Gig Review: Run Remedy X Vala @ LowFour

On Thursday, 7th of March, I headed down to Low Four for the launch of Run Remedy’s new single Turf War. What I experienced was a sonic concoction that was as texturally strong as the bare brick wall behind the bands. 

The night kicked off with the flowing vocals of Harriet Dagnall, an ‘alt-pop’ singer songwriter based in Manchester. A low fi mix of smooth vocals accompanied by warm guitar tones set up, perfectly, what was to come. After listening back through Dagnall’s Dead Time EP, released in 2022, there wasn’t a moment of dead time in her performance. With almost effortless flow between each song, and an added rawness that comes with live vocals, she performed an appetiser with enough bite to draw your ear and prepare you for an excellent night of music.  I would happily see a full live performance and her EP will be making its way onto my favourites list.

After a short break, Run Remedy took to the stage with a full band, synths, pedals and even at one point a mandolin in tow. It wasn’t long before the night was completely sold to any audience member. Every song felt like another stroke of paint layering up the full picture, even down to the instrumental and melodic choices in each song. The pitch perfect lead guitar motifs provided a sprinkle of treble to the top line, with the bass grooving its way through each note, and a bed of effervescent keys and backing vocals filling the space above Deansgate. I also want to make note of the masterful mix of electronic and acoustic drums, giving a rich, diverse and distinct rhythmic tone to each song. It just gave the performances that extra punch to what was already a magical engrossing listen.  

This instrumentation, paired with the core of Run Remedy’s songwriting (real name Robin Koob), created an uncompromised and ecstatic live soundscape. Every lyric was topical, understandable and always truthful, conversed excellently through Koob’s light yet rustic vocals, elements that are all present in the song of the night, the new single, Turf War. As stated by Koob herself, “We’re all just collage work and identity feels like a big, cluttered mess of things we pick up as we move along.” Turf War  draws on many influences and is all the better for it, reinterpreting familiar tones. There are touches of Americana early on before the move into shades of indie pop and rock, culminating in a driving pulse of a song. In the moments before the single was performed live, you could feel the anticipatory energy building throughout the song to that cracking final refrain.  

The night was reaching high euphoria, and Run Remedy managed to keep that audience momentum in the palm of their hand for the rest of the set, before handing on the baton to indie Manchester natives, Vala, capping off the night with an incredibly strong set that kept the audience on their toes. My favourites that stood out, seeing the band for the first time live, were their ‘aquatic’ songs, Fishes and Swimming. Placed to go hand in hand with one another, bringing very different tones and enticing different emotions from the listener, they complimented the middle section of the set excellently. A refreshing interlude before snapping back into a high energy finish. Each member of the band seemed to be having as much fun as every member of the audience, leading to the room constantly moving to the music in some form or another. 

The atmosphere of the night just seemed to build and build and there was clearly a presence of musical love between the acts, the audience and the instruments. When I asked about the night, this sense of community was a joyful revelation for Koob, thanking Vala, the team at Low Four, James Paul (sound engineer), Dave from Ancoats guitars for lending a beautiful electric (which definitely added to the sound), and of course the audience, who filled the room. 

Koob went on to say if you watch the video for  Turf War. you’ll see how she likes to have big collaboration days. “It’s kind of old school building up a local scene by word of mouth and by whatever organic connections and social media presence we have on our own.”  The evening very much felt like that, a collaboration in support of friends.  Even if you did not know anybody, no one was there alone. 

“I dig the teamwork of the whole thing - No promoters, just bands and friends and local heads”, a sentiment from Koob that proved the buzz of each individual input that created this delightful sonic experience, wasn’t just present in the music, but in the people too. 


(Turf War art by Kbeff)
Check out Run Remedy’s new single Turf War on all available platforms as well as the brilliant Vala and Harriet Dagnall. If you liked this review please let me know on Instagram (@samnixmusic) and you can find all the artists links below…

Harriet Dagnall 

Instagram - Website - Music 

Run Remedy 

Instagram  - Website - Music - New Single Turf War


Instagram - Twitter - Music