(Photos - Ianthe Warlow)
Tucked down a narrow, inconspicuous alleyway off Stevenson’s Square, Manchester’s Aatma is a hidden gem in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. On an otherwise quiet wet and windy Saturday evening, Aatma was bursting with a beautifully diverse crowd, eagerly waiting to see Scruff of The Neck’s line-up for the night.
Supported by KYNGS, Palace Motion and The Reytons was Freeda; a Mossley based indie rock 5-piece with a clear flair and love for live performance. Having recently release their debut single, Plug It In, Freeda have gained quite a loyal following within the Manchester indie scene which was clear to see by the excitement of the crowd during their set. The Reytons certainly warmed the crowd up and had some fans singing along to their catchy tunes but it was Freeda that stole and captivated the attention of the room. This show actually marked the band’s first headline gig, and having seen them supporting other bands before, I had high hopes for their set and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Groups of friends gathered in clusters before the stage, drinks in hands, eagerly waiting and ready to take in the brilliant set to come. From the outset, Freeda dropped an energy on stage that spilled out into the crowd and it didn’t take any time at all for them to clearly exhibit how much they enjoy performing. For a young band, their professionalism is impressive, but this doesn’t stop them from maintaining their youthful indie sound.
(Photos - Ianthe Warlow)
Frontman Sean Rowles exuded a humble confidence while effortlessly performing tracks like Sell Your Soul and Coming Back. Despite the occasional technical difficulty, they played on, maintaining their infectious energy and connection with the crowd. One of my favourite moments of the night was hearing their cover of Come Together which got everyone to do exactly that. Fans, old and young danced together and progressively drew closer and closer to the stage. By the end, fingers were pointing to the ceiling and the crowd had a cohesive sway along to the music; friends and strangers alike had their arms around each other. Voodoo topped off the night and despite a substantial set, left us wanting more.
I definitely can’t wait to catch these guys again and keep up with their future releases. As a band who had every corner of the room dancing, singing and fully immersed in the sound at their first headline gig, Freeda will soon be taking the scene by storm.