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Santiago Street Machine @ Manchester Pride 2011

By Emma Arnold & Sarah Clayton

One of Manchester’s hottest new bands are just about to get even hotter. MM went to see them at Manchester Pride and have a chat to see what all the fuss was about.

As the rain poured on Manchester Pride’s penultimate day, a home-grown talent shone through the grey sky on the main stage, in the form of Santiago Street Machine.

Formed just over a year ago, they are one of Manchester’s bands of the moment, performing everywhere from small intimate gigs to electric underground club nights. Their music is described as a cocktail of dance-floor utopia and distorted bass riffs, and certainly went down well with the beat-thirsty crowd.

‘DANCE-FLOOR UTOPIA’: Lead vocalist Andy Chandler rocks Manchester Pride’s main stage

Ahead of the gig, the band said: “Without doubt, Pride’s going to be a massive gig for us. It’s our first outdoor festival gig so we’re excited about playing to a crowd where the sky is literally the limit to how hyped they can get.”

Including Andy Chandler (lead vocals, keyboards and sequencers), Ben Gooch (bass and backing vocals) and Chris Corrigan (drums, backing vocals) the band wanted to play festivals this summer to get their music projected on a big stage. Ben added: “I think that’s where our music is at its best. It works really well in clubs but it works best on a big stage.

Manchester Pride wasn’t a bad place to start, although they felt the weather was not on their side. Chris said: “Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and the atmosphere was buzzing but, maybe if it had been scorching hot sunshine then there may have been even more people there.”

Influenced by the likes of The Chemical Brothers and Friendly Fires, who according to Ben, optimize what live instruments and electro dance can really be on stage, the band’s anthems combines raved-up hysteria, jittery electronica and glacial synth-pop melodies.

“There are definitely some pop elements in there, we want people to be able to dance to the music, that’s a big thing,” said the band. Set on sticking to their roots, the band continue to play the instruments they learnt as teens, and don’t want to move away from playing live at gigs.

So what’s next for Santiago Street Machine? Ben smiles: “We would really like to make sure that we’re playing the big festivals and just carry on creating euphoria in a crowd. Sometimes I just wanna drop my bass guitar and leap into the audience and join in the party.”


More related stories:

Electronic band Rubika a bright light at Manchester Pride despite rain

Surprise tribute appearance of ‘Amy Winehouse’ at Manchester Pride

Candlelit Vigil set to be poignant end to Manchester Pride 2011

Piccadilly Pulse: Is Manchester the most gay-friendly city in the world?


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