(Pic: The Others)
The Others / 50Leaves - Gullivers - 9.10.04
50Leaves hail from Collyhurst, can just about scrounge enough money to share a spliff between them and prove the idea that the best rock'n'roll always comes from the working classes. Liam Manton, a mad skunked up scally on vocals and rhythm guitar bounds around with the don't give a f**k attitude of Gallagher junior and the unrestricted dance moves of The Music's Rob Harvey. Keith Allen on lead guitar provides the licks which veer between Keith Richards and Johnny Marr. Never one to shy away from their influences Allen wears a Rolling Stones lips T as a badge of honour and doth of his cap to his heroes. "This Could Go On" starts off with a guitar solo that could rival John Squire before launching into a verse that brings to mind 70's US Radio Rock. Just as you're about to settle Manton kicks the monitors and the songs wanders off into a disco funk workout. Musically and lyrically the band display the same passion and desire to kick against the prevailing trends as Oasis did when "Supersonic" first grabbed the nation by neck and removed the shoegazing shackles. "There's goths & gangsters Crawling round my town, Pissed off to london Coz my head spins around!" Manton offers and for those who live in Manchester its all too true. Still 50Leaves are undeniably Manc and at a time when the music scene is so incredibly London-centic we need a few rowdy Mancs to come in and spoil the party. "The Hand That Ties The Body" displays the sort of intricacies you'd expect from Johnny Marr, while at the same time never wandering into over-sensitive fopp territory. On "Dancing Through Fires" the band ask "Ever feel like starting a fire? Or boarding up a door? I can taste all my desires! I want something more!" and it can't be long before 50Leaves achieve something more and break outside of the city walls.
(Pic: 50Leaves Liam Manton)
If The Others have won over the 853 crew with their guerilla gigs, they now face the question of whether they can convert that riotous energy to a more traditional gig. Of course this is if you class a traditional gig one that involves playing the upstairs of a pub full of knuckleheads who make Paul Calf look sophisticated. You can almost hear the hisses of "students" as you walk through and interrupt their drunken karaoke (admittedly much more fun than the sanitized karaoke of X Factor, but it's still just...wrong).
"You Know When You're Born" start off like many Others songs. A Cure bass line is mauled and smothered by Fall style riffs and while its a little too derivative for anyone over the age of 25, it's delivered with such passion by Dominic Masters that you can see why they're one of the figurehead bands of the youth movement. Even without them swinging around Piccadilly Gardens harassing Metrolink guards you can see the nucleus of why there's a genuine fervour about this band. Masters launches forward and back mouthing the hook line as if he's singing it for the first time. His enthusiasm is infectious. As the intro to "Almanac" kicks in, Masters eyes the already precarious speaker stack and takes to the heights. Looking down, arms outstretched he speaks to his people, those people that feel outsiders like the Others once did and now feel part of a movement.
Much has been reported about the single "Stan Bowles", a song not about the legendary footballer, but about troubled ex-Libertine Pete Doherty. On record it sounds a lacklustre follow up to "This Is For The Poor", live you can see why they chose it as the melody breathes while Masters spits the lyrics out. In the aforementioned Other's anthem "This Is For The Poor" they have a call to arms for the 853's and the stage is invaded, floorboards crack and the light rig just about stands up to a barrage of stage diving and moshing.
The Others offer a world of a chaos and confusion. The fact that they have the songs to back it up suggests that they will be around long after the media tires and moves on to the next fad.
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com
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