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Tuesday 19 December 2023

Unknown Territories In Salford

The Eagle Inn is a pub/ gig venue just over the Irwell into Salford. On Saturday night Rikki Turner's latest/ final musical outfit played their first/ only gig there, a small but committed crowd turning out to see Rikki's last musical endeavours before he retires from the music industry (although like Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in Godfather 3, as soon as he gets out they keep dragging him back in). Unknown Territories are more of a collective than a band, a cast of vocalists led by Rikki on one mic and Esther Maylor, the owner of a powerful voice, on the other with spoken word contributions from Sean Crossey and ex- Inspiral Carpet Tom Hingley. Sean played support as DJ and performs his spoken word sections from behind the decks, the beats and music very much in a Massive Attack/ Tricky  area, while Sean recites his words about the state he used to get into when he was a drinker- 'I was a bad pisshead', he tells us- and his route to recovery. 

After a couple of songs Tom Hingley moves from the shadows to the centre stage, a man who has performed in front of thousands of people in the past, now in a much more intimate setting but still very much a pro, his words delivered with real intent. The beats get thumpier, Martin's synths sound like they should be heard in a much bigger room, Esther's singing and stage presence fills the space, and Rikki grins, overseeing everything from side of the stage. The gig is the latest Rikki Turner victory, after Paris Angels, The New Southern Electrikk and The Hurt, Unknown Territories are off and running. 

Broken was Unknown Territories first release, a single out back in November with the album scheduled for next year. After the gig Rikki is all smiles. Last ever gig? Retirement? Time will tell....

Support came from Ruins, a Liverpool duo, with guitar and melodic New Order/ Cure inspired basslines and the superb falsetto voice of singer Lloyd Rock. This song, Way To Fall, stood out in their set but the rest of the songs they played were just as striking- dreamy, gliding indie pop. 

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