Aiden - Manchester Academy Tour - 13.9.06

Like the Americans during World War Two we arrive at the last minute to claim our little piece of Victory. This Victory were talking about is the tour from renowned label Victory Records of which we would have seen appearances from the Bayside, who admittedly we avoided with a wide birth after a shockingly disappointing performance at Give It A Name earlier in theyear. Aiden on the other hand are a different story and since their appearance at Leeds Festival in the summer the band have been talked about as the next important band to come out of America and with a hometown of Seattle comparisons are inevitable with, well you know you, in terms of devotion, if musically they're far removed.

Although Aiden are very much a group it's frontman Will Francis who takes the band to another level of self-importance with his speeches dwarfing Gerard Ways. Such is the power and sheer magnitude of his personality if half of this audience don't reject the nine to five and form bands as a result of this gig alone then the youth has a lot to worry about. Dubbed horror rock there's a sense of a pantomime about the band, but listen to the lyrics to "Die Romantic" or "Unbreakable" and you can see why Aiden are taking over whereas other bands are just treading water. Not that the lyrics matter tonight where Aiden aim to get the biggest circle pit ever going an damn near succeed with the 700-odd people in the venue.

Since we first saw Aiden supporting Bullet For My Valentine earlier this year the band have grown in stature and managed to blend melodies with thrash punk into their own unique style. No longer are the band the mini-me My Chemical Romance, although they show all the signs and ambition that we saw at early MCR shows, and they bring out the best in each audience whether they're first on at the Leeds Festival or headlining a tour such as this. By the time they leave after a brief 40 minute set there isn't one audience member who doesn't want or need more of Aiden. Alas Aiden are not for elongated solos or extended intros - its a short blast in the memory banks of possibly the best night of your life.

Providing they can follow up their breakthrough album, 2007 will clearly be the year that Aiden take over.

Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest

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