Lil Chris - Club Academy Manchester - 13.12.06
The last Manchester gig for Lil Chris was barely half full and disappointing album sales indicated that the idea of a one man (boy) Busted had been a hideously misconceived marketing meeting gone too far. After tonight though with a disparate audience of young kids and old punks rammed to capacity each discussing the musical merits of the album maybe Lil Chris will be around longer than we initially expected.
It doesn't really matter that the majority of people are too young here to spot the reference points of The Undertones (Checkin It Out), The Buzzcocks (Gettin Enough) and Elvis Costello (Turn It Up). Whereas Busted took the reference points of literally Blink 182 and a handful of pop-punk bands the writers behind Lil Chris have looked to the classics and while some people may say they verge on the pastiche it's opening up a whole new world of music to the kids and in truth it's probably more vital than most of the stale alternative music scene.
The problem lies for Lil Chris is where else is there to go after this one perfect pop album. Sure there's enough classic songs to ramraid and rearrange and right now he's probably the most vibrant male popstar we've got, but what happens when he grows up and loses the "Lil" ala Lil Bow Wow and simply becomes another faded child star. Here's hoping the management team are already planning for the time when Lil Chris grows out of just being ickle Lil Chris
Photos: Lisa Gresty