In Manchester festivities have been going on throughout the day to mark Chinese New Year. But tonight at the O2 Ritz the celebrations are entirely of a musical variety as Antipodean outfit The Teskey Brothers grapple with a sold-out Manchester crowd.
The award-winning group has witnessed a meteoric rise as of late. This show was originally due to take place at the nearby Gorilla, just a stone’s throw away, but due to unprecedented demand the venue was upgraded. And even with the increased capacity The Teskey Brothers still managed to sell the show out. In fact, all of the dates on the group’s current UK/EU run are sold out – a sign of things to come we hope.
The brothers are currently touring in support of their sophomore album. And at the top of the set, the band introduce their latest offering with opening number Let Me Let You Down.
This, in turn, is followed by a string of back to back tracks from their debut album Half Mile Harvest. The Teskey Brothers beautifully soulful sound is the perfect soundtrack to a lazy Sunday evening in Manchester. And tracks like I Get Up are a testament to this. The song is so laid back you could almost imagine yourself lying in a grassy field at a summer festival, basking in the sun (perhaps?) whilst The Teskey Brothers play on. However, this is wishful thinking in mid-January.
Rain is one of the early highlights of the set – and something that Manchester is never short of. The song has a timeless quality that is reminiscent of Stax Records, Otis Redding and Booker T and the MGs.
As the Teskey Brothers walk the Manchester crowd through their repertoire they frequently switch gears. The band has many layers, and as the evening progresses they unveil another musical style within their songbook.
Mid-set the band switch their attention to the folkier side of their setlist with the harmonious San Francisco and the more traditional number Sunshine Baby. Both Brendan and Sam showcase their versatility by switching to both banjo and bass respectively. Whilst a crowd-pleasing rendition of So Caught Up is the perfect example of contemporary soul at its best.
The brothers switch gear once again whilst showcasing the darker side of what they do with slow blues number Honey Moon. The song ebbs and flows, and as it builds towards the latter stages of the track the rhythm section unleashes a heavy drum and bass fuelled groove. Sam’s searing guitar licks on this epic number, in particular, are on point.
Following a brief interlude, the group returns to the stage as they unleash the first single that they release by way of the soulful Pain and Misery, before leaving the crowd speechless with a joyous acapella airing of Hold Me.
The Teskey Brothers traverse a wide musical landscape during the evening, but it all blends together so seamlessly. The band plays without boundaries and it works to their advantage. The group’s distinctive sound is soaked in the past, whilst simultaneously giving a nod to the future.
The Teskey Brothers are the finest Australian export to the UK since Fosters larger, Kylie Minogue or Neighbours. Expect big things to come from this incredibly talented outfit.