SCORCHED from the blasts of a fiery weekend of festivals, Dear Caroline is fast becoming the hottest young indie rock act in Greater Manchester.

After an inch-perfect performance at Stockport’s Blackthorn Festival on Saturday, the Bury/Bolton quartet turned their Sunday attentions to the other side of the Pennines.

They left the Plug second-stage soaked with blood, sweat, and beer after a stage-headline set of jolting aggression to close Tramlines Fringe weekend most memorably.

Flying from major Manchester shows headlining a sold-out Night People in February and supporting Saytr Play and The Reytons at Band On The Wall and Gorilla respectively (April, May), Dear Caroline look ahead to a final support slot for Ist Ist at St Philip’s Church, Salford on August 17, before hitting the road for a series of live dates.

Led by brothers Joe and Alfie Prior (vocals and guitar, 19 and 21, Prestwich), Dear Caroline seek to marry the Manchester’s The Smiths’ English sensibilities with the open-wounded grunge of Nirvana.

Jacob Saunders (bass,19, Leigh) and Nathaniel Jepegnanam (drums, 19, Bolton) found an airtight surface of treble-strung nuance and skin-pounded weight on which frontman, Joe, unveiled a protagonist merciless and unhinged - the Tramlines mic and stand bore the scars of his guitar-string-bloodied fingers.

At Blackthorn, the brothers embraced to lyrical cries of ‘my brother, my friend’ in upcoming single, ‘I Still Taste Blood’. This is a moment that grabs at the lumped throats of all in attendance, and one of many instances of the band’s organic intensity claiming the crowd as its own, before the Priors join a few young hardcores for photographs on settled dust.

Singing dark tales of love, loss, the political left, and a ‘Lucifer in boot-cut denim’, he converts the stage into a poetic battleground, as he hurls his limbs across the black, bare-chested and armed with mic and acoustic guitar, tearing at his vocal cords with cries of ‘start a war’ in effort to unlock and unite both political and Romantic vernaculars in a jittering harmony.

Dear Caroline support Ist Ist at St Philip’s Church, Salford on August 17th, a band notable to Bury for their stand-out Smaller Rooms stage-headline set at Head For The Hills 2017, and that, like Dear Caroline, seeks to purvey an art of integrity and intelligence, surrounded by unrelenting post-punk danger.

A youthful act unafraid of the critics and committed to an artistic aesthetic founded upon the honesty of Romanticism, darkness of the gothic, and brutalism of contemporary punk, Dear Caroline perhaps finally capture what many consider to be missing in modern Mancunian music.