Now it is officially Springtime and despite what you read in the papers, life goes on. And if you enjoy your music – there’s plenty to be excited about right now. For there was a ShadowParty gig in town on Thursday and Alix was there to review…


Made up of members from Devo and New Order, the band were welcomed home to rapturous applause and fully deserving of it. Touring in support of The Slow Readers Club throughout March, they wrapped things up quite nicely with a Manchester gig at Night People. Here they took top-billing, support coming from locals Sylvette. Put Sylvette down as “ones for the future”, recommendation coming from our friends at BBC Music Introducing in Manchester who were “blown away” by their performance. We were too late to see for ourselves but that’s another story… Anyway by the time the main act were due at 9pm things had reached fever pitch and they didn’t disappoint.

ShadowParty at Night People, Manchester


If you want to see musicians on top of their game then ShadowParty will more than satisfy your needs. A band with a wealth of experience from their respected careers but honed brilliantly as a unit of one here. The album is a nice blend, Joy Division for 2019 so arguably more pop-friendly synth-sounds and strings.

Tonight was loud but they’re quite rightly proud of what they have achieved on last year’s debut record. With opener Taking Over, guitar (Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham) reverberating around your head in this intimate venue and the beat of the drum in your chest (Elliot Barlow replacing regular fixture Jeff Friedl for this tour). The crowd and band revelling in equal delight and celebration.


Lead singer Josh Hager was slick in his delivery. It works wonderfully accompanied by the soothing sounds of Ellen Lewis on backing vocals and keys. Marigold was a particular show highlight. You could argue there is Doves, Blur and The Beatles all in one anthem and sounding great again here.

Celebrate, another song from their eponymous album, felt very apt for the vibe of the night. To top things off they were joined onstage for single Present Tense by legendary vocalist Denise Johnson. With a CV that includes Primal Scream, Electronic, A Certain Ratio and appearing on home turf, she received a hero’s welcome.

ShadowParty were joined by Denise Johnson and she took this photo!


With a cover of Pete Shelley’s Homosapien followed by Aftershock closing the set, my only complaint is that the gig was ending too soon. But I guess you should consider that a good thing. Get the album now!

Read our exclusive interview with ShadowParty’s Tom Chapman here