The Black Knights, Daddy’sMilk & Emergency Blanket @The Whitworth, Rusholme, 13th April 2010

Another of our last minute shows, we agreed to do one for Hard Hit Productions…located just around the corner from Cafe Saki (venue for some of our best shows) The Whitworth was the venue of choice…
We arrived and nobody at the venue knew what was what…changed soon enough, creating a stage space dead centre of the place.

Our heads are firmly entrenched in albumville at the moment so it was a good change to get back into the live trail. We kicked off the proceedings…I don’t know if it was the red lighting, the waft of ganja that sometimes breezed through, or both, but we found ourselves knocking out one of the sleaziest sets we’ve ever done…

David Edwards, for my money one of the best upcoming writers I’ve seen in a long time wrote this for Manchester Music:

‘:: The Black Knights ::
13 April 2010 / The Whitworth / Manchester
By David Edwards

Now, one thing you can usually count as a certainty upon attending a gig is the presence of a stage / podium / life-and-limb-threatening-assortment-of-beer-crates for the bands to entertain from. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise, when entering The Whitworth tonight, to find a melee of equipment and a collection of rather confused bands wondering where they’ll be playing. And even more interestingly, two barmaids standing looking equally befuddled. But not for nothing is Manchester known for its innovation and efficiency, and with a little help from all concerned (including Manchester Music; we’re not afraid to roll our sleeves up when necessary!) the pub is transformed, Changing Rooms style, into a cosy, intimate little snug where table lamps and red fairy lights intermingle with Marshall Amps, Kick Drums and Guitars. Your move, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen…

The Black Knights step onstage amidst this flat-pack festival set-up. Comprising of just two members, Gary Hope on vocals/guitar and Thomas Richard Pickford III on drums, they immediately level the room with their ferocious attack, Hope’s vocals being filtered through a fuzz box and his obtuse, changing blues riffs snarling and snapping at our ears. It would be easy to point to The White Stripes as a key reference point but to me, that’s a little obvious and lazy. On close inspection through the layers of fuzz and fog, you hear genuine connections with traditional delta blues, more along the lines of Jimmy Page’s Zeppelin-trawls. Transposed into Central Manchester on a Tuesday night, it is profoundly electrifying. And you also suspect that Jack White would never be able to get this raw, unless he returned from a debauched weekend in Memphis covered in blood, whisky and teeth marks, smacked his hand on the recording console and shouted “RIGHT MEG, THIS IS HOW WE’RE MAKING MUSIC FROM NOW ON!” The Black Knights don’t deal in pop songs, they deal in the blues. Raw, savage blues.

As a pairing, they work particularly well in dynamic counterpoints too, simmering along with a chugging riff with no particular urgency before suddenly hitting the heat and diving headlong into a furious surge of pummelling drums and shredding guitar chords. The sound is massive, threatening to push The Whitworth a few metres towards the MRI at times. It’s a redoubtable cauldron of sound from two excellent musicians, Pickford always intelligent with his subtle, expressive drumming and Hope (looking sharp in a purple suit and eyeliner, a bit like Michael Stipe after a pact with the devil) yo-yoing his vocals between menacing growl and high-pitched shriek, all the time conducting his pedals to swing between Hendrix-Wah, Page-Shriek and Jeff Beck-Innovation. Theres even a bit of Bellamy/Morello toggle switching. Marvellous.

As their final song comes to a close and they walk offstage, leaving the mic on the drumkit and the guitar still emitting a feedback symphony to play them both off, you are thankful that at least somewhere, people remember that the blues isn’t about rent-a-solo guitar battles and boogie-woogie piano. It comes from the Mississippi delta and it should be as muddy and dirty as those particular banks. The Black Knights are keeping that tradition alive in Manchester, though there is no doubt in my mind that there are plenty more cities and countries that would welcome them with open arms. For now, we’ll keep them as our dirty, thrilling little secret. But probably not for long.’

Excellent stuff – there’s a choice few writers who ‘get’ us and Mr Edwards has undoubtedly joined those ranks.

Next up were Emergency Blanket who had flown all the way in from Peru no less, as they embarked on a UK tour.
They had three(!) guitarists, bass, drums and a charismatic vocalist and dealth in tight as fuck, powerful rock, definitely of the Pearl Jam vein – they were a great watch. Good luck to them on the rest of the tour!

Closing proceedings were Norwegian/Mancunian rock basts Daddysmilk, they too put in a great set even with the singer falling foul of the ‘shit-my-guitar-strap-has-disconnected-from-my-guitar’ syndrome a couple of times..fair play to them they battled on regardless, admirably so.

Cheers to David and Simon for coming down and getting involved, and thanks to Judd Lewis of Hard Hit Productions for putting us on.

Looking ahead:

We have a show with Doll and The Kicks at Night & Day for MAPS Festival 30th April, tickets here. or if you’re feeling saucy, MAPS weekend passes here.  This promises to be a top show.

Following swiftly we play our inaugural show at Sounds From The Other City, 2nd May @ The Rovers Return on Salford Music Cooperative Stage.
This stage is purely dedicated to Salfordian acts (good work by John Herring).
Also joining us are Sandbox, John Herring, Kingfishers Catch Fire & Death To The Strange.
Entrance is free with the £15 weekend wristband!

Then we have a show 31st May @ Font Bar for High Voltage as part of Eurocultured festival! Ex.Cell.Ent.

And then we fuck right off to the studio to record our debut album in June.

I’ll leave you with this:
‘In the dusk of the sixth, the reaping will be sold’

The sharp-eyed amongst you may have seen some strange symbols at the end of this video.

The path to truth will be Illuminated

Soon, My Disciples.


The Dark Reverend


~ by tbkband on April 19, 2010.

One Response to “The Black Knights, Daddy’sMilk & Emergency Blanket @The Whitworth, Rusholme, 13th April 2010”

  1. Nice one on the MAPS show, this year’s looking awesome. Loads of info on MAPS Festival here too –

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