Prior to tonight’s home town show there is some concern amongst even the most ardent of fans that Puressence may have overstretched themselves by choosing a venue as large as the Academy.

Manchester has, however, always taken care of its own and the 2000 capacity is all but accounted for by the time the Failsworth four piece take to the stage to rapturous applause from an expectant audience just after 9.30.

Opening with the traditional couplet of ‘Near Distance’ and ‘I Suppose’ from their 1996 self-titled debut long player, the band waste no time in getting into their stride, with front man Jimmy Mudriczki strutting around like an arrogant football thug, complete with between song gesturing, but singing like a brutal angel.

Despite having a new album, 'Don’t Forget To Remember' to promote, the first half of the show is mainly used for showcasing an impressive back catalogue, with rarely played classics such as ‘Mr Brown’ and ‘Make Time’ rubbing shoulders with set list standards, ‘She’s Gotten Over You’ and the impressive ‘Standing In Your Shadow’.

A beautiful acoustic version of ‘Sold Unseen’ with just guitarist Lowell Killen providing backing for Mudriczki's breath-taking vocal delivery proves a stunning centre-piece with old single ‘All I Want’ pushing a close second before a pulsating ‘Palisades’ ups the tempo once more.

The set is finished with singles ‘Walking Dead’ and an inspired ‘India’ sandwiching ‘Life Comes Down Hard’ before the band return to serve up a dizzying encore of ‘This Feeling’ and ‘Sharpen Up The Knives’ from the 'Only Forever' LP.

Despite choosing not to play their two most recent singles, ‘Drop Down To Earth’ and ‘Don’t Know Any Better’, tonight Puressence reclaim Manchester as their own from the current crop of indie wannabees headed up by the Courteeners. Hopefully the rest of the country will catch on soon.









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