Gig review: Pip Blom, Hotel Lux, Personal Trainer - Gorilla, Manchester, Monday 8th October 2019

A miserable Monday night in Manchester and another gig at Gorilla this time the bands hailing from Amsterdam (Pip Blom & Personal Trainer) and South London via Portsmouth (Hotel Lux).

The first band up Personal Trainer, are a band I haven't had the pleasure of seeing or hearing yet and when the seven of them took to the stage they made it seem rather small and Gorilla's stage isn't small).

Gorilla was about a third full for their set but they went for it 100% and my goodness they were brilliant! Guitars, bass, drums, Gazoo's, trombones, Key-tars and infectious songs with the vocalist doing his best John Travolta impression made for a very entertaining set. Pip Blom were out to see their compatriots play and they didn't disappoint. Have a listen to them on Spotify and you'll see why they went down a storm. I turned around at one point to look around and Tender & Darek from Pip Blom were right behind me. I just looked at them gave the Metal sign and shouted, "These Guys are awesome" and they just laughed.

Have a look at the live video, listen to them on Spotify and you'll see what I mean. I couldn't stop dancing.

During the changeover I got chatting to a lad called Alex from the music review site Happy People Music and I was telling him about how awesome Hotel Lux are. For the second gig in three days it was wonderful to chat to another person about our passion for live music and producing content for others to share, on our passion for music and our favourite artists.

Hotel Lux weren't on my radar until YNOT a few months ago and I've been a massive fan ever since. Their track The Last Hangman (video below) was featured in the last series of Peaky Blinders. They're still very young, and their influences seem to come from the era of my youth (late 70's and 1980's). Their performance was way better then YNOT and that's taking nothing away from the previous time I'd seen them neither. It's possibly because I know a lot of their tracks but they were simply brilliant.

Dark, moody indie is the best way I can describe them. The Last Hangman is extremely dark, but they also played the brilliantly observational track which is The English Disease (again the video is below). They play Neighbourhood Festival this weekend again in Manchester and despite seeing them twice in the last few months I'm heading to see them again. That should tell you all you need to know.

Lastly and definitely by no means least the fantastic four that are Pip, Tender, Marek and Gini. They started with Tinfoil (video again below - the only one I did because I really wanted to give this gig my all).

The first thing that struck me when I saw these guys first time around in June at Band on the Wall (gig review here) and still blows me away with these guys is the drumming of Gini Cameron. She absolutely hammers those drums! Her energy, precision and skill is insane! I played the drums in my teens and so I can appreciate how much skill it takes to play as she does. Put it this way.....Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), the instructor in the film Whiplash would see her as a star student she's that good. Combining this with Pip and Tenders brilliant harmonies, their punky/pop/indie licks and the Marek's funky bass and you have a band that creates a sound that you cannot fail to smile and dance to.

I was right at the front and as soon as they started I was bopping, dancing and moshing until the end. Towards the end I was dancing with a young lad and we were bouncing off each other and having such a laugh. He said to me between songs that Boat is his favourite punk album of the year - I can see why. It's certainly in my top 3 albums of this year.

I've seen these guys 3 times since June and I thought that perhaps for the third time it would be too much. I can categorically say that I will never tire of seeing this band live.

Their energy, musicianship and overall the fun they have with each other and the crowd make their live shows something that you just have to experience.

I also went to grab a set list and the young lad I was bouncing with grabbed it at the same time. I let him have it and asked him to let me take a picture. I then stood around for a bit and had a bottle of water as I was rather sweaty by now!

Standing there and young lady went up onto the stage and went behind the drum kit to grab the set list ( I think she worked there or was with the band). I asked her if she would pass me a drum stick. She asked me if I'd seen them at Band on the Wall? I said I had and at YNOT too and I was a big fan. She said she'd been watching me from the back and could tell I was because I didn't stop dancing! Anyway she said she would ask and she disappeared off back stage.

The security then put the barriers up between us and the stage and so I just waited for a bit...

She then reappeared and Gini came behind her. Gini went to her drum kit then came over and handed me a stick. I was so grateful! I shook her hand and told her how much I love her drumming, that I was massive fan and that I'd seen them 3 times now this year. She was very lovely and said thanks and then she went to sell merch. I was so blown away by her generosity and if you're reading this Gini, I will treasure this moment for a very very long time!

Music is my religion and these guys are preachers who I will gladly follow - until the next time Pip Blom!

As usual all videos and pics are my own. The videos due to the lighting aren't the best at times, because of the stage lights - it doesn't matter. I'd rather you experience what it was like. Full on music heaven!!


Pip Blom Hotel Lux Personal Trainer


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