LAST night, ex-Catfish and The Bottlemen lead guitarist Billy Bibby brought his new band, The Wry Smiles, to Manchester’s Night and Day Café. Quays News entertainment reporter Natalie Rees went along…

On the launch night of his debut EP, ‘Bide Your Time’, Bibby was joined by support from 21-year-old Ryan Jarvis and Carjack Mallone.

Singer-songwriter Jarvis welcomed those escaping the rain outside to a charming acoustic set. Jarvis, from Gorton, supported The Courteeners in December during their epic seven nights at the Apollo. The talented musician, who’s debut single ‘Moving Far Too Fast’ was played by Clint Boon on Radio X, treated the intimate venue to his own songs.

Ryan JarvisOpening with ‘Busking Tune’, before ‘How Did We Get Here My Dear’ and ‘Never’. Jarvis continued with a beautiful stripped back version of The Stone Roses’ ‘Waterfall’, before finishing his set with ‘Outside This Town’.

Manchester trio Carjack Mallone made the stage their own, descending into loud guitar riffs and heavy drum beats. The rock band, who sight Nirvana and U2 as major influences, opened their set to a roar from the crowd. The bands formed almost 10 years ago, and since then have cemented themselves as one of Manchester’s finest unsigned acts.

CARJACK MALLONEAnimated frontman Daniel Hughes commanded the stage, encouraging the crowd to move to their new single ‘Drinking By Myself’, before playing ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Paolo’s Town’. The lively band finished by dedicating their last track of the night to the late Sir Terry Wogan. They will be supporting Turrentine Jones in April.

After introducing himself to the excited audience, Bibby and The Wry Smiles kicked off the second night of their 19 date UK tour.

The band, who haven’t played together in Manchester before, engulfed the cosy venue in a distinct Indie Rock sound. Bibby finished ‘This Kind Of Summer’ with a stunning guitar solo, before playing straight into a sound reminiscent of the swinging 60s, perhaps a nod towards one of his influences, Elvis Presley.

Billy, Rob, Matt and Mike continued to enjoy the crowd’s attention from the stage to the bar, before Bibby picked up his electric guitar to introduce his next song. The band took a break as Bibby played ‘Pacifier‘, a track taken from ‘The Balcony’, the debut album from his former project Catfish and The Bottlemen, who he spent seven years with. The crowd sang back the lyrics to Bibby’s own take on the record, before he was joined by his band mates for ‘Believe Me’, included on their debut EP, now available on Itunes and Spotify.

The lads from Llandudno finished their set with the rockabilly sounding ‘Waitin For You‘, released late last year and one of the first songs Bibby wrote post-Catfish. The night finished with the front man dedicating the last song to his sister, an upbeat tune which the venue proceeded to dance along to. The future of the band is very promising.

By: Natalie Rees

Fancy taking in a gig in Manchester between February 15-21? Check out our guide to what’s on that week

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