WHITNEY triumphed as they returned to Gorilla in Manchester last night as they hammered out rousing live takes on their 2016 debut album Light Upon The Lake.
The band was made up from the fallout of two other bands as Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek, formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Smith Westerns respectively, found common ground in both their musical interests and both of their recent heartbreaks.
These factors combined to make their heart-wrenching indie folk debut album, which is full of nostalgia for old summers and past relationships.
Accompanying them on their sold out UK tour was Australian indie folk musician Julia Jacklin.
Julia took to the stage alone for ‘LA Dream’ and the album’s title track, two particularly emotional cuts that made the show much more intimate and involved for the audience.
Her beautiful voice sat perfectly on top of soft guitar tones as she sang about emotional memories and relationships from times gone by.
Whitney shortly followed, taking to the stage clad in great 80’s style outfits to cheers from the audience.
Ehrlich, a singing drummer, took his place at the front of the stage as Kakacek started playing the intricate opening riff for ‘Dave’s Song’.
Ehrlich and his incredible falsetto opened up the song before he began a powerful, thumping drum performance.
Throughout the show the band displayed a highly skilled level of musicianship as they put all their power into the instruments.
Ehrlich and Kakacek’s performances, as well as trumpet player Will Miller all gave incredible performances that even built upon and added to the original songs.
The bands style of 80’s inspired folk rock translated into the live setting well as the crowd cheered wildly for every song, with large parts of the audience singing along and moving to the infectious melodies.
After a great cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You’, Ehrlich asked the crowd who was in love, to which a lot of the crowd cheered.
In response to this he said “hold on to them, this is a song about not being able to”, before breaking out into ‘Golden Days’, really driving home the personal aspect of his lyrics.
Throughout the show he was interacting with the crowd.
Oh @BigJeffJohns Whitney were so awesome in Manchester one of the gigs of the year!
— MyrealnameisMark (@gilbertshilling) November 9, 2016
At one point he mentioned the US election happening the same night, which got the crowd chanting “Hilary! Hilary!”.
They closed the show with the stunning ‘No Women’ and had the crowd singing along to every word, as they slowly built up a crescendo.
After one last instrumental breakdown, Ehrlich ended the show with the tracks final heart-breaking line and the crowd erupted with applause.
The intimate show was so well received by everyone at the venue, and Whitney have managed to do something incredible: on a cold rainy night, they made it feel like summer.
By Robin Parker