On the coldest night of the year where better to find yourself than in one of Salford’s finest pubs and music venues, The Eagle Inn, happily waiting for Ombudsmen to take the stage. They are here supporting Vee V V, but how will I start this story…?

I met the bassist from Ombudsmen in the Spinning Top, Stockport at another gig a few weeks previously. Pleasantries were exchanged, as were the obligatory Insta handles, so I had a little peruse when I got home. This band have a sense of humour I’m into – Bio: “Manchester based 4 piece offering creative tax return advice, phat beats and stupid melodies“. Are they taking the piss though? I’ll give the music a try…

They are not taking the piss. The tracks on Spotify are solid. One goes straight on my playlist. Arrangements are made to attend their next gig. Will they be any good live though?

I have a chat with a couple of members of the band beforehand. They got together three/ four years ago and played initially instrumental tunes, before having lead singer (Mo) join this summer.

Adding vocals has led to a rethinking of their songs. Ok great, so off they go to take the stage…

I am pleased. This is good. They sound better than I’d hoped. Mo has a stage presence and style all of her own. There is no real movement from her or the band. All of their expression is in the sound and the vocals. And the eyes. Opening track “Take Everything” tells us what (I think) these guys are about. It’s serious but danceable. Earnest and angry but inviting and somehow comforting.

Having the lyrics “THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING BUT THE VALUE OF NOTHING” energetically forced upon us by Mo is quite something. I have a story about this Oscar Wilde quote, but its too long and convoluted to go into here.

The audience are transfixed. The guy in front of me is feeling it. I’m feeling it. Yes, more of this. “Made Me Look Mad Now” follows, and then the one that stood out for me, “Shifting Sands”. I love this track and it translates even better live. Especially the crashing distortion at the end.

“Fake It”, “Crocodilian Nightmare” and “Solon’s Marble” complete the set. Six tracks. A glimpse of the future. The crowd shout for more. They don’t get any… yet.

Ombudsmen have been gigging locally but will be branching out to UK cities in 2023. Keep your eyes peeled and your notebooks ready. Will the Southerners get it? We’ll see…

Connect with Ombudsmen on Facebook / Instagram/ Bandcamp

Review and photography by Breige Cobane

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