There was a lot of music going on in York on 30th November. I had whittled my way down to two choices; The Men They Couldn’t Hang at the Crescent or Millie Manders and the Shutup at the Fulford Arms. I chose the latter, as you will have guessed by the title of this post, but it was a tough choice indeed. I went for a band that I had never seen or heard before, why? Well, that is how I roll! Anyway, before the talented Ms. Manders appeared on stage we were treated to two fine support bands. First up were the Platitudes, eight-piece ska-punkers from Leeds. They are a really tightly honed band and Kristina’s vocals are not typical ska punk style, she has a great voice and a real pop sensibility. Their songs are all very good with some truly great tunes among them, notably “Man With A Plan” and “Bomb Song”. Cramming eight people onto such a tiny stage takes some doing, getting them to perform so well and for them to produce such an electric, exciting set is purely down to the band themselves. They prove the old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” See the Platitudes once and I guarantee you will want to see them again, I damned well do!
The second support act was Dead Beat At Dawn from Thirsk who almost defies putting them into a genre. But I would describe them as ska-punk with extra added punk, metal and rap. Yes, you heard me right, rap! Imagine the Beastie Boys reinvented as a 90s ska-punk band, then you might have a chance of understanding what Dead Beat At Dawn are. They are frenetically energetic, incredibly funny, self-deprecating and bloody talented musicians too. Their sampler let them down, but they didn’t lose anything by that, they just threw themselves into their set twice as hard. Their own songs are quite unique in a great way, especially “180 (The Theme From Dart Squad). They also performed an incredibly fun cover of Madness’ “Baggy Trousers”. This lot will make a stalwart festival band, I will certainly be seeing them again.
Millie Manders and the Shutup, just how good are they? Well, they’re not just good they are a true tower of greatness. Millie is a supremely talented frontwoman who empathises with and supports her audience. Their music has a conscience, which comes across very powerfully in “Right To Life” and “Lollipops”. The latter of which is one of the best politically angry songs to emerge in the last few years. “Teddy” is lovingly weird and perhaps scary at the same time. They showcased a few new songs, a couple of which dealt with mental health issues, something which Millie was very open about. Always remember people, sometimes it’s ok to be not ok! Millie Manders and the Shutup are a great ska-punk band, that is certainly where their music probably resides. However, in Millie they have a singer who at times sounds like Pauline Black or the ghost of Amy Winehouse. Then just when you relax into that kind of vibe she hits you with a nu-metal growl that would put some metal singers to shame. The band had us eating out of their hands as we sang along to “One That Got Away”. Their cover of the Jam’s “Pretty Green” was for me both unexpected and delicious. I should mention the individual talents of the band too, especially the drummer who plays like he is the Energiser Bunny with perpetual motion. I am without a doubt a committed fan of Millie Manders and the Shutup now. I spoke very briefly to Millie at the end when I bought the band’s three EPs on CD. People say that Dave Grohl is the nicest bloke in rock, well I reckon Millie is a contender for the nicest woman in rock! You might not know it yet, but you need this band in your life!
All the photos apart from the gig flyer were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know.
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