Armies of Indifference

It’s been quiet on here of late, blame the weather if you will, or cricket, or beer, or nothing sufficient to moan about, or torpor, or indeed being far too busy on radio show construction and the record label. No excuses, but it does take something annoying, or indeed, irritating, to shake me from my reverie.

Kill Pretty had a song on the as yet unreleased third album which was called “Lotus Eaters”,  a delightful tune which opined on the way folks get sucked into a pseudo-nirvana, well that was my interpretation of it. I can conflate that with a line from “Lie Dream of a Casino Soul” by The Fall in which Mr Smith complains “It’s getting just like that here now, it just goes to show”.

On paper Manchester, like Melbourne,  should be alive with new exciting music, despite the slow demise of venues, the Ruby Lounge is next on the list, and new ones seem to be confined to Ancoats or “the university part of the town” (stop quoting Mark E Smith Bob, it’s getting boring, Editor), but somehow bloated rock gods or tribute bands appear to be sucking all the oxygen out of the “Scene”. Thank , insert deity of your own choice, for The Peer Hat where Nick and Dom are continuing to offer options, although that toilet door on the downstairs gents wants fixing, and that DJ they have on Thursday nights seems to be obsessed with The Clash.

Imagine my inner distress when the “next big Manc thing” sounds like a combination of Joy Division and The Cramps. I won’t mention their name as that’s not the sort of thing I do, but when bands of just post teens sound like “look back bores” (enough with The Fall references already…..Editor) my heart sinks. I wonder if they are all music students who have just completed the module “Post Punk 1980-1983” on their current course.  For god’s sake even the singer is adopting I Curtis mannerisms.  Maybe we have entered a “Post-Tribute” band era where bands mash-up their various tribute tropes to attempt to create a “new sound” but all it ends up sounding like is a mutated version of one or more of the original. Three chords but no big boots this time ….. the sad thing to consider is when the New Romantic re-boot might arrive.

You have to wade through a load of crap to get to the good stuff. Fortunately there is a scene, just under the radar, which, whilst not breaking the 6Music glass ceiling, manages to relieve my irritation. It needs more publicity though.

In this context the people on one the front tables at Shangri-La last Friday Night walk out muttering “a load of shite” three songs into Adventure of Salvadors’ set – when Loop is attacking his theremin with some vigour.  For some reason they were not impressed by a band that continues to offer something fresh and interesting. Their loss and everyone who remains gain. Powering through favourites like “Anne Boleyn” and “Look What You Made Me Do”  the band are on fine form, somewhat disabled by a sound engineer who appears clueless, but managing to get some of the crowd out of their chairs to throw some shapes, even Mr Doyle manages to get into some frug like moves. A new album is due and I await that with some anticipation. They close with “Welcome To My Village” which works well with its’ AoS hat on but if I am honest I do prefer The Junta version.  In timely fashion they will be appearing at the second series of Manchester Meltdown which returns in January, something Mancunian dwelling music lovers should not miss as the impressive line-up below demonstrates. These are the names you should be looking out for, a collection of the well established backbone of the scene, and some fresh new talent. Hopefully by that time Four Candles will have recorded their new album.

I won’t leave so long until the next one of these….

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