Swedish band Normandie’s ‘White Flag’ tour kicked off at Deaf Institute, in Manchester, the gig was clearly extremely special to them as they took the time to thank everyone from the stage- to the swarms of selfie takers afterwards. So, were all those people right to buy tickets? Hell yeah!

It was a night of beer splattered mosh pits, bouncing floorboards and energetic po-going concert goers; but most importantly an incredible display of how talented the Stockholm quartet Normandie are. Whoever was in charge of sound for them really ought to get a handshake, as the band managed to achieve a record worthy quality, throughout their set.

On the road with them, opening the night with a literal ka-pow kick in the air, were Brummies Led By Lanterns, who were particularly creative in pimping up an actual lantern to light up their merchandise.It was a shaky start for them, but by the time they took on Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ ( super ballsy) they were at full throttle; getting almost everyone moving and groovin’ to their songs.

Photo by Valentine Zuczek.

They had bags of energy and joyfully animate, with their new single ‘Alive’ being totally killer. If they want people coming back for more, then they really should stick with that heavier gut punching sound. For future reference though, they ought to make a note of the fact the abnormally high stage in Deaf Institute, meant most people got a face full of crotch for most of the set, as they crouched down and got into the crowds faces. Nice.

Then the fresher faced Sun Arcana came on, carrying on the heavier side of alt-rock, which certainly excited the crowd more; given the increased movement, causing the floor to actually shake beneath your feet. But, it did mean the ferocity of instruments overpowered a lot of the vocals, with newer, softer sounding, track ‘Let Me Down (ventilate)’ being crisper in this department, showing off Tom’s rough, yet vulnerable vocal tones.

They were a little more rigid on stage too, which could be down to the fact they all played an instrument, so apart from the classic bassist and guitarist side switch-a-roo, there wasn’t much opportunity to show off their fun and friendly nature, which they demonstrated after the show, when they engaged with audience members. Their music did however seem to connect more with the audience.

Although, it was abundantly clear as Normandie entered that there was only one band to win the hearts of Manchester that night and it wasn’t just because of the super adorable accents either…okay…maybe it had a little to do with that and the fact they hugged everyone individually round the merch stands afterwards – that helped.

Like a nasty rash they’re irritatingly infectious; you’ll either catch one of their cheeky smiles or get hooked by the chorus’ sung back loud enough Phillip needn’t bother singing them.They clearly loved being on stage and how much the people there connected with their tunes.

The setlist was a great balance between their two albums: ‘Inguz’ and ‘White Flag’, with the singles from both being particularly memorable. It probably would have made more sense to open with ‘Fight’ though, to add a glimmer of drama, anticipation and up the audience interaction from the word go; nevertheless it still had everyone fist pumping the air in time with the chanted ‘fight’ later down the set.

They’re severely underrated and underplayed over here, given they’ve been around for quite a few years now, which is especially bothersome when they not only nail albums consecutively, but also nail a live show too- a true testament to a band’s abilities as musicians and entertainers.

They’ve got themselves on the list for a couple of festivals in the summer and teased their return as headliners again too, so watch this space, Normandie are coming; waving their white flags.

★★★★☆

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