Live Review: Ideal Forgery ‘Chase The Light’ Single Launch

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Ideal Forgery ‘Chase The Light’ Single Launch

The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, UK - 22nd June 2018

Summertime has officially arrived, the streets of Manchester are bathed in sunshine, the locals have finally shed their coats, the beer gardens are full and Manchester’s very own Ideal Forgery are occupying the Ruby Lounge for the launch of their new single, Chase The Light, that is being released today. Ideal Forgery are accompanied for tonight’s single launch party by a showcase of local talent. Rosie Wilson opens the evening with a striking unaccompanied torch vocal that pulls at the heart strings and echoes round every inch of the underground venue, she possesses a stunning vocal range and soulful voice and I can’t help wishing she was accompanied by a rock ‘n roll band. As if reading my thoughts she takes up an upright bass and loops her vocals and bass lines to build an impressive dark and haunting multi layered soundtrack. A further switch sees her build a stark digital backing that reminds me of the earlier recordings by Nadine Shah, Rosie Wilson is a surprising and spellbinding opening act that I just know will continue to deliver the unexpected.

Next up is Becky Langan, another solo artist, this time with the more traditional acoustic guitar, or so you’d have thought as she delivers complex picked rhythms that are accompanied by her own percussive beat on the body of the guitar, a style that has the distinct feel of Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western soundtracks, she is another act that gives the impression that tonight is a diverse showcase of local talent. Midway through her set I encounter Zak Heaney, Ideal Forgery’s frontman, who is clutching a bottle of Jack Daniels, he enthusiastically informs me that Becky Langan is his favourite musician before he, and his bottle of bourbon, vanish back into the crowd. The penultimate act tonight sees the first full band of the night, The Capitals, who have bought a small but noisy contingent with them. The trio deliver a set of groove ridden indie rock that has an undeniably Mancunian twang to the vocals. Their brief set builds things up nicely for Ideal Forgery’s set, one that will act as the announcement for the arrival of their long awaited new single, Chase The Light.

The last time we caught Ideal Forgery they were support for Mohawk Radio’s Shoot From The Hip single launch at The Deaf Institute, that night they caught our attention with an impressive set, and due to an impressively intoxicated Zak Heaney swearing more than pretty much anyone else I’ve seen over the years. After a chance encounter with them in Manchester last month we were invited to catch the band again, as they are now hosting their own single launch show, and have drawn an enthusiastic crowd down into the city centre basement venue. The quartet take to the stage, their line up of guitar, bass and drums is augmented by cello, but some things don’t change as Zak Heaney still has his battered acoustic guitar and he delivers an expletive ridden introduction to open their set. Ideal Forgery’s brand of folk, punk and indie has lost none of its charm and the cello brings a haunted dimension to the music.

Ideal Forgery’s set ebbs and flows between grace and rage, but all the time maintaining their distinctive, bittersweet and unique blend of styles. Zak Heaney discloses that he’s trying not to swear as much tonight, the fact he does this whilst saying fuck every other word indicates this is one thing that isn’t going to plan, the rest of the set however is one that is impressive and heartfelt. Ideal Forgery’s sound encompasses everything from the eighties alternative scene of The Levellers and New Model Army, through to the modern indie and folk punk scenes. Chase The Light is revealed, the new single alternates between delicate and bouncy sections that build to an anthemic chorus, as a result it was somewhat surprising that is was introduced by Zak Heaney as being about getting fucked up. A snapped string impales Zak’s finger towards the end of their set, which inevitably leads to further bout of swearing, before they deliver Silent Movie, a track that builds from its soulful beginning to an intense finale before easing gently back.

Two final tracks, and an a further encore, are delivered that take the show way past curfew, tonight’s set has reminded me exactly why Ideal Forgery caught my attention in the first place. I will always continue to cover nights like this, whilst tonight was ostensibly a launch for Ideal Forgery’s new single, and for the band to shoot the video for their latest release, it also provided a showcase for a diverse range of local artists. I originally discovered Ideal Forgery on a night like this, that fact alone is a good enough reason to keep me coming into Manchester for showcases like this that shine a light on the undiscovered talent that exists within my city. I can guarantee that there will be nights like this in the small basement and attic venues of every city, these events provide a much needed spotlight for the up and coming and left field acts from your local scene, these showcases need to be supported if they are to continue and as an added bonus you never know quite what you’ll find.

Ideal Forgery‘s website can be found here

The Capitals Facebook page is located here

Becky Langan‘s website is here

Rosie Wilson‘s Facebook page is here