It had been quite a pleasant day for mid March in Manchester when I headed to Club Academy to see Sanguine, our featured band for March (see here). This was to be the opening night of their UK tour supporting Mushroomhead and American Head Charge but after the latter had to pull out it promoted Sanguine, a four piece from Exeter to the main support at this gig, with Stereo Juggernaut, an indie rock band from London, opening. As I went into the bar whilst waiting for Club Academy (a subterranean venue in the university building on Manchester’s Oxford Road, which also houses the Academy 2 and 3) to open, I nearly collided with a creature who looked like a weird hybrid cross between Freddie Kruger and a Cyberman! I think he was actually one of Mushroomhead but he stood back and said ‘After you’. Definitely a gentleman, Mushroomhead or not!
After a good opening set from Stereo Juggernaut, Sanguine took to the stage, front woman Tarin, slim and petite looked stunning in jeans and a black t-shirt. Ross took a bit of footage of the audience before the start then they got the show underway with Breaking Out, the opening track from their latest album Black Sheep. Then Nick asked ‘Manchester how the fuck are you?’ We were good. As well as songs from Black Sheep their set included a couple of new songs and an older one. Pretty Girl with an In This Moment vibe followed. Tarin said the next one was off their first album (Sanguine). ‘It’s a bit different but if you’re here for Mushroomhead you know about different!’ The hard hitting Bangkok Nights, with it’s fast drum beat and powerful screams from Tarin was certainly different, and it was the first time I’d heard it. Sometimes I pick up strange similarities and when I heard it at the gig I’ve written down Boxer Beat which is a song by British New Wave band JoBoxers, I’m not suggesting it sounds exactly like it, just a similar beat in places. Think of a hardcore punk band like Slut Machine or Cocaine Piss doing it and you’ll get the idea.
After that Tarin said they were ‘going to try some new shit on you tonight’ before the powerful Pressure with some bullet fast drumming which had Tarin waving a red and black Union Jack style flag. Nick was singing too, a heavier vocal style but not quite a full on death metal growl. Tarin was very expressive, looking pained in places where the lyrics required it. Nick, who was literally dripping sweat by this time, asked ‘Are you guys looking forward to Mushroomhead as much as I am? It’s fucking awesome to be sharing a stage with them.’ Save Me from Black Sheep followed then another new one, Raised by Wolves, before Tarin said ‘This is off our latest album Black Sheep. It’s called Empty with Jesper Strömblad. Do you guys know who he is? I’m not going to say it. You guys should just know.’ (If you don’t you can find out about more about him here.) This song had Tarin singing mainly clean vocals whilst Nick provided a harder edge, with the two complementing each other well. This song got a hefty round of applause and everyone looked to be enjoying the show.
Then we came to the last song and Tarin said it was really easy as they were warming us up. The song was Social Decay. ‘As soon as Nick goes one, two, three, I want you to go mental for just one song’ and people obliged. I picked up a bit of a Nirvana vibe in this one. Whether or not anyone had specifically wanted to see American Head Charge, I don’t know. What I do know is that Sanguine got the crowd nicely warmed up for the masked headliners, and I didn’t see any disappointed looking faces in the packed room when Sanguine finished. A band who aren’t afraid to try different vocal styles, with some songs being almost screamed and others featuring a clearer, more melodic vocal style. Tarin is a real powerhouse with a fantastic range and diversity. Nick provides a deeper, harder edge with both blending well together.
Sanguine are currently half way through a fifteen date tour with Mushroomhead over here in the UK. If you like to try something interesting and a little different, there’s still time to catch one of the remaining dates if you can.
Raised By Wolves
Tarin Kerrey – Vocals
Nick Magee – Guitar/Vocals
Ross Andrew – Bass
Matt Feld – Drums
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