Event Review | Live: taffy at Kraak, Manchester & Liverpool Sound City (MusiCube)

By Adam Riley 28.05.2015

Kraak is one of those obscure little hidey-holes within the prestigious Northern Quarter in Manchester. Filled with numerous abandoned-looking premises that house secret treasures anyway, Kraak takes things to the extreme, being slotted not just down a side road, but with a main entrance squeezed into a non-descript alley without any signage. Why did the MusiCube team head out into the unknown, though? To see a Japanese band called taffy for the first time, before heading off to Liverpool Sound City for a second taste a couple of days later!

Image for Event Review | Live: taffy at Kraak, Manchester & Liverpool Sound City (MusiCube)

There are some bands that really sound so different from their studio albums, both in a positive and negative way, depending on the group. Take Maximo Park, for instance - the guys are superb in album format, but take on a completely new lease of life when on stage. Japanese band taffy falls into that same category, with a wonderful back catalogue and sublime new EP, Darkle, and an even better stage performance that leaves crowds simply breathless.

Image for Event Review | Live: taffy at Kraak, Manchester & Liverpool Sound City (MusiCube)

From Asano and Koichin's raucous guitar / bass performances to the beautifully soft-yet-powerful voice of Iris, and the highly energetic Kensuke on drums, the combination of personalities helps to not only bring their various songs to life, but engrain them in the minds of those watching. Despite not knowing any of the lyrics, by the time the half-an-hour set was over, it felt like the songs had been a constant through the years - familiar favourites that never grow old. As for that 30 minute limit to the set list, the time flew by so quickly that a quick check with taffy's manager had to be made, "Just how long was that?!" Time seriously flew by and seeing taffy at Kraak in Manchester simply was not sufficient. More was needed! Where was the encore?

Image for Event Review | Live: taffy at Kraak, Manchester & Liverpool Sound City (MusiCube)

Thankfully, despite missing performances in Brighton and Cardiff, there was an opportunity to head over to Liverpool on 22nd May where the plan was to catch all of the Korean bands performing, but time had to be set aside for taffy, this time on a bigger stage than the cosy space of Kraak. Did the larger stage dampen the addictive nature of the music and energy on stage? Not in the slightest. If anything, taffy upped its game to the point where passers-by on their way to the main stage for headline acts at Sound City were stopping, almost mesmerised. Was it because of Iris' beauty? That cannot be argued… However, that was secondary in this case to some highly infectious compositions, full of memorable riffs and catchy lyrics, with a powerful live showcase to drive everything home.

Image for Event Review | Live: taffy at Kraak, Manchester & Liverpool Sound City (MusiCube)
After already being impressed by taffy's music when listening on Spotify to the extensive back catalogue, the MusiCube team came away absolutely stunned by how amazing the live performances at both Kraak and Liverpool Sound City were. The taffy team has also done some performances over in the US to wow fans there, but they will probably be back in Japan by the time they read this, and will be readying to tackle the onslaught of interviews waiting for them (sister show K-Pop Korner's interview included). Hopefully it will not be too long before taffy returns to the UK, and with any luck.

Be sure to watch some of the live performances over at the K-Pop Korner page, and also check out taffy's music here to discover some amazing treats, plus support the band by buying their CDs and LPs here

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