DELPHIC live at Manchester Ritz

Let’s Do Something Real

In the tradition of some of Manchester’s finest, here are the ‘new’ young men of Delphic, who continued their meteoric rise with a second date in Manchester in as many months. Last time it was at Sankeys, this time at The Ritz and its sticky sprung floor. A 16 point neon star adorned the ceiling of The Ritz, by the end of the night it wasn’t the only star visible.

Delphic have a great, multi-instrumental stage presentation featuring a good mix of synths, guitars, bass and electronic percussion accompanied by a funky live drummer. In some ways, they are like A Certain Ratio gone right! Consisting of James Cook, Matt Cocksedge and Richard Boardman, one of their mottos is “the guitar is dead, long live the guitar”.

But electronics are also a main ingredient. Synths man Rick Boardman said to the BBC earlier this year: “This is going to sound really cool, as if I’ve made it up, and the rest of the band hate me for this, but I have very cool parents. My first musical memory was getting a little Casio keyboard and playing ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk on it. That was the first thing I learnt.”

Fusing techno club beats with accessible electro pop and guitars, if there is a harder working current live act, I would like to see it. A simple stage set with slanted neon tubing reminiscent of early OMD styling, flickered into life with the concert opener ‘Clarion Call’, the tubing changed red for the next track “Red Lights”, the rest of the stage lighting creating a magnificent visual feast.

The vocodered intro to ‘Doubt’ drew the crowd into a frenzy and tracks flowed seamlessly together with little chance for a breather or introductions. The quite beautiful Pet Shop Boys inspired “Submission” slightly slowed down proceedings, while ‘Halcyon’ suddenly took the gig to the next level, probably the purest ‘pop’ song on the album. This is an instant classic and the sprung dance floor had its work cut out, the crowd went wild and rightly so. We were all getting very sweaty by now.

The set played like a greatest hits gig…that just showed the high quality of every track from their debut album Acolyte. The repeated “let’s do something real” lyrics from ‘This Momentary’ surely summed up the night while the brilliant soon-to-be re-released ‘Counterpoint’ with its New Order meets Orbital sound went down a storm.

A rare live outing for ‘Remain’ started the two track encore, finishing with the euphoric ‘Acolyte’, a complete ‘hands in the air’ clubbing experience. The audience left on a high, I had a broad grin on my face, knowing I had seen a very special group on a very special night.

This was my first Delphic gig and it’s safe to say, it won’t be my last.

Robert Rumbell
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