A diverse cast of musicians came together last Thursday for a celebration of independent talent hosted by Salford-based label Trolley Productions at Salford venue, Old Pint Pot.
Only at this kind of live music event would you find a classically trained violinist on the same line up as a semi-professional beat-boxer and two indie bands.
But these seemingly odd pairings of wonderfully assorted performers is practically the norm at the monthly Trolley Productions music evening held at The Old Pint Pot on Chapel Street, which aims to showcase some of the best talent the local label has to offer.
Set up by Salford University Student Jamie McGregor during his first year of studies, the label has been holding music nights in the Pint Pot’s upstairs music venue ever since.
Over the course of running these nights, much more has been done than simply providing audiences with evenings of homegrown entertainment for a five-pound entry fee and a hand-stamp at the door.
Namely, during the breaks between lockdowns last year when venues such as the Pint Pot could reopen, the Trolley Productions nights were used as a vehicle to raise funds for worthy causes, with all money collected from entry fees donated to local charities and organisations.
Opening the evening was Jack Mitchell, an exceptional violinist with a very unique playing style of traditional bow playing paired with a guitar-type finger-picking technique. Working alone onstage, Mitchell performed his own original compositions and put together his pieces from the ground up, layering different sounds together from a singular loop pedal.
Despite a couple of false starts at the beginning of his set, Mitchell did not let the nerves get the better of him and, along with his own powerful and original songwriting, he proved himself to be a very capable musician.
“Its so strange to be playing live again” he said after his set “It’s so good to be back!”
A strength of the evening as a whole was how well-structured the event was, not just in terms of the slickness of transitions between acts themselves but how they fell neatly into their separate musical genres on the running order so that there was something for everyone to enjoy.
It was the turn of the indie rock bands to take the stage following on from the soulful performance from the violinist.
Hailing themselves as “three geordie’s and a stokie”, White Noise’s sound was very reminiscent of the likes of Royal Blood. They took to the stage with some very strong original songwriting and an excellent stage presence. Their frontman even jokingly stating that nobody in the audience should enjoy “the only cover (song) we’re going to play tonight” more than their original songs. Complete with catchy melodies and some particularly awe-inspiring guitar solos, the northern four-piece had the audience bouncing along with them and bobbing their heads in time with their tunes.
Luke Lovekin and his band The Corner Boys were the second indie rockers of the evening, putting in a very passionate performance. You could tell they get a great deal of satisfaction from putting on a good show, which only aids their performance.
Their neatly executed, homemade sound blurred the lines between the traditional indie sound with melodies and guitar licks that were on the verge of entering heavy metal material. Between their genre-bending sound and Lovekin’s flamboyant stage presence, the audience could not really get a grasp of what they would be seeing next.
But the act that arguably stole the show was Madz. Moving over to the UK as a refugee from Syria, Madz’s love of music has led him to studying an RMC music course in beatboxing as well as setting a world record for the longest consecutive beatbox performance – a staggering time of 27 hours.
A lot of people underestimate beatbox, simply dismissing it as just making noise into a microphone. But Madz had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with his fast-paced and energetic four-song set bringing the crowd flooding onto the stage and dancing along to the inhuman sounds coming from his mouth. At times it was very hard to believe that he was indeed the source of all this music, it truly was a sight to behold.
So next time you find yourself with nothing to do as these Autumn nights roll in, why not take yourself down to the Old Pint Pot and attend one of these live music evenings. With its wonderfully unique line up of performers, you’re guaranteed to find something that fits your musical taste, but you might just surprise yourself and find that next big sound you’ve been looking for.