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Gig Report: CKY @ Manchester Academy 2

This was one hell of a night. On a cold December night in Manchester, I got myself down to the Academy 2, to watch a night of hard rocking, heart pounding and exciting night of music. I wouldn't say that I'm massively nostalgic for CKY but I remember them well enough. The last time I saw them live, they were opening mainstage at Download Festival in 2011. They're one of those bands that were always around but I have never really paid them that much attention. So, I thought I would get myself out to this show and really take in what this band can do. To make the night even better, opening the show was American hard rockers Bullets And Octane and Canadian heavy metal punks, Sumo Cyco. The crowd started to filter in and they were raring to go.

Holy nostalgia Batman! Bullets And Octane are one of those band that I grew up listening to. In The Mouth of The Young was one of my favourite albums for a long time. I have never had the chance to check them out live, so this was a real treat to see them open thing up here. So how were they? In a word, excellent. Right from the first song, they exuded great confidence and they were so captivating. Their music is so good and the sound in the venue perfectly captured their performance. The setlist was a great mix of old and new songs and it was well paced. They didn't waste a single second of their time on stage. They knew that they had a limited amount of time and they were going to make the most of every moment. To make even more of an impact,

and because there weren't too many people there at the time, (vocalist) Gene Louis and (guitarist) Felipe Rodrigo decided to make their way into the crowd and rock out with the fans. This was really fun and just kept the fans pumped up and dancing. Closing out on the high octane tune "Save Me Sorrow", they just went all out and they were clearly having fun with the Manchester crowd. This was such a great opening set and they did their job which was, to get the crowd ready for the rest of the night. I'm so happy I've finally had a chance to catch them live. They were awesome and getting to hear some of my favourite songs of theirs in a live setting was quite the experience.

Next on stage was Canadian party-metallers, Sumo Cyco. I've liked their music for a long time now but I have never checked them out live. So, this was my chance to see what they could do on a stage. Let me say, they blew the lid off of the place. Their energy was just infectious and the crowd were bouncing around like a crazy rave was going on. Sumo Cyco just looked like they were having the time of their lives with giant smiles on their faces throughout the performance. The sound was awesome, there was a sharp and clear guitar tone with the pulsating bass and drum work, making for a powerful and dynamic set. The lead vocalist, Skye bounded around the stage, hyping up the crowd. You couldn't take your eyes off of her as she was constantly dancing, moving and just having a good time. Following suit from Bullets and Octane she also got into the crowd. However, in her case, she mounted the shoulders of a fan and went to go get a drink of whiskey. I have to say I 
loved this set, the energy, the music, the crowd interaction and just the sheer force of personality that they bring to the stage. Capping the set off with the song "Fighter", Skye

returned to the crowd again to get the Manchester fans to crouch to the floor to then jump up. You know, even though this is an old trope in the metal-world, I still love bands that do this. I really loved this set. After being a fan of them for a while it was pretty cool to get to see them live. I would definitely recommend seeing these guys live at your soonest convenience.

The venue started to fill up more and more and the chants for CKY grew louder and louder. Their fans were raring to go and CKY were more than happy to deliver a mouth-watering, hard rock set. With a booming bass line and a thick guitar tone, they blasted into their set. They opened on "Rio Bravo" and the atmosphere in the room livened up even more with people jumping around and screaming along to every word. It was such an intense atmosphere to be a part of. CKY sounded so damn good, the guitar and bass brought so much life and depth and the drums kept the set so well paced. Frontman Chad I Ginsburg broke into a sweat rocking out but you could tell he was enjoying himself and he sang the word to the songs with conviction and passion. With classic songs like "96 Quite Bitter Beings" and "Disengage the Simulator" and newer tunes like "Head for a Breakdown" and "Replaceable" they certainly covered their bases regardless of when you became a fan of them. They were clearly humbled by the crowd anytime they stopped playing the chants of the band's name continued right back up. They didn't give much in terms of crowd interaction the odd bit of banter here and there but nowhere near the crazy levels of what I had seen with Bullets and Octane and Sumo Cyco. Though I don't really think they needed to. They just kept up with their skate-punk anthems and rocked out on the stage. They closed out their main set with the GG Allin cover, "Bite It You Scum" which was a great way to cap things off whilst keeping people hungry for the encore.

The returned to the stage to play three more songs. Kicking off with "Escape From Hellview" which was more than enough reason to stay. Being that it is the Christmas season they couldn't get away without playing "Santa's Coming", which was massively entertaining. Finally wrapping things up with that absolute tune "Knee Deep". All said and done, this was a fun show. Although I was more there for the supports than the main act I still enjoyed my time with CKY. It was an excellent night for hard rock. Every band freaking killed it and played to their strengths. I would most definitely love to watch all of them again.

Photos by Laura Piggford - LorathNahhr Photography


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