Gig Review: The Midnight at Manchester Albert Hall, 7th November 2019

Both Geth and I have been getting into synthwave in a big way this year. It’s the perfect modern ’80s-aping genre for me, while Geth was starting to get fed up with what was happening in industrial and needed a new type of electronic music to listen to. As such, we’ve been listening to it lots and have a few new favourite bands!

The Midnight are my favourite synthwave band, so when we heard that they were playing a few dates in the UK, it was an absolute no-brainer that we were going to go see them. A few friends from Newcastle had the same idea, so it was a good crowd in Manchester last Thursday for the gig.

The support act, Violet Days, were already playing when we arrived at the venue and found seats (a really good space on the balcony right above the stage!). I wouldn’t say their music was particularly standout to me, but it provided a nice bit of background while Geth got the drinks in and bought a couple of t-shirts at the merch stand.

Violet Days
Loved this viewpoint over the stage! Not too crowded either, so if I’m ever back at the Albert Hall I’ll know where to go.

While I love going to see classic artists who have been going for forty years or so, the sheer depth of their back catalogues means that there’s always a good few songs I don’t know (even Duran Duran, who are my favourite band and whom I listen to every day, have a few deep cuts and side projects with which I’m less familiar). For newer bands like the Midnight with only one or two albums, this is not a problem! I’ve been listening to their stuff so much this year that I knew every single song played, and was able to sing along to most of it (I don’t usually hear lyrics when I’m listening to music due to being hard of hearing, so this was a big deal). I don’t think I’ve come across one of their songs that I don’t absolutely love, so it was a brilliant, energetic show. In fact, the band have done so many great songs that there were a couple of my favourites (‘Crystalline’ and ‘Kick Drums And Red Wine’) that didn’t get played – but I didn’t mind, because everything they did play was brilliant too!

Setlist here.

The Midnight
It was nice to be close enough that even with my blurry photography, you can still tell who it is!

I just want to give a quick shout out to the Manchester Albert Hall, which is a brilliant venue. Hoping to attend a few more gigs there in the future! I will also be looking out for more synthwave gigs next year.

Music Video Monday: The Midnight: Days Of Thunder

I was going to do a ‘recent chart catchup’ for Music Video Monday today, but there haven’t been any catchup videos released for current chart hits in the last few weeks, so I’m going to go with another synthwave video instead. Geth and I have been getting into synthwave in a big way and so we’re watching a lot of playlists on YouTube. There have been some really brilliant videos made specially for the songs (such as the Gunship video I featured a couple of weeks ago), but I’ve also got a soft spot for the early makeshift attempts that are more like fanvids, such as this offering for the Midnight’s 2014 track Days Of Thunder.

The video is a lovely dreamy collage of clips from American ’80s car ads. As I was dream car shopping for about a month until I bought my Skoda last week, I’ve been really enjoying this one lately! The adverts used are brilliant and are encouraging me to track down more of the same type online. It’s probably for the best that I don’t have that much free time at the moment.

I am presuming the title of the song is a reference to the 1990 film. However, Geth keeps singing it as ‘Days Of Wonder’ (Days Of Wonder is a boardgame company).

Despite all the awesome cars, though, the highlight of the video is this guy’s 1980 moustache:

The Midnight - Days Of Thunder

Once upon a time, this was the height of style.

More music video discussion next week!