Popular Music Venue Celebrates New Owners
Leah Hamer || July 18th
Babyshambles. Mystery Jets. Editors. The Underground was crowned the home of dirty indie rock and roll in the days of MySpace and MTV2. It became a cult classic with its legendary Club NME nights playing host to the tunes of forgotten noughties heroes. After its thirteen-year-old life, there were fears that the establishment would have closed, had it not been for the team behind The Exchange- who took on the new project in order to keep the iconic club alive. To celebrate their new ownership, an almighty gig was in order.
On Friday 14th July, The Underground opened its doors for free and welcomed the talents of a variety of local artists for the evening. Soulful wonder John Dhali kicked off the evening with medley of inspiring anthems, gearing up the filtering in crowd for a hopeful night.
Craig James Key took to the stage next with a warming voice and peaceful disposition. His sweet melodies were tickled on the strings of a shining Epiphone as the crowd sipped and swayed with him. With a mixture of original tracks like the poignant Paranoia, and some singalong numbers to such as Half The World Away, he had the perfect mixture to keep the audience entertained.
With an array of covers under his belt, Alex Webb entered the arena next, with his engaging and decisive vocals and easy charm. With tracks like American Boy, You Know I’m No Good and While My Guitar Gently Weeps- Alex is no stranger to a challenge, clearly. With the confidence to cover such an eclectic mix, he is out to show everyone his talent for moulding and renewing even the most well-known songs.
As a man with a personal love and passion for The Underground, it was a pleasure to see Ryan Dooley perform an intimate solo set, without the fellas of Faraday behind him. He could not praise the venue enough and complimented the new owners continuously. A voice that bubbles with nostalgia, the crowd were in adoration of Ryan’s return to the venue, as he performed both numbers from his current endeavour including Roots and Animal, and his past work with All The Young such as Today.
Next came another artist who had found his footing at The Underground- Joey T. However, in the true fashion of an opening night- it didn’t all quite go to plan! With a series of technical difficulties, the set was forced to end before it had even begun. Yet Joey promised to return another time to give us the show we were waiting for.
Closing up the gig were The Manalishi, armed with their band of loyal lads chanting MANA MANA MANA FUCKING LISHI. With filthy, fast rock n roll, the drinks were flying and the crowd was moshing- this is the mentality that The Manalishi always inspire. Starting off with their latest release, A Little Less Violence, the band continued to please the rowdy audience with their anthemic, loud heart-pumpers such as Out of the Blue and Sneaky Freaky. The gig came to a close as everyone’s ears were ringing and shoes were sticky- the true aftermath of The Underground. Yet it wasn’t over, the Red Stripe would keep flowing until the early hours with the DJing of Calum Murphy.
With a following gig on the Saturday evening completing the celebrations, The Underground is back alive and kicking. Someone call Pete and Carl.
GBH will be performing at The Underground on Friday 18th August. Support comes from Adam Probert and John E Smoke, Dirty Rotten Souls and The Glass House Museum. Tickets on sale now through See Tickets and Music Mania.