Devendra Banhart has a reputation for being a bit off the wall so I wasn’t sure what to expect. His Manchester show was supposed to be a small fairly intimate gig in the third and smallest of the Academy's venues, but he was so popular that on the night it was moved to Academy 2, which is slightly larger.

Packed in like a cliché of sardines and feeling rather more hot than was comfortable, there was an air of anticipation which was well rewarded.

Devendra Banhart seemed happy to be in Manchester and played an excellent set with his band, Hairy Fairy. It seemed as if the band were jamming but really well, even though they weren’t, and they were very relaxed playing together.

In fact the whole event was very relaxed even to the point of giving a member of the audience the opportunity to perform a song he’d written whilst they had a break. It was a good song, but the volunteer didn’t have the best singing voice – I hope he has someone else sing in his band – you couldn’t fault him though for braving a crowd not there to see him, and in return he got a good round of applause.

It was a good night with Devendra’s laid back folky style making it seem more like we should have been sat around in a tent at a festival, rather than in a biggish venue. So no fireworks or incredible excitement, but still very enjoyable.

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Commenting On: Academy 2, Manchester, 15/9/2006 - Devendra Banhart

ie London, England

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