Ringo Deathstarr– NIGHT & DAY CAFE, MANCHESTER –

Night & Day Café will forever be known to me as the venue that I could’ve, but didn’t, see The White Stripes. Arriving at 8.30pm, I thought I might just hear the end of the support. The place was pretty empty but the colourful and youthful looking band carries on regardless. They cover ‘Radar Detector’ by Darwin Deez… surely a little too soon after the original to attempt such a thing?

Then another band appear. I like Pearl Jam too.

Band 3 were loud, this may be why the slowly building audience has retreated towards the bar, or then again maybe not. They manage to upstage their own songs with their between song jokes, which eventually get a little out of hand and cringeworthy. The sound engineer likes them though.

Another support band? Why not. As it happens, half the crowd consist of their friends and family, they’ve got a single out, they sound like a naive 80’s school band. Family and all leave when they are finished and don’t wait for the main act… which I regard as rude and so I don’t feel bad about criticising them.

Pavement were playing during the changeover, a few of their songs was all that was needed to get me in the mood for Ringo Deathstarr. Its 10.30pm or so and it’s freezing. Tapping my feet to ‘Gold Soundz’ is keeping me warm and awake.

The hardcore, inebriated fans remain, shuffling to the front in anticipation of some garage rock punk indie from Austin, Texas. Alex (female) plays bass in a short dress (wow) and shows some affection for the mic stand. Elliott plays guitar and sings too, the strong light behind his head illuminates his gravity defying, full head of Art Garfunkel hair. Drummer Daniel has been confined to the very back of the stage to stop him from causing too much trouble.

Ringo Deathstarr remind me of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, but with a sultry female vocalist, and after a couple of songs the gig becomes really noticeably impressive. There should be more people here for this.

Elliott knows how to get a Manchester audience on his side, he refers to our coastal neighbours as “Shitterpool” and vows never to go there again. Yeah! Alex dedicates a song called ‘Some Kind of Sad’ to the really drunk guy at the front and he’s delighted. Elliott takes over the vocals with a deep monotone voice, which can only be described as ‘cool’. The “Sad” man at the front starts dancing erratically.

A heart warming slow tune ‘Summertime’ follows, the haunting beauty of which would suit the soundtrack to The Crow. The chorus is simple and euphoric, heavy reverb guitar chords cruise effortlessly along with “ooh’s” from Alex. ‘Down On You’ is a Sonic Youth/Dandy Warhols homage and then the tempo rises further, threatening to kick off a student riot. The frenzy is punctuated with a guitar being dumped on the drum kit.

The enthusiastically requested encore will have to keep the light, but entertained crowd occupied until the album ‘Colour Trip’ is released in February.

Peter Rea

I like to go see fresh new music at Manchester's superb selection of smaller venues, and then share my enthusiasm.