Photo by Jak-Kenton Spraggan

Sometimes it seems there is so much good music out there to discover that it’s easy to miss what’s on your very doorstep.  It took a heads-up from a friend in Leicester, of all places, to turn me on to Salford’s own Mr. Heart.  “They are fantastic,” he says.  “Bit PJ Harvey-esque.”

So it is that I find myself in the beer garden of Kro, on the hottest day of the year so far, approaching three girls half my age with a view to recording their impending shenanigans for our website.  We have no shame here at Manchester Taper.  Luckily, I don’t get a slap in the face, so the girls and I take our business indoors.  Score.

Onstage, screaming feedback gives way to a riot of crunching riffs, buzzing bass, and flailing drums.  Then all too quickly they break it down.  Mr. Heart do the quiet-loud thing well and often.  They’ve clearly been studying the alternative scene of the early ’90s (Pixies, The Breeders), which I remember with fondness and which they, almost certainly, don’t.

But it would be foolish to hold their youth against them.  Mr. Heart are as musically accomplished as they are knowledgeable.  Tamsin does, indeed, have an air of Polly Jean about her, while bassist Sophie is a protégée of legendary Blockhead Norman Watt-Roy, no less.  But it’s Helen — the least likely rock chick of the three — who surprises most when she turns out to be a monster drummer.

They tear through seven of their planned ten-song set before an edgy jobsworth at the Academy informs them to make the next song their last.  It’s the only unsatisfactory moment of the night, but I have the feeling Manchester Taper will be crossing paths with Mr. Heart again soon.  And, if we’re there, you can be, too.

Stream “The Hide”:

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Download complete show in MP3 format (click here)

Download complete show in FLAC format (click here)

Setlist:

Boredom’s Device
Mr. Heart
Sexy Husby
The Hide
Amber
Devolution
The Riot Song
Stones

If you download and enjoy this music we would fully expect you to support the band by buying their records and attending their gigs.  Mr. Heart’s official website is here.

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