Johnny Black’s Chapter II was impeccably brilliant – Live review

Since joining BIMM in Manchester, I’ve already discovered a wealth of brilliant new talent stretching across the city. Johnny Black, Cavana and Octopus have all joined that list. The trio of acts performed at the second outing for the cosmic art-rock act, Johnny Black. Johnny Black is the fictional character created and performed by Daniel Walsh. After several live shows and a new single released in February, he was ready to return for his second outing at Aatma.

The first support of the night came from Octopus. I had only heard good things about this band, and from the first chords, I was hooked. Their increasingly loud sound which blends brit-pop and jangly guitars creating a unique sound which can be related to acts like Ride. The sheer volume created, and talented playing skills created a vibrant atmosphere that kicked off the night like a charm.


Cavana were up next and yet again increased the intensity of the night. Passion, energy and pure thrill were brought to the table with this lot. Their style of indie-rock is dreamy, yet at times extremely exciting to watch. With their guitarist climbing on amps during their closing track, and the passion led, Cribs like vocal performance from their lead singer, Cavana showed us exactly why they are here to stay. With huge shows at this years British Sound Project and numerous shows around Manchester, if you get the chance to see these guys live, do it.


Johnny Black arrived on stage to an excited audience, and a truly effortless display was given back to them. New single ‘Love Is Not Enough’ with its calm and melodic ballad-like approach and its roaring and loud ending, with Johnny screeching the lyrics in an anthem like crazed fashion. His combination of indie rock meets atmospheric noise created a unique opportunity to burst into his world and further delve into the mind that is Johnny Black.

The ever-brilliant Donnie Darko tribute song ‘Donnie’ enticed the audience to repeat the lyrics back. After the set the crowd begged for another song, Johnny replies “okay we will play ‘Donnie’ again but in key”. A great song and a great way to end a brilliant night of new music from around the city.


You can view a full gallery of each act on Piran’s Flickr by clicking the names below:

Words and photos by Piran Aston (@piranaston_)

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