The Heartbreaks - Sacred Trinity Church Salford - 15.12.10

The story remains the same. It's just the characters that change and we're pondering the 80s as we watch The Heartbreaks in a church on the edge of Salford. Back then it was a choice between Boy George and The Church of The Poisoned Mind or Morrissey an Vicar In A Tutu, nowadays you've got Lady Gaga trying to reinvent Madonna's career and soon will come the inevitable Like A Prayer pastiche... and on the other side we have The Heartbreaks who hold the candle for a return to music with soul, feeling and a real northern heart. It also helps that they're a bit easy on the eye with FMforums starting a post on the band calling guitarist Ryan the indie jedward with decent music taste and teenage girls want to force jesus juice down their throats.

Designer Magazine put on The Heartbreaks first ever gig around 18 months ago supporting Doll & The Kicks (featuring Morrissey's Nephew) and since them they've gone on to support Carl Barat, Darwin Deez and be one of the undisputed highlights of the Kendal Calling festival mainstage. Probably only one song remains from the old days in the form of "Come Home Katie" which sounds like a very prototype for what hasfollowed since, but the old fan in me would still love to see "Young Stupid and Beautiful" make a return to the set one day.

The Heartbreaks sound that many have come to know through the likes of "Jealous Don't You Know", a song about small town dissenters back home in Morecambe, and "Liar, My Dear" (complete with Rip it Up middle 8) is more full bodied and developed - more "Bigmouth Strikes Again" than the lose feel of say "The Smiths" debut. "Save Our Souls" is one of the best songs of the night. Less of the obvious influences and if anything sounds like long forgotten 80s band Aztec Camera. Newie "Hand On Heart" will become a staple of the bands set and ending on "I Didnt Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You" the set is over far tooquickly with no encore (or in this setting no second coming).

Out of all the bands that NME featured as the Sound oF Nu Manchester, its surely The Heartbreaks (adopted Mancs tho they are) that will live on longer than most. Timeless songs mixed energetic performances like tonight with surely see them playing to much bigger audiences in 2011

Alex McCann


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