Thursday, December 9, 2010

Manchester@Academy review

REVIEW/by Paul Glynn

DESPITE another week of protests at Universities around the country there was a refreshing mood of wilful acceptance around Manchester Academy on Sunday evening; as a sea of nodding heads allowed BRMC’s signature blend of sun-drenched West Coast shoe gaze and dirty country-blues wash over them like sonic rain.

Hypnotic bass lines, gun shot guitar riffs and a rhythmically primal drum beat, augmented by Robert Levon Been and Peter Hayes’s shared space rock vox all served to act as a reminder as to why the Californian rockers had crossed over the pond with such success in the Noughties.

Highlights were always going to include a raucous rendition of their seminal 2001 hit ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock N Roll?’ and the heart-felt howl of the stripped-down ‘Aint Now Easy Way Out’.

But an impromptu acoustic cover of The Pogues ‘Dirty Old Town’ will have warmed the hearts of the coldest of winter souls inside the Oxford Road venue.

Long after fellow leather clad, hirsute Yank rockers Kings of Leon went soft, Black Rebel continue to stick to their guns, evoking images of The Verve, T Rex and early Rolling Stones.

And while their gigs may no longer be the riotous occasions they once were, the San Franciscan duo (nowadays ably assisted by Leah Shapiro behind the kit) continue to deliver a three chord rock ‘n’ roll education.