Drinks and pleasantries flowed across the candle-lit tables as the bar waited expectantly for open mic regular Jack Manning to step forward for one of his steadily notorious acoustic performances. The room was alive with joyous conversation in a very relaxed atmosphere; I myself was just happy to have finally found a bar that hosts regular live music.
As soon as Jack took to the stage he shouted out the familiar faces that began applauding merrily from the bar-side. With his rainbow strap over his shoulder and a cheeky smile – he quickly gained the audiences attention with his assured, assertive vocal prowess assuring that his voice was heard from every corner of the room, with an evident enthusiasm that wouldn’t allow him to stand still for a second. Justly, his first performance was warmly applauded from the whole bar whilst various wolf whistles sounded out across the venue.
Before he played again he quickly called out the Mancunians in the building; just to rip on Wonderwall, which humorously gained him further favour before stomping into another cover. What I think most impressed me about this character at this point was the undoubtedly loveable frontman that he was; his pure and honest presence in itself could have sustained the entire performance. This coinciding with his raw and vibrant guitar skills left everyone sat transfixed, whilst eyes closed in a passionate grimace he himself was sub-consciously lost in the music he’d created, converting each cover into his own. He could hit the high notes with ease whilst seemingly simply could shift his fingers to reach each chord & key effortlessly.
Roughly half-way through the performance following further appropriate applause, Jack called up his partner from the crowd ‘K-Stone’ to join the show. When I started to recognise the lyrics to Usher’s “Yeah” I was admittedly taken aback, but my apprehensiveness was slowly evaporated as the song resumed. Incredibly, the duo managed to convince me that the song was born for an acoustic, whilst K-Stone’s slick and smooth rendition of Ludacris’ verse completed the cover brilliantly. As quickly as it happened, unbeknownst to me at first, they slyly incorporated a cover of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”, giving K-Stone space to slip in some lyrics of his own, which led heads around the venue into a slow lull from side-to-side to the chilled rythym.
Sooner then later phones began flashing from across the bar as the close collective supported each other proudly. Not long followed until K-Stone wowed the crowd with another batch of fresh lyrics coinciding sweetly with Jack’s acoustics. The final cover of the night was Whiz Khalifa’s “Young, Wild & Free” played in their utmost comfort zone. Claps slowly spread when a guy took it upon himself to inspire crowd participation, standing before the artists clapping and dancing profusely from the front. A humble goodbye were the last words spoken through the speakers, and the uniquely talented duo were rewarded with long standing-applause. An enjoyable evening spent with a great crowd, the happiness shone from the guys faces long after they’d stepped off the stage.