– THE RITZ BALLROOM, MANCHESTER –
It’s Thursday night. It’s November and it’s The Ritz. Technicians potter about on the stage. Pow! They’re not techies – its the band with attention grabbing start! It’s a welcome sucker punch, and they slide effortlessly into the first number before we can recover. Looks like its going to be one to remember. This is exactly the kind of tactic a support band needs to employ as the meagre numbers of souls present are clearly here to see The Airborne Toxic Event and need shaking up. I’m thinking ‘sea of apathy’, but its more of a puddle of indifference.
As Amazed starts, life has been injected – heads are nodding and feet tapping, and we’re on our way to Entertainsmentsville. On this showing, the release will chart, but whether it’s commercial enough for a top ten slot remains to be seen. This is probably more of an issue for this lot than other groups, as they are one half Justin Lockey. The once guitarist of disbanded Geordie outfit, yourcodenameis:milo, is on record as saying they were a little too experimental and “cool”. The emphasis is rightly on the music, and it shows.
Craig Pilbin on vocals and guitar is a strong, if not outstanding, performer and if the group are lacking anything it’s overt charisma. Nevertheless, in time maybe their understated charm will find its own crowd. By the end of their 35 minute romp, the understrength crowd has multiplied in numbers and energy, i.e. warmed up. Although they have been described as gentle noise-rock, that doesn’t do them justice and although I wouldn’t know what label to pin on them, I’d simply say they’re fine musicians and if you like indie or indie-rock, seek them out. They had me at Pow!