Low lighting, sweaty ceilings and sticky floors set the tone for Lambrini Girls’ Manchester show. The Brighton trio occupy the small YES stage on a glorious evening in town. Whilst the sun shines over one of Manchester’s finest venues, things are getting lairy in the basement… in the best possible way.
“Manchester, are you ready to FUCK?” shouts frontwoman Pheobie Lunny, before the band launches into their set. Lambrini Girls do not fuck around, and right from the off Lunny is into the crowd. She marches with purpose, conducting the crowd into sitting down, lying down and hurtling into one another at breakneck speed. ‘Help Me I’m Gay’ is a massive moment early doors, where the crowd get lively, feeding off the band’s energy. Lambrini Girls are like Savages, or Slaves with Amyl and X-Ray Spex rolled up into a snarling ball of noise, singing and raging against the world.
Whilst loud and moshpit-inducing, a Lambrini Girls show is a beautiful safe space – the band have queer liberation at the heart of their message. ‘Terf Wars’ is a fantastic moment, with Lunny chanting with the crowd. “When I say fuck, you say TERFs”… “Fuck” was the shouted call and “TERFS” came the bellowed response. This is what punk should be. The music is snarling, jagged and drenched in fuzz, but the underlying message is that everyone is valid, and welcome to throw themselves around to the noise.
Lambrini Girls are an impressive live outfit too, their playing matches the intensity of their words, and the rhythm section holds proceedings together neatly, rolling with the big riffs. “Who wants some Lambrini then?” Lunny calls, before jumping from the low stage to pour straight from the bottle. She fills glasses, pours into mouths and over heads before joining her bandmates for another raucous punk banger; at some point, Lunny splits the crowd so far she ends up out of the room, still with mic in hand.
The room falls still though, for an important speech about how the music scene has a habit of enabling and ignoring abusers. The message is powerful, and Lunny’s words bring everyone down to earth for a brief but necessary moment. LB launch into “Lads Lads Lads” and bring the house down.
LB’s show is the embodiment of the alternative and punk scene, distilled into a bottle of Perry. Welcoming and accepting, yet furious at society’s evils, set to chunky riffs and fuzzy guitar. What more could you want?
photo credit: Bridie Florence