• James Booton

Ten Tonnes + The Pale White: Live @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester


Now that the Christmas decorations have been firmly put away, the new year’s resolutions have already veered off track, and we have been gifted our first 2019 pay day, we can see that gig season is well and truly underway. What better place to kick off our live reviews for the new year than witnessing two of the UK’s brightest rising artists in the compact surroundings of Manchester’s The Deaf Institute.

With Ten Tonnes quickly gathering a huge following ahead of his debut album (due for release on April 5th) it was no surprise that his return to Manchester warranted a sell-out show. What was a surprise was to see that there was only one support on the line-up. However, when that support is The Pale White, you don’t need anyone else to get the crowd well and truly pumped for the night ahead. Moments into their set it became clear why there was no one else on the billing; Newcastle’s ferocious trio cleared out any cobwebs that had formed over the Christmas break and kicked the crowd into gear. Their set was summarised by their pummeling finale of ‘That Dress’ and ‘End Of Time’ (one of their most recent singles).

The two tracks perfectly encapsulate the band’s sound. It is primal; dark, yet with a melodic underlayer waiting to break out. Taking influences from modern blues rock artists such as The White Stripes as well as contemporary Indie sounds, The Pale White, along with the likes of The Amazons and Royal Blood are paving the way for a new breed of Indie-Rock. It is a breed where the beats trigger your unconscious desire to move, the riffs radiate Rock&Roll swagger and the live shows see a crowd of youth singing at the top of their lungs, leaving sweaty, dehydrated, but wanting more!

THE PALE WHITE HEAD OUT ON A NORTHERN TOUR STARTING FEB 24TH - TICKETS HERE

Having just returned from tour with his older brother George Ezra, Ten Tonnes (Ethan Lambert) seemed more than ready to deliver to a sold out crowd on his last tour before the release of his debut album (pre-order here). Although at first sight it seemed strange to see a band as angst driven as The Pale White supporting the summer Indie tunes of Ten Tonnes, however it did work, and perhaps it is because the two styles are opposing.

Where The Pale White have harmonies hiding underneath a thick layer of dirty rock, Ten Tonnes is clean and melodic on the surface with that angsty side ready to break free. This was best observed in 'Silver Heat', a desperate plea for a woman to forget her new love interest and return. It is packed full of raw emotion and was one of the few moments in the set where you could see him crack out of his usual calm demeanor and let loose in the fury of the pounding Indie anthem!

Yet, although this youthful energy is perfect for a live setting, the real reason that Ten Tonnes’ music has captured the hearts of thousands is the constant positivity and honesty that the tracks exude. It’s not everyday that you hear someone turn a tale of their own downfalls into a song so infectiously upbeat (‘Better Than Me’). You simply can’t attend a Ten Tonnes gig without feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. The crowd was alive with sonic positivity, not thinking of anything to do with the outside world, just soaking up the good vibes and letting the smooth sounds wash around them. The only moments where the audience took time to look around were the bittersweet love songs of ‘Love Me To Death’ and ‘Lucy’ (the night’s ender). In these few minutes it felt as though the ageing walls of The Deaf Institute became a microcosm in which every individual was united together, attaching any feelings of love they hold to the heart wrenching vocals that Ethan delivered.

The night had it all really. Dark, primal arrogance, blissful segments of joy, and a couple of moments to drink in the surroundings and remind yourself why gigs are simply the best. If you want something to drag you out of the wintery slump then be sure to catch this guy on tour!

TEN TONNES UK TOUR THIS MAY - TICKETS HERE

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