No, not a euphemism for a trouser trump, the name of this band actually refers to a section of the novel White Noise by Don DeLillo. And as such, it underpins the literary intent of the band, and specifically singer Mikel Jollett, himself a writer who was in the process of writing a novel when he discovered what he had were songs, rather than fiction.

And that’s important, especially to someone who pours over lyrics and deconstructs songs for their lyrical intent… unlike my wife, who’s happy enough access the emotion of a track via the music. Both are equally valid, of course, but when you read the lyrics in the sleeve of the eponymous debut album, you realise the care that has gone into their construction. If you don’t believe me, take time out late one night, fix yourself a double of something throat-burning and sit with the music and lyrics to Sometime Around Midnight. Not many contemporary lyricists could pen “when all these memories comes rushing like feral waves to your mind: of the curl of your bodies like two perfect circles entwined”.

Absolutely beautiful. But onwards… to the Ritz! On stage the band fire through most of the songs on the album with abandon and reckless energy – low-slung base, Edge-esque guitar, female vocals and violin plus Jollet on vocals and rhythm guitar. Together they make a very gorgeous brand of noise – somewhere around that point where Arcade Fire meets The National. Tracks like Wishing Well and Gasoline rip through the fabulously retro aesthetics of The Ritz, while Missy and Innocence are saved for a sit down acoustic section. As there’s only been one album, a couple of covers fill the gaps, including a fabulous rendition of I’m On Fire by Springsteen. Towards the end of the set, Jollet says “we got this band together just so we could play a gig like this in Manchester” before bemoaning the lack of guitar bands in the anodyne Cowell-constructed wasteland in which we live. He then heads into an amusing medley of Smiths’ covers, to rousing applause.

Before heading off stage, Jollet explains that after two years on the road, the band are heading home to the States the very next day. Let’s hope it’s to record new material and let’s also hope it’s not long before they come back. The Airborne Toxic Event was, for me, the very best thing, in musical terms, about 2009.

Simon is a writer, broadcaster and countercultural investigator. Over the last 15 years he has written for everyone from The Guardian to Loaded magazine, presented television for Rapture TV and hosted radio programs for the likes of Galaxy. He has also found time to earn a Masters Degree in Novel Writing and write three books (a collection of journalism, a guidebook to Ibiza and one on financial planning for young people – the most varied publishing career it’s possible to have) and establish and run a PR company, Pad Communications, looking after a range of leisure and lifestyle clients.He currently splits his time between researching his PhD at Leeds University, looking into various countercultural movements; consulting freelance for PR clients; writing for the likes of Marie Claire in Australia, The Big Issue and the Manchester Evening News, where he reviews concerts, theatre and is their Pub & Bar Editor. He is also broadcaster, appearing regularly on Tony Livesey’s late night 5Live show for the BBC, and also for BBC Radio Manchester Gourmet Night food and drink show.Simon’s main focus has been music and travel. His career has included editing Ministry of Sound’s magazine in Ibiza for two summers and also writing two long-running columns for DJmagazine – ”Around The World in 80 Clubs” (which took him everywhere from Beijing to Brazil, Moscow to Marrakech) and “Dispatches From The Wrong Side”. A collection of the latter was published in the UK and US as the book Discombobulated, including tales as varied as gatecrashing Kylie Minogue’s birthday party, getting deported from Russia, having a gun held to his head by celebrity gangster Dave Courtney and going raving in Ibiza with Judith Chalmers. He has recently written for the likes of Red magazine, Hotline, Clash, Tilllate, Shortlist and the Manchester Evening News. Pad Communications has recently consulted for clients as varied as Manchester nightclubs and New Zealand toy companies.On a personal note, Simon is a Londoner who left the capital at the age of 18 and never looked back. He sees himself as a citizen of the global dancefloor having lived in Sydney, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Amsterdam. However his life is now rather more sedentary. After all his adventures he bumped into and subsequently married his highschool sweetheart from their North London Grammar. They now live in Stockport with their four children and four chickens, trying to live the good life. Simon recently turned 40 and is steadfastly refusing to have a midlife crisis – as in, growing a ponytail and buying a shiny red sports car.OK, maybe he’ll buy the sports car…