(Pic: The Boy Majors)
The Boy Majors / El Condorez / El Policia
Club Designer Magazine @ Bar Amp, Sale - 5.4.07
In the past 12 months we've seen the music press shift their focus from Sheffield down to the Midlands, but with the likes of the Courteneers signing major label deals the focus is surely shifting back up to the musical capital of the world - Manchester. One mile to the south of this venue alone has seen both the Stone Roses and Doves form, one mile to the North, as legend has it, Johnny Marr tapped on Morrissey's window and nucleus of The Smiths came together. By the end of the night we'll have witnessed 400 people cram into a venue with 100 more queuing up desperate to get inside with most of the majors labels here to witness Manchester's new breed.
El Policia don't so much walk on stage as deliver a huge rock'n'roll entrance with frontman Sam Wall having an ego bigger than Johnny Borrell's and later to be seen staggering around the venue hours later shades still in place. With a punk rock template to match "Motown Junk" era Manic's and Nirvana-esque lyrics such "Its only rock'n'roll and its only how I feel inside. I cant begin to tell you how much you make me die inside" on "All In Your Head", El Policia are the rock band that Manchester's been waiting for, a band where the music matches the image and the haircuts and are prepared to make a riotous noise rather than a emo slitting Black Parade. McLusky, Engerica, Sonic Youth are all influences, "Stop The Conversation" takes the chords to "Spectators Of Suicide" and shouts at the sky like Craig Nichols pre-medication, Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" has obviously been learnt from Nirvana's unplugged album and "You Love Me Too" would be a perfect air kiss to the haters if there were any in here, as by the end of the set the audience was theirs for the taking.
From the moment they take the stage amongst wails of feedback leading into pummelling drums and huge riffs it's clear El Condorez belong in another era. Led Zep, The Who and The Faces loom heavily over proceedings but unlike say Wolfmother or Black Velvets they never slip over into pastiche and at times you get the feeling that if he could get away with it Dave Grohl would happily help himself to songs like "Black Sunrise" and "Rock'n'Roll Syndrome". By halfway through the set both men and women are literally fighting to get to the front of the stage, the former admiring the guitar playing and the latter who want a real rugged man and not their waif like indie boys who have taken centre stage at Vanity Fair and recently in these post Doherty days. There's no reason why El Condorez shouldn't be headlining stadiums in a few years as these songs already are aching to be put on the A-list of any classic rock station, the only thing getting in their way is the UK's aversion to real rock music but America would take these guys as much to their hearts as Springsteen.
(Pic: The Boy Majors)
What can we say about The Boy Majors that the 400 capacity sold out venue and 100 people queuing outside the venue tonight doesn't say? Not since the early days of the Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines has a bands future been so pre-destined. Within a month of their first gig they'd been given a session on Clint Boon's XFM show, had the Arctic Monkeys photographer on the phone to get them in the studio and tonight they're forced to deliver a repeat performance of "All It Can Be" because the crowd wouldn't allow them to leave without another song. Manchester can't get enough of the Boy Majors and this is the first of 2 gigs this weekend.
The Boy Major's don't owe anything to Manchester's huge musical legacy, unless you look at the fact there are songs here as big as an Oasis Greatest Hits album, but it's a legacy they are set to join in the very near future. Take that with the fact that in frontman Jordan they have a singer that could be every bit as iconic as Liam Gallagher or Ian Brown.
It's the songs that make this band so special with no direct lineage to any other band gone previous and whether it's "Weird Science" or "Coming Round" each song sounds like the Boy Majors whether it's taking in subtle reggae & funk influences or being a full on radio hit that makes every single other guitar band obsolete. If you see one band this year make it the Boy Majors!!!
In years to come this will become one of those I was there moments. The bar has been raised in Manchester and now it's the time to take Manchester back from the pretenders that are the Twang and Kasabian. This is Nu-Manchester!
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com
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The Boy Majors - Click Here
El Condorez - Click Here
El Policia - Click Here
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BAR AMP - THE CROWD