Live Review: Millie Manders and the Shutup - Manchester
5th November 2023
Support: Voodoo Radio, Sally Pepper
Words: Dan Barnes
Photos: Julian Tanner
It’s Bonfire Night here in the UK, when we celebrate the last man to enter Parliament with an honourable intention. I still have the tinnitus from two days of Damnation ringing in my ears, but it’s Millie Manders at the Bread Shed and if she cannot reinvigorate your soul, then you may need to consult a physician.
I’m blindsided by the 4pm doors and, regretfully miss Voodoo Radio and Sally Pepper’s performances. But this is my fourth show from Millicent and her cohorts since Slam Dunk back at the end of May – any more and I’ll be having to included on the touring insurance – but one thing that is always guaranteed is a cracking good time and a whole heap of energy.
It’s very possible this band is the hardest working one of these isles, but for these headline shows Millie has ditched the festival attire and plumped for a stage outfit more in-keeping with her position as event host. That doesn’t mean there’s any let up in the pure enjoyment, with her and the band banging out beat after insistent beat of infectious good-time vibes, all infused by a Ska Punk attitude.
For Bacchus Millie tells us the only thing we need to do is to take a chug when she says the word “Drink” which, would be no small order, even if I wasn’t in the car. She also states that “this is a knees-up affair” and the tune, taken of itself, is a rousing jig, bound to promote skanking from front to back and from this side to the other. However, like many of the band’s songs, there is a serious subject at the heart of this one, there to be considered after the bouncing around is done.
The size of the venue seems to suit this performance, with the energy being forced back into itself. After so many miles and so many shows, The Shutup function like a well-oiled machine and Millie’s vocal abilities are chronically underrated.
Rebound and Shut Your Mouth are tasters off the new record, due early 2024, and the strength of the new material suggests the band are unlikely to be sending much time at home throughout next year.
Joe Quinn’s guitar sings a fat riff for Silent Scream’s introduction and Millie’s initial vocal style is disjointed until the chorus comes around. Pete and Georgie keep things ticking over nicely throughout and the band finish with the anthemic Not Okay, evoking a singalong from the Manchester crowd before they head off for sparklers and fireworks.
As ever – and I probably need to find new ways to say this about them – Millie Manders & The Shutup make for a thoroughly entertaining late-afternoon/ early evening and whether they’re playing the cavernous arena at the Winter Gardens, the main stage at a gloriously sunny Slam Dunk, or the close confines of a club, they produce the same levels of high energy and maximum enjoyment.
As I say, that’s four shows for me this year – let’s see if I can go one better in 2024.