Rooster - Manchester Academy 3 - 8.10.06

Never before has a bands fall from grace been so spectacular as that of Rooster's. Just over a year ago they looked like they would be one of the biggest bands out of Britain in years after slogging away working their way up through grafting on constant tours around the country. By the time they'd reached the Manchester Apollo it was hard to remember that this was a band who'd been originally compared to Busted and Mcfly as half the audience were aged well over 30 and they'd commanded the respect they deserved from esteemed publications such as Unpeeled, a fanzine set up with the luminary that was John Peel in mind.

So what went wrong for Rooster? It all points to the fact they disappeared off the radar while they were recording their all important second album and in the time the music scene shifted away from the classic rock riffs Rooster were dealing in and onto something more edgy such as the Arctic Monkeys. Like their heroes the Rolling Stones (and dare I say it The Darkness) they were now seen as something irrelevant and past it as the music scene had its biggest shift since punk destroyed the bloated proggy sound of the mid 70s.

Tonight is what in the past would have been described as an intimate shown and what is telling for the fact that much of the younger teenage fans are no where to be seen and left are an older audience with an average age of 25. While the old material such as "Platinum Blind" and "Standing In Line" are beefed up the new material lacks that vital punch and instead sounds like they've been trying to aim for a more American sound ala The Calling. Musically Potashnik is still one of the best guitarists we've seen in recent time and even vocalist Nick Atkinson has calmed down from the early days, something that always grated somewhat on the older fans from day one.

In the past Rooster had covered the likes of Free, Cream and Blackstreet's "No Diggity" so its somewhat predictable and unoriginal for them to cover the band that directly inspired much of their sound and even their name. Its a very workmanlike cover and hits the mark, but it would have been more interesting if the band would have tried something a little different.

For Rooster the future can go one of two ways and if they wish to get to the top again they need to get out again in front of people and work their way up like they did 1st time around. The traditional media they used in the past such as TOTP's magazine and CD:UK are long gone but with the use of Myspace and LastFm there's no reason that hand in hand with constant touring they could win over a whole new audience

Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride

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