Piano Wire - Live at The Castle Hotel, Manchester

The Castle Hotel, Manchester , UK
30/07/2015

Word by Adam Towers, photos by Chris Burrows HERE.


Ex-members of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line DisasterAndy Huxley and Sym Gharial recently embarked on a tour with their new band, Piano Wire. Although, still in the nascent stages of their career, Piano Wire are touring 14 more shows throughout the U.K over the coming months, including 3 festivals. We checked out the show at The Castle Hotel, Manchester to see what you can expect from the rehabilitated Rock quartet.



The venue, itself, could be seen from the outside as nothing more than an alternative pub on a Friday night but inside it has an appropriately sized room complete with a stage, lighting and P.A system that add enough elements to invite along some bands and make a show of it.

The supporting acts consist of “Manchester’s best kept secret”: Deja Vega, Hey Bulldog: a Blues Rock trio with some exceptional harmonies and, most notably, 
TVAM: A solo artist with a truly unique performance, bringing to the stage a rear projection T.V, psychedelic 80s video footage and a backing track; playing over it with a Garage Rock/Surf vibe. All three acts make for a perfect warm up, creating the atmosphere that invites on stage Sym and Andy’s fledgling band, Piano Wire.

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Piano Wire take to the stage of the intimate venue to a room of both old fans of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and intrigued new revellers, alike. From the second that they step on to the stage there is an instant familiarity with Sym rocking the Rickenbacker and adorning his signature trilby whilst Andy is about to dig into his Fender like it owes him money. With a single crack of the snare from Tim Venning the whole band bursts into a cacophony of noise, letting the crowd know that the new direction is not a tame one, they break straight into the Rock grooves of Fossil. The small stage is just enough to house all four members but this does not stop them from utilising every inch as they thrash out in a unique unison; untitled-16Sean Duke also uses the dance floor as an extension of the stage and an opportunity to invite the crowd in closer. Unfortunately, Sean can’t stay away from the confinements of the stage for too long as he also provides backing vocals on numerous tracks. What is also surprising and a sign of his proficiency is Andy’s ability to not only play the lead in most parts but to sing in his distinguished way whilst he does, never letting the combination sacrifice quality in either.
Coming towards the halfway point of the show, Piano Wire perform some of their cleaner sounding tracks Into The Orchid and I’ll Kill You. The lighter tone of the tracks does not lose any of its energy in delivery as the band remain just as anarchic whilst retaining the quality of the recorded pieces.
Pushing forward, the band move into a more turbulent-punk sound whilst keeping the grooves and melodies as an undercurrent. The intensity continues to grow and Piano Wire really look like the complete outfit as they are in harmony, both musically and in motion. The band have all the on and off-stage presence of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, held in a venue that would be better suited for a typical weekend cover band, yet, there’s always been something in the way that they perform that suggests that they don’t play to sell out stadiums; they play for the connection with the fans. This is a great example of how Piano Wire embrace this with the same passion that others may only do for profit, not for the love of music.

As the show comes to an end, the four unite, centre stage and pummel their instruments as a reminder that they have not left behind any of their Psychosis-Rock roots but have turned a page to write a new, more progressive chapter. The right side of the stage is The Eighties and the left is the new blood that mauntitled-15kes up Piano Wire. The tie between Tim and Sym makes for one of the strongest rhythm sections in what is generally, a fast and loose genre, whilst the helter-skelter harmony of Andy and Sean completes the deck; the combination of the quartet really helps to hold together the melodic chaos that Piano Wire are so capable of. Although, only in their first 9 months as a complete set, after numerous line-up changes, the band have found a solid foundation from which to build a new legacy. The newest member, Tim Venning is looking at home; banging away with an ear to ear grin and Guitarist, Sean Duke is already owning the stage like he was born on it. Piano Wire have gelled with the kind of chemistry that if not through playing shows together for decades, can only be achieved with such an organic and natural connection. Piano Wire, in such early stages are already looking and sounding far too big for this stage: both figuratively and literally.