I fell a little bit in love last Friday night. I was drifting between venues after my band's show at Dot To Dot Festival in Manchester. We'd been drinking and soaking it all up for a few hours when we arrived at Gorilla to see Brooklyn's Caveman, an excellent quintet who we’d opened for previously. We were catching up over smokes after their well-received set when I was introduced to their friend Jackson Pollis. He had a friendly demeanor and a mean handshake for a skinny guy. He wore a black Mozart emblazoned baseball cap, long blonde hair protruding out from underneath it. Jackson plays drums in Real Estate - a band from New Jersey that I’d heard previously but not been immediately smitten with. James Carbonetti, Caveman’s hat-wearing guitarist and creator of bespoke, hand-made instruments with business cards to match suggested maybe this was all about to change. He was right.
After a lively performance by Australia’s Courtney Barnett, I watched as Real Estate took to the stage. The first thing that caught me was the way Jackson laid cloths on his drums to dampen the sound and give the skins a softer more soulful punch. This attention to sonic detail runs throughout the quintet - guitars sound rich and tonally immaculate. A delicate wash of keys provide warmth and depth - vocals are delivered in a sweet, breathy, harmonious way that you can’t help but enjoy. As I stood and watched their headlining set, I found myself becoming totally engrossed. Here was a band that clearly revelled in performing together, knocking-out really good, infectious songs - like the soothing warmth of the sun on your skin. Jackson can really drum too - packing great feel with the precision of a metronome. It was a magical show. And so I fell a little bit in love with Real Estate last Friday night - sincere performers content with being themselves and why shouldn't they be. They’re talented enough to pull it off.