Millie Manders And The Shut Up – The Crescent, York – Friday 7 July 2023

This show was originally scheduled for earlier this year and unfortunately had to be postponed due to illness. But the new date may be better placed, falling on a Friday rather than a weekday. Millie and the gang are always up for a great show and always accompanied by some great supporting acts. I love that Millie can usually be found in the crowd near the front of the stage for that support too. So, who’s the supporting act in York’s excellent Crescent?

The first is Kiss Kiss Kill, another great York band. They rock like a pop-punk/metal hybrid fronted by Gwen Stefani. Singer and ace frontman Gemma has severe throat and voice issues but she continues to fight and work through them and she is still very good and on most songs you wouldn’t know she had a problem. Given that fact, how good could he be when his voice was completely fit? The band, especially Gemma, showed a very warm and fun interaction with the audience. Kiss Kiss Kill is a band that’s hard not to like. “Happy Never After” and “Bad Bitch” blew up the house. Kiss and kiss whoever you need to get this band into your life, but please don’t kill anyone!

Joining that pretty great band is the incredibly talented Sally Pepper. Sally hails from the North West of England and is a purveyor of fine, mostly acoustic, upbeat punk hits. Her songs, in which she proudly wears her heart and opinions on her sleeve, prove that she is truly an extraordinary human being. I hear elements of early Frank Turner and even angrier Grace Petrie. The latter is where Sally plays the support slot. Her songs are powerful and meaningful messengers that issue a loud cry to the masses. “Click Bait” was an amazing song and the way Sally added the chorus to “Fuck The Tories” that night resonated perfectly with the audience. I will definitely see Sally live again.

Finally, it was time for the mighty, incredible and magical Millie Manders and Shut Up to take the stage. I first saw them in November 2019 and this will be their fourth show I’ve been to. This band has power, passion and politics and are an incredibly talented band that gets better every time I see them. “Shut Your Mouth”, “Your Story”, and “Not OK”” are three of the many turbo-charged highlights from a set full of them. From the first time I heard them, I’ve always loved the fiery passion of “The Poor Man’s Show” ” which shows the general frustration and anger towards politicians and the state of the world we live in. Millie is premiering a new song called “Me Too” about the horrific way rape victims are treated in the UK and around the world. It will likely be released next year and will be a great soundtrack perfect for Delilah Bon’s “Dead Men Don’t Rape.” To me, one indicator of a truly great band is a band that seems to be having fun on stage and a lot of it is, probably none more so than bass player George who is always smiling, she has more energy than a little sun.At one point Millie was so overcome with emotion she had to start the song again, but everyone in the crowd was there for her, which shows what kind of human she is! Is there a closer set than “Rebound”? Maybe, but not tonight, it caps a perfect and beautiful set from a band that deserves greatness. Millie cares deeply about the things that really matter in life and she is one of the most ‘real 4’ people on our troubled planet!

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