Junior Senior - Manchester Academy 3 - 3.5.03

Despite the homogenized nature of pop it's still one of the most unpredictable areas of the music industry. Who for example could have predicted a few years ago that Justin Timberlake would become an international superstar after being a member of the ugliest and downright atrocious boy bands ever? Who would imagine that Tatu, who have had one of the biggest singles of the year with "All The Things She Said" and are probably the most talked about band of the moment, would end up having to cancel their 2 date mini-tour due to poor ticket sales?

When Junior Senior last played in Manchester they had a number 4 smash single with "Move Your Feet" yet still their gig at the Roadhouse was one of those half empty half full scenarios. In comparison tonight's gig is a overwhelming success and it's interesting to see that the crowd has swelled on the basis of word of mouth alone. After a blinding old skool indie warm up from the Queens Of Noize (who said DJ's couldn't be fun) Junior Senior arrive with their own kookie blend of pop. Infectious and impossible not to like despite the fact that at least half the audience are expecting disco smashes ala "Move Your Feet" rather than the retro surf guitar leanings of most of "D-D-Don't Stop The Beat". Still new single "Rhythm Bandits", possible the worst song from the album, has been re-recorded and re-worked into a bona-fide pop gem and although we still think "Shake Your Coconuts" or "Shake Me Baby" would have been better choices it proves to the doubters in tonight's audience that they're no one hit wonders.

In one of the campest moments of the night Junior introduces backing singer Lars to join him on a live bootleg mash-up of "Twist And Shout" with Salt N Peppers "Push It" before leaving the stage. Not content with the fact that the first time they played "Move Your Feet" it nearly caused a riot, they decide to invite nearly 40 members of the audience upon stage with them for a singalong karoake version which proves that Junior Senior are kings of the Nu-Yout Pop frontier.

Alex McCann

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