Review: The Kills and The Horrors, live at The Warehouse Project

REPORTER Andrew Trendell went along to review The Kills and The Horrors at The Warehouse Project, Manchester.

ATMOSPHERE is everything. It’s one thing to get up on stage and play – it’s entirely another to make a crowd feel like they’re part of something.

At the Warehouse Project – an inventive and eclectic festival where a warehouse space beneath Manchester Piccadilly train station is transformed into an indie Valhalla – that is precisely the idea.

Special guests The Kills were born to play in this setting. Their debauched, filthy and furious garage rocked backed by industrial beats is the perfect soundtrack to the underground.

From the jagged and juttering opener No Wow, Jamie ‘Mr Kate Moss’ Hince and the pink-haired Alison Mosshart are on incredible form tonight. The duo has an onstage chemistry like no other. As they symbiotically jerk along to their charged and sultry sounds, they exude an air of cool and create a tension that heightens all the senses.

Sharing a mic for Kissy Kissy their lips almost touch. It’s hard to tell where Hince ends and Mosshart begins, but as they wildly fire through the menacing blues-tinged Satellite and infectious art-rock anthem Cheap And Cheerful, it seems that they’re just two wildly flailing limbs of the same rock n’ roll beast.

The Horrors are much more than a band – they’re a bloody good band, and a true spectacle.

When the NME darlings first erupted onto the scene, they were noisy, pointy-booted, back-combed Goths with a great deal more style than substance. Since then they’ve matured into one of the UK’s finest bands, been given a Mercury nod and have released one of the best albums of 2011.

And tonight, deep under the streets of Manchester, their dark and twisted roots come into full bloom in an unforgettable performance.

Far from the ghoulish, snotty art-punks that you might misconceive them to be, The Horrors tonight are deliver a solid barrage of mature and provoking post-punk majesty.

The hook-laden and hypnotic Who Can Say proves to be a subversive pop gem while the glacial and monolithic Still Life enraptures the crowd in a psychedelic trance – making this cavernous underground hole seem intimate.

As The Horrors jam away in their nine minute kraut-rock masterpiece Moving Further Away and their brooding soundscapes and intoxicating soundscapes fill every corner beneath Manchester’s streets, the underground suits them perfectly, but as tonight in the Warehouse Project proved, it can’t contain them or their ambitions for long.

By Andrew Trendell