Rockabilly Rocks - Manchester, Joshua Brooks - 21.5.06

“We don’t even practice at this time, never mind play” utters the front man of Desperate Ace’s, Mozz, as a reference to this 6 pm performance from his band. The quirkiness of this quasi-subterranean venue allows daylight to penetrate on one side of the building whilst the darkness exists on the other, causing to utter “ “It’s the third song of the set and we haven’t done one about drinking yet” announces the Mozz, and he quickly remedies that, grabbing the mic stand with a can of Red Stripe held tightly to his chest.   The second song of the set was “our World Cup song – "Stand Up and Fight”, It’s clear that humour and general silliness (how about a song concerning foreskins?) plays a large part in the composition the songs, but that’s not all there is to the band.   The high charged energy rush of punk allied to rockabilly, even at 6pm, is enough to blow the fumes from last night’s hangover away.  The finale of "King of the Road" is as twisted a cover as you will ever come across.

“We’re quickly running out of … fastness” utters from man Pete of the duo, 2 Sick Monkeys.  They have just played an earlier gig in Ashton supporting 3CR and have dashed across town, but “fastness” is not something they appear to lack.  The accelerated thrash of drums and guitar isn’t comparable to the output of the White Stripes, but the abrasive vocals of Pete and the ferocious drumming speed the set along nicely "Fastness" is only put on hold when Pete’s between songs banter takes on some inspired meanderings.  It’s not often you hear a band entreating their audience to shout “F++++ Off” directly back at them, and seem pleased when the do it

Stu Gibson's second gig of the day, after a stint with the Desperate Aces before, is as front man & guitarist for the Medicine Bow, and it very nearly didn’t take place. Last minute replacements for a double bassist & guitarist saved the day, much to the appreciation of a crowd that takes as much pride and pleasure in their own bodily decoration as the combination of county-rock-blues that rolls out from the speakers

As darkness descends, the ear bleedingly loud Strait Jackets notch up the intensity to resemble that of Motorhead playing as if they were in the Apollo, but are actually in someone’s front room.  Being heckled by a saddened Leeds supporter is all taken in the bands stride as the peel back their ears

For a change from the regular indie events nights that are stamped across Manchester, this (approximately) monthly event is a welcome diversion

Words & Photos: Ged Camera -

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