Night & Day Café
6 August 2021
Document smashed it at Night & Day Café last night with support from Autosuggestion and Wych Elm.
Seeing them live again had been a long time coming for this writer after missing them at The Deaf Institute at the end of 2019 due to a parking incident! 2020 of course never happened!
High on the memory of the John Hall gig on Sunday it’s off into Manchester once again for Document at Night & Day. The band’s bass player Max Grindle is also backing singer and one time percussionist for The Blinders, so there’s a nice family atmosphere at the gig tonight with many familiar faces in attendance. It’s great to see bands supporting each other like this – part of this city’s big heart which overflowed at last weekend’s eighteen band celebration – covered by Wayne Carey here.
Autosuggestion is loud and confident – bass heavy, melodic and totally enthralling. Max explained that that they had been supporting the band on the last four dates. Perfectly deserved – a dense mesh of feral post punk that thrills this swelling audience.
Wych Elm continue the theme of bouncing bass lines and deadpan delivery, but frankly, they should have been on first, as the openers were far more in tune with the style of the headliners.
Document swagger onto the stage. The charismatic frontline; singer Alex and guitarist Charlie; the former – forties crooner meets Jerry Lee Lewis – the latter – Brideshead brat meets 50’s fop, are joined by Max – the bass monster, growling from the left. They’re backed up by Josh on rhythm guitar and Will on drums, who combine in an unstoppable aural assault, the likes of which I haven’t heard since early Junkyard Birthday Party.
Alex’s stagecraft is electrifying. Attacking the mic, arching backwards, loping, descending, correcting, rag doll-Joker style, pulsing to the music – screeching into the mic. He’s everywhere – front of stage, bouncing off Charlie and Max, twisting and falling into the crowd who carry him as he falls – flopping back on to the stage, on his knees, back up, drenched in sweat (“I ruin a shirt every night”, he told me afterwards). It’s high energy – Max literally hammers his bass, while the battery from the rear attempts to eviscerate the crowd.
They respond with a huge outpouring of energy and emotion. It’s tight upfront and the mosh pit, with cameras lighting up the area is in full swing. No violence of course – not like the old days. It’s good-hearted slamming fun. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and my highlight of the night Uncle Sam’s Daughter allow the band to cool down a bit – slower in tempo, (at one point Max has to inform the audience that the song hasn’t finished – priceless!) but no less intense. It’s loud but it needs to be – the songs arch and fall. We are carried away in the feral mayhem enveloping us, raw energy hurtling from the stage – a blizzard of sound and emotion and all I can do is move, with a big daft grin on my face.
The sight of Document hurtling through their set has to be seen to be believed. They look like no other band – they sound like no other band – smart, savvy and stylish – they deserve to be enormous.
Words by Nigel Carr. More writing by Nigel on Louder Than War can be found in his Author’s archive. You can find Nigel on Twitter and Facebook Listen to Nigel’s show on Radio Alty – Wednesdays 9-11 pm! Photos by Andi Callen Photography Andi is also on Facebook