The Basement / The Zutons - Manchester Roadhouse - 11.5.03

I feel like that Manc drug dealer in Brookside coked up to the eyeballs running for his life just after he's pushed Emily Shadwick out of the Corkhills top window. You're not going to believe me when I say that bar staff excepted i'm the only Manc in the place and every accidental nudge i'm imaging flemmy yelps of get that F**king Manc Meff over there - he just knocked my pint over the Mancunian scumbag!!!

As you may have noticed that rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool is still going strong and while were p*ssing all over them in TV Land with Brookie going down the dumper, there is no debating that fact that as far as music goes Liverpool is currently taking over with the Deltasonic label. Following the Corals tour a month earlier this a chance to see two of the label's smaller bands and while the Zutons have all the Scouse elements in place and get bonus points for the trumpet player and the single "Creepin' An A Crawlin'" they're nothing but a poor mans Coral. Still they're no where near as atrocious as the Hokum Clones who if they were Mancs would have been given a residency at the Comedy Store by now.

The Basement are in fact 3/4 Irish, but like Haven were adopted by Manchester, Liverpool has taken the Basement under it's wings as their own. Steeped heavily in the music of Leadbelly, Dylan and the Blues the band wear their influences on their sleeves and the singles "Medicine Day" and "Slain The Truth (At The Roadhouse)" are statements of intent that demand you love or hate them. There really is no middle ground with the Basement and even though their retro it's more in that authentic tradition of the White Stripes or Gomez than any middle of the road piffle by Ocean Colour Scene et all.

Liverpool really is a city of fire at the moment and with the Stand fast making tracks it's certainly going to get a lot hotter before it burns out.

Alex McCann

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