Kansas Band Captivate Intimate Manchester Crowd

Listener Prove To Be More Than Listenable

Monique da Silva || September 3rd

Rewind back to 2012 – sat at my mate’s house trawling through YouTube listening to music new and old. This was and still is a regular occurrence, some beers, a little rum, a gathering of friends and a magical music mystery tour. Individuals step up momentarily to queue up the next song. All of a sudden we are told that we have to check this band out, Listener, a spoken word rock band from Kansas. I didn’t know what to expect – Wooden Heart fills the air and penetrates our ears in what I can only describe as captivating narration bathed in beautiful guitar, this was beautifully paired with the sepia toned cinematography. Fast forward a year and I jumped at the chance of watching them live at Manchester’s Kraak Gallery in NQ.

Captivating, mesmerising and truly beautiful.

Now I sadly missed them earlier this year supporting The Appleseed Cast. This inevitably left me saddened but to my surprise they have returned to the UK once again where I was fortunate enough to see them at Gullivers in Manchester last night. The venue upstairs couldn’t have contained more that 70 people.

This left me partly angry that more people weren’t here to witness this amazing band, but equally it left me feeling like I was incredibly privileged to be there and it felt like I was witnessing something awfully special.

It is not often that you go to a gig where the audience is completely hypnotised and completely submerged in the music. I did not witness people chatting, checking social media or taking their eyes off of the stage. In-between songs you could hear a pin drop, this was juxtaposed by the sporadic laughter Dan brought to the audience as he compèred intermittently.

On their website their About Us section begins with the following words;

If your best friend was a band, who would they be? I think they might be something like Listener. Because Listener is a band of best friends, who have experienced the best and the worst of times, and have survived on songs. No one knows you like they do and no other band can describe how you feel like they can. They have captured just the right words and just the right sounds and pinned on them all of our deepest emotions, our greatest fears, our toughest challenges and out unbridled hopes. This is a group that sticks close to your heart no matter where you go, who you’re with or how you feel. When you put on a Listener album, every song is like an old friend and every moment enjoyable.’

Now I tried to cut this down but I feel every word deserved to be repeated. Dan’s vocals seem to be able to penetrate straight down to your soul; you believe every word he speaks to you and its inspiring, compelling and reassuring all at the same time. His words are thought provoking, they seem to speak the truth and vocalise the hidden emotions you didn’t realise you had buried deep inside. Their music has a spellbinding way of keeping your body busy while their words infiltrate your mind and heart.

I cannot recommend this band enough; words don’t seem to make them justice and for this I can only apologise. Do yourselves a favour, stick them on and enjoy, I highly recommend their album Time is a Machine.