In a popular sub genre like indie pop it’s easy to get lost in the crowd; it’s the edgier, more credible older brother of pop that everyone wants to get right. Gus Dapperton is one of those artists that really does. His American, nostalgic take on indie pop has earned him a cult following over here that contributed to him selling out at our very own Academy 3; the hidden treasure of all the Manchester Academy venues. Perfect for an intimate setting without feeling too claustrophobic.

Packed with mainly overexcited students drinking Kopparberg, Gus and his band burst onto the stage with kick-starter ‘Gum, Toe and Sole’ that got everyone going right away. Dressed in a neon green top with matching dungarees (trust me, it looked amazing) Gus and his band look like they’re having a great time on the stage, jumping and dancing about that it makes you feel good about letting loose yourself. Gus cocks his leg out, jumps up and down, waves his arms about so awkwardly when he’s singing that it comes across self conscious, but in effect it just adds to his quirky stage persona that we all love.

He performed a neatly packaged 1-hour set of tracks from his critically acclaimed EP’s ‘Yellow and Such’ (2017) and ‘You Think You’re a Comic!’ (2018). His voice sounded better live than on the recordings; a tad more expressive, especially on the divinely melodic ‘My Favourite Fish’. The set list was as colourful and quirky as his outfit; the persona he’s created suited the upbeat tracks better. Especially when you see the crowds reaction to him perform them. I particularly liked how he saved my favourite track of his ‘World Class Cinema’ until the end; it’s a great number that expresses how Gus has an alter ego in the shape of an action film star. We can all dream can’t we?

Some artists like to use the encore to end the night with a song that has a sentimental message; not Gus. Out of nowhere he was back and literally blasted out a cover of The Top Notes’ ‘Twist and Shout’. The audience was a mosh pit of students channeling a late 90’s Blink 182 gig. I couldn’t have suggested a more glorious way for Dapperton to leave his mark on Manchester.

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Gus Dapperton performed at Academy 3 on Friday 8th March 2019. Words by Tom Frodsham.

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