Live Review // Vevo Halloween @ Victoria Warehouse

Vevo’s live music spectacular returned to Victoria Warehouse on All Hallows’ Eve, following on from its huge Manchester debut last year. An event laced with some of the best and brightest acts to come out of 2015, there was an unmistakeable buzz surrounding the night, as 5,000 music fans filtered into Trafford Park’s awesome warehouse event space.

Goers were greeted by a scare maze to kick the night off, before entering into a mess of Halloween and music fanatics, clad in a vast array of crazy costumes. The theme of the night being ‘circus of the damned’, the room swam with horrifying clowns, bloodied ringmasters and deformed ushers – although many went more left-field with other outfits on show including, ventriloquist dolls, super-villains and even a fairy-lit jellyfish.

With sets lasting half an hour, each act went hard and fast from start to finish, playing only their most popular tracks.

James Bay opened proceedings with a typically tight set that brought a rousing response from a crowd fit for a festival stage. The guitarist from Hertfordshire, dressed as a skeleton, skilfully reeled off a collection of tracks from platinum selling record Chaos and the Calm. Bay finished with massive single ‘Hold Back the River’, the crowd mimicking every lyric.

Next came Nothing But Thieves, whose eponymous album has proved an instantaneous success, peaking at number 7 in the UK charts. The band burst into the public peripheral in late 2014 and haven’t eased up since. Conor Mason’s distinctive vocals thrived throughout a set list which included ‘Ban All The Music’, ‘If I Get High’, whilst singles ‘Itch’, ‘Wake Up Call’, and ‘Trip Switch’, riled the room.

Little Simz brought something different to the table, quickly turning the Warehouse into more of a madhouse. Serious vibes took hold as Simz’ brutal, barbaric bass bounced from wall to wall. The fast-emerging UK rapper impressed from the word go. After a string of mixtapes and the release of debut album ‘A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons’, Little Simz music remains diverse and engaging. The young artist, who grows day by day, certainly didn’t look or sound out of place playing Manchester.

Now, with the crowd nicely toasted and ready for more monstrous music – cue Wolf Alice. A lot has been said about Ellie Rowsell and co. in 2015, the band have established themselves as something of a phenomenon. ‘My Love Is Cool’ typifies the potential of the four-piece, their music characterised by obscure vocals, infectious riffs and colossal breakdowns. The crowd got what they were expecting – an exceptional performance.

Years and Years delivered the final set of the night, amping up any of those heavy drinkers out there who were beginning to lag. Lead singer Ollie Alexander entertained onlookers in a rather convincing Gerri Halliwell costume, as the Electronica trio from London rounded off the night with tracks ‘Desire’, ‘Take Shelter’, ‘Shine’ and ‘King’ – to name a few – the crowd relishing every moment.

Still in its infancy, Vevo’s flagship Halloween extravaganza is growing in stature as each year goes by. Utilising the incredible setting of Victoria Warehouse, the event is definitely one to experience, and with tickets costing a mere fiver, you don’t really have any excuses!

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