Live Review: Good Cop Bad Cop - YES, Manchester 15/04/2019

Good Cop Bad Cop - Yes - Manchester - 15-04-19-5.jpg

Playing only their second ever gig, we caught the new Sheffield collaboration, Good Cop Bad Cop, at YES Manchester.

Well aware that this is only the second ever gig that Good Cop Bad Cop have played as a band, we were filled with both initial anticipation and curiosity, not quite sure what the night ahead could bring. In return we were confronted with a set that proved a lot and turned fans by washing away any uncertainty.

As a relatively new venue in Manchester, YES is a converted auction house set out over 4 floors. Owned by promoters Now Wave, the venue has become one of the coolest spots in the city. Hosting two gig venues, a roof terrace, eatery area and various bars, we went up to ‘The Pink Room’ for the gig.

Looking and smelling like a packet of Cadbury Mini Eggs (for real!) The Pink Room has easily become one of my favourite venues. Head to toe pink, from the ceiling to the floor, the bar to the stage, the toilets to the walls, this is Barbie heaven and a hella cool room for a gig. I had just walked in as support band Gold Teeth were finishing up, so I didn’t get much from their performance, but what I did sounded loud. With six members on stage, strong vocals was held together by talented musicians. Unfortunately I have failed to find anything of the mysterious Gold Teeth band online since discovering them at the gig, so please do enlighten me!

Good Cop Bad Cop is the new project from Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and Milburn frontman Joe Carnall, the Sheffield duo have been mates since the early days, but this collaboration is the surprise we didn’t know we needed. Helders produced the record, whilst Carnall is the frontman, accompanied by a brand new band. To many people’s contrary, no, Matt Helders did not appear at the gig, and he was never going to play the drums on the tour.

Having eagerly listened to the self titled album as it was released, I was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed, knowing full well I needed to hear these songs live. It was a relief when the gig showed that hard work and passion had clearly gone into the album, it sure turned any uncertainty on its head.

The stage set up was looking dreamy, with a mix of retro TVs appearing on the stage, we were teased with Heaven 17 - Temptation before the band eventually came out to the intense instrumental ‘Bleu Nuit’ by Timber Timbre. With the crowd seemingly raring to go, it wasn’t until the first song was over that Joe Carnall encouraged the crowd to come closer. Whilst addressing the crowd, and perhaps reacting to a punter shouting ‘Where’s Helders?’ Carnall took the opportunity to introduce the band. This was done in good spirits as he comically introduced every member… *pointing to guitarist* “this is not Matt Helders, on the drums this is not Matt Helders and on the bass guitar this is not Matthew Helders”.

The band’s first release ‘Silk & Leather’ was followed by ‘Sharp Shooter’, arguably two of the strongest tracks on the album. It quickly became apparent that the setlist was in the same order of the album, with the exception of a new song slotted in-between ‘Quarter Past June’ and ‘Taste The Danger’, every song on the record was played.

Before going into new song ‘Three Things’, Carnall candidly said “I hope you all appreciate the effort here, this is the first time I’ve ever worn a turtleneck and we even got some shit TVs for the stage.” The banter with the crowd continued as the set went on, this was an intimate show that felt great to be a part of.

On listening to the album after the show I can confirm my spirits have been lifted. Hearing songs live for the first time holds a certain type of anticipation, it’s a real treat to the ears. I reckon Good Cop Bad Cop could well be the next exciting indie collab we were needing. I’m just still laughing at the people I heard leave after a few songs because they genuinely thought Matt Helders was going to be there. They certainly missed out on a great gig!

Words and Photography by Abbie Jennings