Friday 27th April
The Ritz, Manchester
Bipolar Sunshine is the pseudonym of Manchester's Adio Marchant, the Manchester based star who has been flying solo since Kid British disbanded in 2012. After some initial success as well as support slots for the likes of the Stone Roses, UB40 and The Specials it never really took off for the ska-infused six piece and an amicable split followed.
With support coming from previous Kid British colleague Simeon McLean, who now fronts August Us the re-scheduled final tour date pencilled in for the Ritz was always going to attract a sell-out crowd and the vibe inside the room was so strong when they took to the stage dressed head to toe in an all white ensemble.
We are now in the run-up to festival season and the music on offer on Friday night completely wet the appetite for any fan who is fond of sitting in a tent for three days in the sun. The visuals, like the music were luminous and exquisite with Marchant's subtle tones reverberating around soulful piano which made for easy listening coupled with the occasional hint of bass and drum.
Their Ska style of performance adds so much weight to their performance and adds a crescendo that many artists could barely dream of. With more material now available after making the decision to postpone the original Autumn date of the gig, the arsenal of tunes they have to choose from make for emotive listening whilst encapsulating a Mike Skinner like charm.
Audience participation was never going to be an issue at a hometown gig and the crowd inside The Ritz were almost like parrots as they recited tracks word for word.
Special reactions were saved for best known tracks, Where Did The Love Go, Deckchairs On The Moon and Love More Worry Less as well as a haunting version of Gary Jules' sublime track Mad Word. With a debut album on the cards for later on this year, it promises to be strong year for an artist who deserves his break after taking the hard way to the top.
Closing proceedings with the phrase, "I always make sure the last place I play is Manchester”, there is a clear adoring for his home city and the fans clearly appreciate the band to go with it. Whisper it quietly, but Bipolar Sunshine have probably got the best chance out of all the current Manchester bands to lead the charge and reestablish the city back to the top of musical agenda where history suggests it should be.
Words by Joe Alexander
Image courtesy of Zen Luwe