Initially people may be rather wary of what to expect from Manchester Orchestra as their name does generate some preconceptions. Are they a string quartet from Old Trafford? However, anybody fortunate enough to witness their show would quickly learn that they are not from Manchester but from Atlanta, Georgia. Nor are they an orchestra, but a group of exceptionally talented musicians, who produce indie music with a distinctive rock twist.

Sometimes, the frustration with new bands is that you always feel that they could be incredible, if only the front man or woman had a more powerful voice, a voice which will stop you in your tracks and scream star quality. Not so for Manchester Orchestra, as front man Andy Hall has the ability to encapsulate every emotion the lyrics entail through his powerful voice. He doesn’t engage with the audience all that much in between songs, however when he does, he comes across as humble and witty. Essentially, he doesn’t need to be a showman. The band’s music demands your attention. Their sound sits somewhere between the gentle lyrics of Death Cab for Cutie, and the edgy rock element of Brand New.

It is clear to see why this band has supported such acts as Kings of Leon, Biffy Clyro and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They are the definition of everything cool, and if they produce more catchy songs, like ‘I’ve Got Friends’, their fan base is sure to widen even further.

Katy Huke

WesternEye speaks to lead singer Andy Hall…
So, it’s the first night of your tour tonight, any mixed feelings?

Well I feel great, I feel really excited, I’ve got a
lot of anticipation about what’s next and this is our eleventh time back here
in the UK so yeah, it’s taken a long time for us to get to this cool reward! I
mean you put in the time and play the shows and our band has never had a record
here or had a magazine really bigging us up or anything like that, so yeah this
is awesome.

And this is also your first headlining tour in the UK?

Well that’s what the press say, but it’s definitely not our first headlining tour. We’ve done so many headlining tours
but they have always been in front of about 100 or 200 people. Then it started to grow to 300 and this time of course a lot more. We were actually here in April, right before our record came out. We played two London shows and a Manchester show.

Any UK gigs that you have particularly enjoyed performing at?

We played Leedsfest and Reading twice over the last
five years. We had a really good Reading the second time and a really good
Leeds the first time, which kind of evens out but every time we play Manchester,
it’s pretty cool. They kind of take a home-made liking to us.

So why the name Manchester Orchestra when you guys are clearly not from Manchester?

Well I started the band when I was 16. I was
listening to a lot of The Smiths and a bit of Morrissey and I knew they started
in Manchester. I also like Karl Pilkington, he’s also from Manchester and is a legend
everywhere, and I’ve been listing to all his stuff for like the last seven
years.

Any beginnings of a fourth album in the works?

Well, we are constantly writing, but for us we usually wait once our record’s been released.

We feel like we need to give it a minute before we can start writing again and that usually starts during the
summer.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring musicians?

I don’t think I know enough yet, I’m still a
young writer myself trying to make it work, you know? I feel like where we’ve
gotten has taken a lot of really hard work, and dedication to make sure what
you release is better and more potent than before