Gig Review: Canterbury- 03.04.14 @ The Deaf Institute

By Bronagh McManus

With the recent release of their third album ‘Dark Days’, this April one of the UK’s most exciting rock bands took to the road in celebration with a nationwide headline tour with supports from ‘The Big Sixes’ and ‘Blitz Kids’. The four young men who comprise the group ‘Canterbury’ are the music industry’s best kept secret though they are a band you will not be forgetting in a hurry. Having set the bar incomprehensibly high for their third album, Canterbury challenged themselves a near impossible task of writing an album that outshone their debut ‘Thank You’ and preceding ‘Heavy In The Day’ which both demonstrated such professionalism and prowess. Despite such apprehensions, ‘Dark Days’ resonates more power, passion and precision than is to be expected for a band that has yet to headline a main academy venue.

From the get go, Canterbury have been admired as one of my all-time favourite bands. From hearing their sounds initially almost five years ago on Kerrang! Radio’s Unsigned Show with Alex Baker (Sunday nights 7-9pm) my love for their music took immediate effect. In 2009 the group released ‘Thank You’ for free via their website. In return all they asked for was your email address so they could keep fans updated with tours and new releases. The album received a staggering 10,000 downloads within two months of its release. Within one day, after Fearne Cotton of Radio 1 played a track off the album, an extra 1,000 downloads were added to the number. To date, the album has been downloaded over 40,000, a staggering amount for even those who cruse the top of the charts. ‘Thank You’ displayed everything I love in an album; catchy choruses, songs about hanging out with friends and a minimal reference to the drama of heartbreak. Their material was fresh, potential loaded and super anthemic.


As round two commenced ‘Heavy In The Day’ revealed a plethora of good feel vibes which forced audiences to produce a dance move or two as the rapid, raging guitars devoured any sense of pessimism which lingered in any venue, bus, office or bedroom where the music was being consumed. The release of ‘Dark Days’ in early 2014 was welcomed by ears across the country. Opening with the track ‘Expensive Imitations’, the collection of songs are as powerful and profound as they come. There is no reason except for the ignorance of the music industry as to why Canterbury are not headlining a major show to at least 2000 + people. It greatly saddens me to see their rich sounds being limited to their immediate fan base as Canterbury have the potential to go astronomically far with the right kind of support.

Upon first discovering the group, at aged 16, there was definitely a part of me that just wanted to keep this perfect little band that had so much potential to myself so I could indulge in their dulcet tones. Despite this initial sentiment as the years have progressed I have grown confused as to why the group are not appreciated by at least ten times their worth. Their performance on the 3rd April in Manchester’s Deaf Institute oozed vigour and damn good musical talent. Their show breathed energy and charisma as the four men consumed the cramped stage. The road bound rockers have a long and healthy future ahead of them; provided they receive support from a music industry which is growing ever fickler as illegal downloads swamp profits. I sincerely hope to see Canterbury being appreciated as the musicians they truly are, as their non-offensive, yet passionate wrought songs will undoubtedly entice you into their web of well-polished rock songs. Check out at the band on Facebook or have a listen to my interview with the boys here


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