Sugarcoma - Manchester Hop & Grape - 4.12.00

On their first national tour this Essex 4 piece seem to making the move from being a critics band to a people band. From playing a packed gig to ageing A&R men the youngsters have graced magazines and radio shows with their presence and gained the attention of My Ruin who duly offered them a support slot. Until this tour it would be pretty safe to say that more people have read about them or seen the pictures than the numbers that have actually heard the music. So should we believe the hype? For the second time in as many months I urge you to witness the rock beast that is Sugarcoma

Playing an almost identical set to the Packet House gig a couple of months ago, the girls (with token male James) obviously go along the thinking of "if it ain't broke then don't fix it". It has to be said that all the members are still at college, but wipe those trashy "Saved By The Bell" cheese ridden band image out of mind now. Sugarcoma trade in rock, heavy rock and even heavier rock and the only comparisons to Kittie is the age - in fact after seeing both bands live recently I'd go as far to say as this band blow their American counterparts out of the water.

"Blisters", the first single, goes down a storm on the grounds that its the only song most of tonight's audience have heard. But it's a cover version of Britney Spears "Crazy" that brings looks of bewilderment and joy to the majority of the crowd tonight. Following the recent trend of rock covers of cheesy pop songs its an unexpected surprise and outclasses Travis "Baby, One More Time". If the music wasn't so raw and so primal you'd be convinced that the girls had been groomed for success. With confidence and style more fitting to a stadium band, front woman Jess is a premier league rock chick in the making. Last time playing up to the young and cute image, tonight she seems to have modelled her on-stage persona on scary rock chicks like Skin so its unlikely she'll ever don a school girls outfit ala Britney.

Looks , fame and money - some people have it all. If you missed them this time then don't worry as the band should be touring in the New Year with Raging Speedhorn and Pitchshifter. Get a piece of the action!!!!

Alex McCann