Anna Calvi, Group Love & Big Deal @ Manchester Academy 3, 07.05.11

If Slow Club brought the earnest and truthful honest of two infatuated teenage lovers, Big Deal bring the cold cynical hate.

May 7th, 2011 at Manchester Academy 3 / By Alex Yau
Big Deal They’re mellow but in an uncaring way as ‘Talk’s’ demented undercurrent disjoints the otherwise blissful harmonies that is contrasted by the other guitar adding a shattering build-up of strain. It all seems to be going well as it simmers down into a mellow rest of calmness until ‘Locked Up’ brings all that tension out of the relationship as Alice Costelloe and KC Underwood angrily sing “What’s the point in holding back from what you wanted?” as the guitars fight spitefully over each other.

And then there’s Group Love… Deal who bring the cold murder to this tainted relationship. ‘Colours’ is Bob Geldof’s ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ mixed with Los Campesinos!-esque roll of the tongue articulation before going postal with Modest Mouse as vocalist Christian Zucconi screams in a frantic wail, almost bullet like in the way it shoots off his tongue. They’re sadists really as they dance around in a ritualistic fashion, savouring the blood shower. ‘Naked Kids’ is the comedown as it walks in Pixies-esque nonchalant fashion, not caring at what just happened, shrugging it off with a sinister coolness. Can’t fool us with your twee sensibilities!

But if that’s the massacre, Anna Calvi brings the funeral march. Speaking normally she’s softly spoken, modest and almost shy. Meeting this girl in person you’d never think she’d have the lustfully alluring voice she has as it floats alongside the enigmatic solemnity of ‘The Devil’, channelling the malice of an early Polly Jane Harvey. Her voice never travels too far into the hyperbole of Adele, yet it doesn’t hide itself away too subtly, instead it booms dynamically at the perfect balance, evoking the spirit like screams of Kate Bush, blipping up at the minute of seconds channelling a rush of blood to your heart, only to calm you down seconds afterwards as the lustfully sexy ‘I’ll Be Your Man’ proves, palm muted strings exploding into a charismatic stream of joyful verses, twisting guitars and dramatic chorus’ like a Bond film. It’s all an burning passion that is deservedly bound for a much bigger stage.