GIG NEWS: Bare Knuckle Parade will play the Whiskey Jar, Manchester on 26th April 2016

'Think Stereophonics, blended with Mumford and Sons, with a dash of Bruce Springsteen, if he'd grown up drinking Cider in Bath, rather than sipping rye in New Jersey'


This outfit hail from Bath, where they formed, reportedly after a drunken night in the pub. An old rock tradition. They released their single ‘Diamond Eyes’ in early March and it has been attracting attention and getting heavy airplay since then, with some seeing them as the next big thing in their particular brand of indie, folksy rock.

They’ve become local heroes in Bath and the South-West, gaining notoriety for their high energy, intermittently chaotic and loud gigs, and the intense and devoted interaction with their growing fan base. Their single was released via their own label ‘Dirty 38’ and there are plans to release an album later this year, to augment their previous release of their ‘Iron Lungs’ EP. But for now this five-piece are touring extensively, taking in Newport, Manchester, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and London in the next few weeks. Their Manchester gig is on 26th April at The Whiskey Jar, and promises to be a lively night. Their song structures and delivery are reminiscent of Green Day, without the hard punky edge, but they do stray into this territory at times.

They specialise in emotive, high-tempo pub-style rock fashioned around folk themes and instruments, with many hooks and a big dose of galumphing energy. Think Stereophonics, blended with Mumford and Sons, with a dash of Bruce Springsteen, if he’d grown up drinking Cider in Bath, rather than sipping rye in New Jersey. There are shades of The Pogues in there too, without the Irish brogue and cheek.

I’ve had a listen through some of their previous performances and they consistently deliver high-energy, traditionally based songs, competently played, that appeal to a young crowd that want a good jig around and to release their pent-up frustration. You’ll hear electric guitar, bass, tight drums, accordion, fiddle, mandolin and rasping, enthusiastically delivered lyrics. They straddle the humps between American and English rock and are anthemic in their countenance.

We shall soon see what Manchester makes of them, whether they will translate to those reared on Joy Division and The Smiths, but I’ve no doubt it will be a rollicking ride of a gig, stuffed with vim and vigour and everyone should get a good old fashioned ear bashing. They should be well rehearsed and tight after their recent heavy touring, and if this sounds like your type of stuff then you could do worse than to get down their and sample their wholesome wares.

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Sean Kavanagh is a poet, music devotee and free thinker rapidly approaching his 50s