Much has been said about The Castle’s “glory days”. With bands like The Children acting as the soundtrack to chaotic nights of rock ‘n’ delirium, the Oldham venue garnered quite the reputation. I headed down to the start of their 10 year anniversary week in pursuit of The Fayre.
Oldham’s an interesting place; the neighbouring pub played everyone’s favourite chart music at a level that prevented any conversation. Young couples battled, old couples knocked drinks over and groups of adolescents over indulged in blue WKDs. After struggling down the remainder of my nauseating lager, we made for the door.
The Castle is a classic, characteristic little venue with bags of history. There are far too many soulless boxes spread across the country, but this certainly isn’t one of them. The Fayre haven’t gigged recently for a number of reasons, but Oldham welcomed them back with open arms. Their sound skims from scratchy psychadelia, to bare boned ska. Their new and untitled opener is a rousing burst of attitude, whilst old crowd-pleaser ‘Nobody’s You’ gets an eager reception. ‘System’ offers unique vocals that have been hiding for too long, riffs that take a leaf out of The Coral’s book and some of the finest drumming you’re likely to see. It’s a captivating combination.
The Fayre may have been out of action for a while, but they could have fooled me. Each drum roll, bass line and ferocious chord change blended perfectly to create an eclectic mix that leaves you pining for another tune. ‘2012’ has the potential to be a classic, while ‘Shiver’ delves even deeper into their vast array of influences. Rather than seven or so songs, I could have spent the remainder of the night watching them. Judging by the reception ‘No Foundation’ got, I definitely wasn’t the only one.
Unfortunately the band’s gigging schedule is about as erratic as Mark E Smith, but they’ve got a great deal up their sleeves. Their back catalogue is second to none, and based on tonight, their live shows pack a punch. With such exemplary song writing in their locker, they’ve got the potential to do great things. Whether or not The Fayre choose to write another chapter is yet to be seen, but only a fool would miss watching them play again.
Full Review and more Manchester music musing can be found here: