Surf’s Up in Manchester!

By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester

Venue: The Deaf Institute, Manchester- 4th July 2018 – SUNSET SONS – with support by Vistas

Sunset Sons

The Deaf Institute is one of the best music venues, except if you’re a music photographer; then it’s quite challenging! With that said I’ve seen some great bands their over the last 12 Months, The Amazons, Circa Waves and Dream Wife to name a few, so Sunset Sons had something to live up to.

 With The Deaf Institute stage completely bathed in red light for the whole show, the first band on were Sunset Sons’ label mates Vistas. Hailing from Edinburgh, and widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most promising new bands, their single “Retrospect” has over 1 million hits on Spotify. They play, what I would describe as, finely crafted breezy indie pop, reminding me of Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. That’s not to say they sounded like those bands; they had their own sound and style, jangly guitars sitting with breezy synths, over beautifully sugary sweet melodies.

Sunset Sons

Lead singer Prentice Robertson has a voice that is just perfect for the songs they write. I couldn’t get a set list so naming the songs is out of the question, but I really liked this band and pretty much all of the songs they played; this is definitely a band to watch and I would say if you get a chance to see them definitely go! And well played, chaps!!

So it was time for the main course. To be honest, I hadn’t really heard much of Sunset Sons’ music, a four-piece consisting of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. I knew that they were very popular on the Surf Scene, but I didn’t know what to expect, and what I got was impressive and I am now definitely a bit of a fan.


As I looked round the sold-out Deaf Institute I was quite surprised that the age group was right across the spectrum, young surfers, indie kids and middle aged fans were all gathered here to see the Sunset Sons do their thing, a brilliant blend of guitar and keyboard inspired surf blues and indie rock and even though the band have had a 2 year hiatus since their last recordings, you wouldn’t have thought so. They were tight and full of energy as they prowled and jumped across the stage with lead singer Rory Williams switching between caressing the keys on his keyboard to smashing down on them, then flailing widely with a tambourine. Rory’s voice is rich and bluesy, not unlike early Kings Of Leon front man Caleb Followill. It would be quite an easy thing to say that they were reminiscent of other British surf bands like Reef, but that would be doing them an injustice. I thought they were better and with songs that packed more punch and melody, and that’s not to say they don’t have quieter and more mellow songs, they do and Rory’ s voice crooned and caressed the crowd who then sang them right back to him.

After a set packed with great songs and the crowd dancing, singing and stomping along, the night was over and as the venue slowly emptied and I made my way back to my car, I thought to myself, one of the reasons I love being a gig photographer is because every now and then you come across a band that you have missed, and they make you smile and remember why you loved music in the first place, keep on keeping on guys and may all your waves be huge ones.




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