The Picturebooks Live at Satan’s Hollow.

Arriving in Satan’s Hollow after hotfooting it from work we found the Bad Flowers playing to the bar staff and a handful of punters, which is a shame but the price you pay in venues like this where there’s an early curfew so people have to stop listening to live music and the “club night” crowd come in to listen to a bloke playing recorded music instead.

As we arrived The Bad Flower were about half way through their set, and our first impressions were definitely favourable. There’s a pile of hot UK “classic rock” bands around at the moment and The Bad Flowers definitely fit into that category. They have a refreshing spark and energy on stage, and if this is what they put into a performance to a few folk, we can’t wait to see them rocking out to a bigger crowd, the attention would be well deserved.

Memorable highlights from the set included one which frontman Tom was almost definitely called Can You Feel It.

Yep, Definitely called can you feel it.

Early start meant an early finish, and as they needed to get the headliners on at 8 we only had time for one last song, or maybe not but they played their big single City Lights which is no doubt familiar to listeners of Classic Rock radio.

And on to the main event. We saw The Picturebooks at Hard Rock Hell Doom Vs Stoner a couple of nights before, and when a check of the gig listings for Manchester revealed they were playing in Satan’s Hollow, well, that seemed like the perfect way to spend a Friday evening. The twosome blew us away at HRH, so the opportunity to catch them in the intimate confines of Manchester’s quirkiest venue was not to be missed.

Alas although there were a few more folk in the venue when the guys came on, it was still what you’d call “a bit empty” which is weird if you see how rammed shows elsewhere in the country had been. Still, at least the venue impressed, “This place is crazy, we love it!!” we’re told. Well I guess there aren’t many venues with a round stage and a massive statue of Lucifer in the corner.

The lack of crowd doesn’t mean the band hold back though, it’s as full throttle insanity as we’d seen at HRH. Frontman Fynn days it’s all about the show. “We go out and play, 5 people, 10 people, those people have paid an entrance fee so they deserve a show. That you guys are here means to much to us.

You can’t fault that, and given the band’s tour ethic of “Keep going round and the venues fill up” means next time they hit Manchester more people should sit up and take notice. It’s worth coming down just to see “the Animal”, Philipp Mirtschink on drums, percussion and anything else he can hit. Talk about intense !!.

Our “research” into the band involved checking out videos on YouTube, so we were familiar with one track in particular, which even managed to get a bit of a singalong going. Yep, it’s called Zero Fucks Given, go check it out.

Some nights are just worth the effort, and this was one of those nights, the big man hit the nail on the head “The thing that gets us all here, it’s cheesy as fuck, but its love” and he’s right. It IS cheesy as fuck.

By the time they get to Old Habits Die Hard poor Philipp must have sweated about half his bodyweight, but I kinda get the idea he’s like that every night, once again I found myself wondering how long a set of drum skins last. Of course it’s not JUST drums (hit with sticks, clubs and hands) there’s also the Tamborine (taped to a drumstick, two birds/one stone) and that stick with the little cymbals nailed to it that Philipp brandishes like an offensive weapon.

Yeah, don’t get too close, he’s got some reach on that thing.

And then there’s the  big surprise. From Fynn’s accent and the videos we kinda assumed The Picturebooks were American. Well that was until he tried to elicit the crowd to move in to the barrier “Pull in closer. Dont be more Germam than we are!”.

Hang on, did he say German?

Alas the band only have about an hour, and all too soon we’re on the penultimate song which is another we knew from our YouTube research, the awesome The Rabbit And The Wolf before Your Kisses Burn Like Fire bring things to a close. I wonder why the band made of the club night? They apparently needed to get in the right state of mind, and liver, as they were heading to Ireland for a couple of shows over there.

Meet us at the merch. Let’s get shitfaced. We’re going to Ireland so we have to get ready.