The Invisible, Memory Tapes, Vision of Trees

Chris Stanley 11/03/2010

Upon writing my first article for GIITTV I was hoping to show some journalistic prowess and predominately not fall upon my arse in a most undignified manner. However there is good news as Manchester's Deaf Institute provides me with the setting for my first writing endeavour. Before getting to hear The Invisible and Memory Tapes, the audience and I have to endure Vision of Trees, a duo consisting of a Feist-like lead singer and a man looking like a student on a come down- complete with bear mask. This imagery feels appropriate considering that their continuous collection of bleeps and samples paints a pale post festival morning where the cider is flat and no one's told the DJ we've gone home. Despite this, an apparent new song shows glimmers of percussive hope, and given time - and maybe with a nasty drummer - they could be quite special.

After the flat cider flashbacks have resided, Memory Tapes take the stage. From the New Jersey duo's appearance you'd expect to be in for some lo-fi dirty noise, but Dayve Hawke's relaxed and smiling persona surprises group first timers, whilst he also helps create a luscious pop atmosphere to the point where it feels like jelly babies could be plucked from the air. Drummer and man become one with groove laden backing supporting 70s funk style tracks, all backed up with floor moving drum patterns that the Deaf Institute audience can't help but bop to - it's terribly unusual for a Manchester audience to stray from poker faces to clear enjoyment.

The venue's crowd seems to have doubled without anyone knowing, though it's not quite a sold out capacity, which is shame though only I appeared to have noticed or cared. Most people have their attention squarely placed on The Invisible; as they take the stage lead singer Dave Okumu is all smiles, a feeling that trickles throughout the audience. The measure of a great band can be how to pull off a mistake and three songs in everything stops before, with a smile and a shrug, they start again. It would be impossible for this band to displease anyone with their gentle giant lead singer's silk-like voice and scaling tones of atmosphere - not dissimilar to Animal Collective and TV on the Radio. Mid-set, Okumu takes time to share his career bench mark when explaining the previous night's Nottingham gig, where someone fainted because of the music. This is not surprising, The Invisible share the same pinnacle of emotion and range of grooves that Prince was so good at. However, with the night closing in and the flat cider flashbacks re-appearing, I head off with my head buzzing and my legs quickening as my last bus waves jovially past.

The Invisible's Myspace

Memory Tapes' Myspace