Zapzapzap - Club Academy Manchester - 12.2.11

We certainly weren’t be falling in and out of this club.

The night opened with Tom Sumner, accompanied by his fhantom shufflers. Tom is no stranger to the stage; he embarked upon his musical career at the tender age of four, but he has come a long way since winning talent competitions at Flamingo Land… Despite making it through the regional stages of London’s Live and Unsigned - with his reconstruction of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now - he’s still a frequent busker. However, with covers of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” with a side of “When You Say Nothing At All”, it felt like I had just walked into a Britain’s Got Talent audition, but without the enthusiastic audience.

Next on the line up - keeping it disco - was Wigan five-piece Facing Paige; I would describe their sound as a comfortable mix of The Kaiser Chiefs, Ramones renaissance and a mash of Modest Mouse. This incredibly enigmatic band cannot be found willy-nilly on the Internet without paleontology-level digging, and even then: a MySpace page, a brief Facebook account and an even more limited website. It reads: “keep an eye out for Facing Paige”, I strongly encourage you to do the same.

The penultimate performer was the second Tom of the night: Tom Figgins. Figgins is described as having “a voice that makes you sit up and listen, lean back and dream”. You may too, be asking, how can you achieve both sitting up and leaning back simultaneously? Well, it can only be achieved by listening to Figgins music – what’s that? The pungent stench of Wensleydale? Yes, as cheesy as it sounds… London born and Leeds bred, his music exercises the alternative-folk hybrid that has developed a large fan base as of recent. Like Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and fellow folkers, his music never fails to bring a tear to my eye; his songs are heart melting in acoustic *see The Traveler*.

Now for the genuine article: the Macclesfield four-piece have previously headlined Bollington Festival, Academy Unsigned and they can now add Club Academy to the venues that they have blown away. On the set list was all-time favourite Faces, accompanied by adrenalin-pumped Fires In Motion, Sounds, their new – frankly enchanting track Euphoria, with additional Buzzcocks and Joy Division covers. Adding to the universal frivolity was a striking stage presence and a first-class lighting production, which sent their usual band of followers into a hysterical robot-dancing frenzy. Zapzapzap’s lead guitarist sixteen year-old George Cole agrees the atmosphere and adrenalin when performing is unbeatable, and as an observer, I can say the feeling’s mutual.

I can certainly say that I got my six pounds worth.

Faye Baillie

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Up and coming Zapzapzap gigs include the support of Reverend Sound System on 01/04/11 at Sound Control, and hopefully they will be joining the line-up for Friends of Mine festival, so get on Facebook and get liking!
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