[sic] Magazine

The Virgin Marys – Manchester Academy 3, June 20th 2009

Manchester academy three almost buzzes with the sheer presence of pure, uninhibited passion, in a constant par with the steady drone of a bass guitar.

Before the sea of cameras, screaming fans and heaving audience members, silhouetted against the blinding lights, stands the sole figure of Ally Dickaty; guitar slung across his shoulders in almost military fashion accompanied by a vast amount of tangled hair, Dickaty portrays the rock star image flawlessly. With the light shining behind him, bassist Matt appears almost God like, more confident (even in stance) than his early role within the band would have suggested. The light glints off a cymbal revealing drummer, Danny Dolan, face hidden by a wall of hair, conserving energy in preparation for the trio’s vigorous performance. Together, they are none other than Manchester’s own unstoppable force: the Virgin Marys.

The style? Bluesy rock with a deliciously dark and heavy twist and just a dash of 70’s nostalgia.
The ability? High….beyond high….almost unthinkably high.
The flaws?………..none

After a sufficiently agonising wait, (in which audience members, hungry for music, screamed, whistled and rammed one another…) the group launch themselves head first into their opening number “Nothing to lose” a piece which not only exhibits infallible musical ability, but echoes how far the trio have come in just a few short months. Newbie bassist Matt Rose, who was seen at his first gig in February, self-consciously hunched by the nearest microphone, hurriedly plucking out bass lines, is undoubtedly now fully fledged as a musician. Rose’s sheer confidence not only compliments the band but is truly reflective of his own extraordinary musical skill. While moving about the stage Rose effortlessly pounds out line after line…and all of it faultless. Even Matt’s vocal skills have come into their own. While only being reserved to backing harmonies, what was originally a few belted lines has been expanded to a well crafted, phenomenally delivered backing set, exhibiting Rose’s exceptional flair. While early audience’s had their doubts, new bassist Matt Rose, fits the Virgin Marys like a glove.

Rose’s newborn magnetism does not, in any way, detract from the charisma of the two original band members. Fans from far and wide can always be heard from outside the trio’s gigs complimenting the drumming skills of Danny Dolan. No matter the venue, the line is always the same:
“Fucking hell! Did you see their sick ass drummer?”
And rightly so. Dolan’s onstage persona can only be described as some form of ‘elasticated pounding machine’. As if the Virgin Marys complex rhythms aren’t enough, Dolan has the added grandeur of a gong situated behind him, giving the entire sound a more polished feel…while simultaneously acting as Dolan’s personal exercise program.

The Virgin Marys

But of course, no review would be complete without a mention of the band’s lead singer and guitarist Ally Dickaty. Ally’s connection to music is unbreakable, as the two entities of man and melody seem to fuse throughout the set. Riffs thought possible only in the afterlife are displayed throughout the performance and not once does Dickaty falter. The sheer, practically unbelievable amount of talent this musician displays can only be interpreted as a “f ck you” aimed at everyone in past unfortunate enough to cross him….most likely for having such a ridiculous last name…

Collectively these three musicians form possibly one of the tightest acts storming the underground music scene today. Not only have the group succeeded in mirroring the great artists of rock who so heavily influenced them, The Virgin Marys portray a real, hardworking and serious attitude to rock and roll. While many groups today claim to be “in it for a laugh”, this trio is dedicated solely to the music. Crowd captivating, hugely talented and insanely well rehearsed Dickaty, Dolan and Rose represent not only the past masters we so revere, but the future of music as we know it.

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