LIVE REVIEW: Skarlett Riot @ Satan’s Hollow, Manchester – 23rd March 2019

Not many venues are almost full in time for the first supporting band. Satan’s Hollow clearly continues to be a popular venue for both bands and gig goers as part of Manchester’s alternative music scene. The number of heavy metallers, goths and all-round music lovers present reveals the community feel that remains a strong part of music scene and support for tonight’s line up.

Sertraline (8) take to the stage with a warm reception from the crowd. The guitars and basses are strong from the start. The solid distortion fills the venue and is given energy by the drums. Lizzie is a powerful live vocalist as she switches easily between clean and harsh vocals. Reaching high notes, her cleans have a dynamic effect and enhance their sound. Their performance is energetic and enthusiastic with good crowd interaction. They clearly have a large number of fans present as they receive a lot of supporting cheers and applause. They deliver a diverse set by including tracks of differing energy levels which keeps their performance interesting and engaging throughout. The friendly feel of the evening is developed through their connection with the audience and for their final track, Lizzie invites the audience to sing along bringing the venue together. Sertraline have given a great opening performance and set a high standard for Fahran and Skarlett Riot to follow.  

Fahran (7) perform a solid set. Fahran brings a unique sound with high toned vocals, more technical guitar riffs and solos. Matt’s vocals have a raw, almost raspy edge to them which gives a unique texture to their sound. Their set predominantly features hard rock style rhythms and chord sequences diverging from the progressive metal sound of Sertraline. They are clearly competent musicians as each instrumental and vocal part is tight and well executed. Keeping up a good energy throughout their set, Fahran form a good connection with crowd enhancing the fantastic atmosphere of the venue this evening. This is an evening of new music for Fahran as they perform their latest single Pyre, released just over a week ago, and debut some new unreleased tracks. Fahran continue maintain the high standard of performance set by Sertraline.

Skarlett Riot (9) receive a huge welcome to the stage from the audience filled with anticipation for their set. Skarlett Riot are the heaviest band to perform – they open as they mean to go on with heavy distortion and dynamic drums. Skarlett’s vocals soar over the heavy instrumentation. Her energy and enthusiasm brings the performance to life and she connects incredibly well with the audience. Making everyone feel involved with their presence acknowledged, the sense of community in the venue strengthens. There are few bands who give such a professional performance with such good communication with their audience. Their energy does not let up with every track fuelling the crowd. Performing a variety of tracks from their releases, there set features a good variety which complement each other. Ending their set with Warrior, the evening concludes on a high. The crowd singing along and moving to the music shows this was the perfect track to finish with. The love from the crowd and appreciation from Skarlett Riot is incredibly powerful and is a great example of what the relationship between a band and their fans should be.

The evening brought together a diverse range of music with each band having their own unique sounds and delivering strong performances. It’s fantastic to see smaller bands receiving a great reception from the audience and it’s clear that every crowd member is a passionate music fan.

Words by Holly Royle

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