety in the set, the male/female vocal contrast working particularly well.
It’s easy to see why the reputation of the band is so quickly growing and False Advertising are certainly one to keep an eye on which they have now demonstrated on their excellent debut album and also live.