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BETTER LEFT ALONE / KISS CORONA / TAINTED MEMORIES / FYI / LIGHTS OUT ACTION
Dry Bar Manchester - 3.8.11

With a line-up that read like a potted history of Charlie Simpson’s musical career, Designer Magazine broke out the neon hair dye, dusted off the eyeliner, and took on the pop punk realm this Wednesday night at usual haunt Dry Bar Live.

Kicking off the night were Lights Out Action, a feel-good four piece that sounded somewhere between the rock-with-the-corners-sanded-down worlds of Kids In Glass Houses and Boys Like Girls. With the compulsory ironic cover of ‘Poker Face’ and a cover of Enrique’s ‘Hero’, which infinitely improved the song, they even managed to receive a solitary lighter in the air moment.

Net up were FYI, a band who epitomised the Fightstar era of Charlie Simpson’s career, with a higher punk to pop ratio, and a bit more edge than their predecessors. An energetic explosion that drew one of the biggest crowds of the night, although may have employed some dance negotiators as I was engaged in a lengthy debate about joining the growing crowd by an ardent fan who would not give up. Top marks for audience participation.

Tainted Memories followed, with the sort of hair colours that can only happen in the summer holidays. The band, who were the youngest of the night, made up for this by being loud. With the heaviest sound of the night, the Queens Of The Stone Age-tinged foursome brought a touch of metal to the proceedings, and finished their set with the perpetual crowd pleaser Mr. Brightside.

The main attraction of the night was Kiss Corona, who hail from the Busted end of the Charlie Simpson scale. With slicker than slick pop songs that could prove to be a new guilty pleasure, such as ‘The Danger Of Falling In Love’ with the ever popular ‘she’s sassy’ lyrical topic, the cover of Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite’ was a hit as well, and the intoxicatingly catchy newbie ‘Doctor Doctor’ closed the set.

Finally, Better Left Alone rounded off proceedings with a rip-roaring set of Lostprophets-esque stylings. With a real-actual-even-on-Spotify-and-everything EP under their belts, these guys are masters of the pop hook and managed to recruit a new legion of young fans, who, judging by the T-shirts, had flocked to the venue to see Kiss Corona.

That was Dry Bar Live on Thursday night, with more pop-punk than a bottle of Coca Cola at a Blink 182 concert.

Words: Lucy Holt - www.moderngirlsoldfashionedmen.tumblr.com

 



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