The Deaf Institute has borne witness to some great performances since opening its doors a couple of years ago. Soon to be huge the Heartbreaks have played there on more than one occasion and last September I Am Kloot sold out four nights on the spin and delivered royally each time to highlight just two.

But a non-descript Sunday night in March could just steal the crown as a relatively unknown young singer from Manchester stamped her soulful lungs on every single person present as they were held captivated by a short collection of absolute gems. Better than Adele, Amy Winehouse and any number of like-minded female artists you care to mention, Josephine has got that special something that will make her a household name this time next year. ‘The Queen of Cheetham Hill’and “Salt Lake” are the sort of songs the legendary Shirley Bassey would walk over broken glass to be able to perform.

The Hidden Cameras have an unenviable task in trying to justify their headline status, but despite a slow start they manage to escape with their reputation as one of the best live bands around still intact.

Front man Joel Gibb, who resembles an Action Man toy with his chiselled looks, cropped hair and toned torso (I’m guessing he is blessed with genitals though!) is not in the best of moods as he complains of the stage being too warm and the spotlight being too bright. He soon loosens up and delivers old single ‘Awoo’ much to the delight of the mainly gay audience after a clutch of lesser known tracks from their current CD ‘Origin:Orphan’.

Pleased that he has the crowd firmly on his side, he probably realises that, with, at times, nine people on a small stage things aren’t going to be too chilly and goes on to serve up a pretty good show.

Mixing songs from both the aforementioned ‘Origin:Orphan’ and its predecessor ‘Awoo’ the band back up Joel’s leadership with a fairly polished performance that bring songs like ‘Underage’ and ‘The Little Bit’ to life, while ‘Do I Belong’ almost becomes an Ibiza chill-out anthem, such is the laid-back nature of its grooves.

Violinist Jamie McCarthy, who plays his instrument with such abandon, you would not want to let him loose on the Sunday roast with a carving knife, and Maggie MacDonald on keyboards seem to be having the most fun in their compact surroundings and are the stars of boisterous tracks such as ‘Heji’,‘In the Na’and ‘Death of a Tune’.

Joel Gibb then takes centre stage for the closing ‘Silence Can Be a Headline’, one of the slower songs on ‘Origin:Orphan’. The band have overrun the curfew, but are able to return for a rousing take on the brooding ‘Ratify the New’ that leaves the masses satisfied.

It is, however, the work of their young support that most people are talking about as they leave the venue.













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