BANDS FOR 2006
year Designer Magazine reviews the upcoming new bands earlier
than most and 2005 was no different than any other year.
Take James Blunt for example, one of the biggest selling singles
and albums of 2005 and we'd reviewed him back in March 2004 supporting
Katie Melua....or Nizlopi whose album we looked at in August 2004
and we reviewed the following month at an intimate Manchester
show during In The City.
Prior to that we'd tipped bands such as The Darkness, Scissor
Sisters, Bravery and Keane and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
are a few of the bands we've reviewed in 2004 / 2005 that are
going to be the most talked about bands of 2006
Since they signed their deal a couple of months ago at In The
City, the band have been filming the video for debut single "No
Tomorrow" and whisked onto the European tour with Duran Duran.
When you consider that their only UK show to date was to 150 record
execs downstairs at 14 Lloyd Street it's an unbelievable feat.
Still it comes after 4 years hard work where they've honed their
sound to the one we know now and while they jest about starting
off as a country band who've gone through disco and death metal
phases, the tattoo's adorning their arms points to a background
in something considerably more hardcore.
Idea" starts off with roots reggae rock before launching
into a huge 80s Hall & Oates chorus with Johnny Bentjen's
bass line underpinning it. "Trying To Help" is stadium
soul with Jason Pebworth coming across as a white Stevie Wonder
to the rest of Orson as U2 with tight riffs exploding into epic
grandiose statements. "Happiness" starts off like classic
Jagger / Richard's composition before launching into the sort
of chorus that the New Radical's Greg Alexander used to write
ad infinitum towards the end of the millennium.
If one member of The Hussy's look familiar it might because James
McColl happened to be in the Britpop band The Supernaturals who
hand the enormo hits "Smile", "Day Before Yesterdays
Man" and "I Wasn't Built To Get Up At This Time".
Stepping away from frontman duties the focus is now on ex-folk
vocalist FiFi who gives the glorious Hussy's pop songs the sort
of harsh afterbite that Cery's Matthews used to give to Catatonia.
After winning over the Scottish fans with residence's in Glasgow
and Edinburgh and gaining fans such as Radio 2's Janice Long and
Shane McGowans Butler (don't ask) this gig is their first on English
soil. Each song the Hussy's play is pop-par-excellence dipping
into whichever musical genre they feel like and wrapping it into
a bonafide contemporary pop song ala Scissor Sisters. "Marty"
starts off sounding like the best bits of every Xmas song ever
written and then manages to put Elvis Costello, Madness and Chas
and Dave into the mix. "Tiger" a 1930s style Charleston
sounds like it could have come off the Grease soundtrack and "We
Expected" is a romp through mid 90s indie. The Hussy's have
got a bright future head of them and this won't be the last time
they come to Manchester.
It would be all to easy to call The Tommy's a female Busted, and
indeed the pop hooks are there, but perhaps the most justifiable
comparison is they could well end up selling as many records as
James Bourne & co. Closer inspection reveals them as a sugar-coated
romp through the back catalogue of Hole & L7. Obvious and direct
the songs titles say it all. "The Day The World Turned Chav",
"Five Queen Star Of The Back Street", "17" are
sneering look at what it's like to be young and female. "Did
It Again" the most musically and lyrically evolved of the songs
is a song that proves The Tommy's are more than just another rock
The last time Linchpin played Manchester we declared them "Britain's
Best New Rock Band" and everything about tonight's show looks
set to prove us right for backing them early on. Whether it's an
intimate gig at the Manchester Roadhouse, or the sell out Fightstar
gig they played earlier in the year, Linchpin approach each gig
with intent and confidence of veterans doing their 10th worldwide
stadium tour. Opening with "Jesus Had Long Hair" and segueing
straight into "Crazy Girl" the band cross the same barriers
as Lostprophets, instant pop hooks but at the same time could play
on the same bill as a screamo band and still blow them off stage.
"Apple Of My Eye" is one for the girls and an obvious
future single in the vein of Simple Plan's "Addicted".
In the past few months Linchpin have had their debut EP produced
by the Madden Twins (Good Charlotte), Dave Grohl's declared them
to be "Awesome" and a few scenester kids with Toni &
Guys haircuts have got the hump because Linchpin right better songs
than them. The hard work starts now with 12 months of solid gigging
ahead, but trust us when we say this time next year you will not
be able to escape this band!!!
Once in a while you witness a band so perfect that it's impossible
not to fall in love with them immediately. New Shapes have tunes
so undeniably catchy that they render the entire careers of Kaiser
Chiefs and Razorlight redundant. It's dumb pop music about girls
and going out, but all the best rock n roll tunes have always been
dumb pop from the Beatles to Oasis and Blur. "You've Got Me
Running Round" and "A Song About A Girl" are life-affirming
songs that speak out to a whole generation. Give it a year - the
public will love em, NME will have built em up to knock em down
and their ridiculously young bassist will more than likely have
won Popjustice's Most Inappropriately Fanciable Male
Designer Magazine first witnessed Forward Russia supporting the
Bravery this time last year on their debut British Tour. Not dissimilar
to where Dartz are coming from musically they take the hardcore
vocals of bands such as Million Dead and Hundred Reasons and then
spin the disco records for one of the most energetic bands of the
weekend so far. Choosing to eschew the tradition of songtitles they
simply give their song numbers in the order they were written, which
makes it nigh on impossible to review. I'm sure this was their intentions
so next time your at one of their gigs shout random numbers and
watch each band member go off an tangent with different songs
problem is this band are so messed up it would probably sound right
MISTY'S BIG ADVENTURE
Either it's too late, I've had too many drugs or Misty's Big Adventure
really are what you get when you splice the Zutons with the Mighty
Boosh!!! There really is no excuse for a band that has a multicoloured
freakoid with 100 hands stitched to him and it really shouldn't
work, but this band are right for exactly the same reason the Magic
Roundabout was right. The kids just think it's an amusing romp in
the vein of Teletubbies and the adults are in on the drugged up
acid vision. As they sing "You need two brains to take it all
in" over nursery rhyme pop you realise that Grandmaster Gareth's
world is how we all should be living
. and props up to Erotic
Just as people are about to ready to write off Pete Doherty &
The Babyshambles as man who squandered his talent away in the smack
dens of London along come a band that remind us of everything the
Libertines used to be. Orphan Boy sound like Joe Strummer and Jam-era
Paul Weller jamming on a tip with a battered guitar that they lifted
from a porn shop. The fact that the look like Gonch and Tucker Jenkins
from old skool Grange Hill only adds to the fact that Orphan Boy
are the only band you should be watching right now.
It was last years ITC slot that saw Dear Eskiimo sign a 5 album
deal with Mercury Records, but since them you'd be forgiven for
thinking they'd quietly crept away while no-one was looking. A low-key
release on label My Dad Records has set them up for a plethora of
positive reviews that have taken the label aback for what is essentially
an indie release at this stage.
sets essentially the same one we saw last year. The Outkast pilfering
"Don't Wanna Feel", the moody atmospherics of "Patience"
and what now seems to be a Ziggy-fied version of "Jack And
Jill". What's different now if the performance has been taken
to a new level where it's not just a group of people playing at
being popstars, it's now 3 people who were born to be on stage.
Katie looks iconic, Jules has gone on a fitness regime and taken
off about 10 years and Simon has grown in confidence rocking his
heading to the beat.
welcome break from skinny boys with guitars and prove that Britain
can still make great quirky pop music.
All the best bands follow their own route and it's why Lucky Soul
will make it regardless of whether they sign to an indie or major
label following ITC. They are not at the name temptingly suggests
influenced by Richard Ashcroft and the Verve, but instead they
riffle through every great Motown and Phil Spector record ever
made and re-write them for the noughties.
like they've stepped off the set of Ready Steady Go they play
the staples of their set "One Kiss Don't Make A Summer"
and "Give Me Love". Impossible to dislike; impossible
to ignore and damn near perfect. It's hard not to imagine this
band walking away and unleashing one of the albums of 2006.
The Cazals seem to be boomeranging back to the Aussie's at every
occasion they can. A few months ago they played a gig with Karl
Kennedy from Neighbours and now they're playing an Aussie Theme
Pub in Manchester. Strewth, they might as well just chuck some
sangers on the Barbie and be done with it.
the Pedestrians, the band also supported Babyshambles on Friday
night at the Academy. In frontman Phil Cazal they have a man who
shuffles across the stage like Bruce Forsythe doing the Cha Cha
Slide and has the sort of moustache you'd associate with a Victorian
Dandy. Their guitarist Daniel Gallagher is the nephew of Irish
legend Rory Gallagher and the mysteriously names Luca C is a one-man
f**k machine set out to deflower your daughters.
Innocent Boys" is an ironic statement as they're completely
the opposite and "Beat Me To The Bone", their debut
single is a classic. Bands such as the Rakes and The Cazal's may
be lumped in with the London-centric Doherty scene, but they're
both a league above the tabloid fodder of Babyshambles!!!
In their brief career they've already notched up support slots with
the likes of Hard-Fi, received copious radio play on XFM and Radio
1 and sold out their debut EP in a matter of hours. What makes Omerta
so special is the fact that they take from the same influences as
the Killers and The Bravery and then infuse it with a gritty Northern
realism with lyrics that can be as cutting as anything Morrissey
ever put to paper. Vocalist Aaron Starkie shares some of his mannerisms
with the bequiffed one, but he has his own signature move of the
ski-bob down to a T. The singles "Everyone Is Frozen"
and One Chance" are played to an enraptured audience as the
machines turn against them as they deliver what they call an acoustic
Mando Diao are a Swedish rock outfit who like the Libertines have
two singers with that bond Doherty and Barat once had. With two
dynamic frontmen you'd think there'd be one upmanship and fierce
competition, but this isn't apparent for this ferocious beast of
a rock band. The drummer pounds away like Animal from the Muppets,
the harmonies are luscious and Mando Diao play the blues on "Motown
Blood" with a quick refrain from Elvis' "It's Alright
Momma". With some salsa for the chicks to dance to and the
mellow "Mr Moon" they win the crowd over with ease. The
only mistake the band make all night is dedicating a song to Eric
Cantona, but I feel our favourite new Swedes were just playfully
winding up the crowd.
BOY KILL BOY
Boy Kill Boy mixes up the Britpop cockney chirp of Blur and the
spirit of early Supergrass on tracks such as "Cheap".
It an infectious riot, but you can't help but feel Dan Ashcroft
would label these Nathan Barley-esque style purveyors The Idiots
THE YOUNG OFFENDERS INSTITUTE
The Young Offenders Institute come across like a musical version
of Shameless. Working class boys who would do anything for their
ma, but would just as easily peddle drugs out primary school gates
and break your knee caps if you dob em in. Much has been made
of the comparisons with the Happy Mondays. I mean, for f**ks sake
Tony Wilson's even in the audience tonight, no doubt regaling
the boys with time he went to Cambridge. While it's clear they
probably blew up pigeons and spent enough money on weed to fund
a 3rd world country, they're more steeped in the rock classicism
of Oasis than the Mondays eclectic acid fried dance vibes.
WE START FIRES
What's immediately apparent is how far We Start Fires have come
in the last 9 months. Those Kenickie influences are still apparent,
but tonight was a sign that the band are coming into their own.
"Queen Bee" shows the band have a darker side with a
slow meandering verse leading up to the shouty chorus of "You
don't know who I am". Elsewhere quirky synth sounds which
sound out straight out of Playschool or the Teletubbies and at
times strangely sound like surf guitar played by Muse's Matt Belamy.
There's a very definite neo-classical feel to the Melissa Marx's
synths and combined with the punky stop start punk of the songs
this is irresistible. Still proving that they have that pop edge,
"Ruby Slippers" is played from the early demo's and
reminds us instantly of Kenickie and Angelica. "When You
Fall" has an unforgettable hooky chorus proving that pop
runs through their veins.
WORDS: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride - www.karenmcbride.com
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest - www.shirlainephotos.co.uk
Who do you think will break through in 2005?
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