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M83 are the band for me!

Live Review- Drowned in Sound present M83 at the Deaf Institute, Manchester

Written by Simon Edgar Lord

Amongst a sea of nodding heads I can barely tread water enough to get a glimpse of tonight’s support man Ulrich Schnauss. All the way from the banks of the Spree; Schnauss is quite a regular on this side of the channel and particularly Manchester. Being sometime keyboardist for local favourite troubadours Long;View (or however they prefer to be punctuated). His coming over always creates a buzz and hence this sea of bodies amongst which I need to gasp for air.

Ulrich Schnauss in action

Alongside the sometime melancholic, cheapest adiposity sometime ebullient sound-scaping he produces is a projection that seems to depict the exact thoughts and visions created by the music. It’s as if the projector was directly plugged into my imagination and transmitting them live as they appear. Images range from sunsets on beaches, information pills flora, fauna and fairgrounds. All a little clichéd you may think but perfectly apt for the far from clichéd ethereal sound Ulrich emits. This link between the image and sound makes it very difficult to extricate yourself from either and irksomely difficult to invent any images of your own.


With M83 however my mind becomes satiated with strange and vivid imagery all coming from a magical blue box set in the middle of the stage emitting light, watts and ohms throughout the entirety of the Deaf Institute. Taking a certain quality of softly spoken vocal over loud reverbed guitar from shoegaze giants My Bloody Valentine and Ride, they create an all new form of dance music that sets it apart and creates an Ibiza club night atmosphere but with an air of Krautrock cool; let’s call it Neu! Disco. The crowd are euphoric, swaying, dancing and gyrating to an infectious beat, from the drum kit placed behind a perspex cabin, as I bob up and down, straggling to grab hold of a lifebuoy. Boy, it’s enough to blow your socks off, something front man Anthony Gonzalez would attest to (he plays barefooted, just to clarify).


M83 are currently preparing to embark on a huge tour of Europe with Depeche Mode, if you’re on dry land and have the opportunity to jump aboard then get to it captain, batten down the hatches and hold on to your socks.

All photos and lovely illustrations courtesy of Simon Edgar Lord.


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