Fightstar - Manchester Academy 2 - 4.6.05

With a tour behind them Fightstar have completed their apprenticeship and tonight is about playing to real fans rather those curious to see what a former member of Busted can deliver. In comparison to his former band mates, Matt is heading down a road marked Brian Harvey and a leaked new song from James Bourne leaves a lot to be desired, Charlie Simpson is flying with respect from the likes of Taking Back Sunday and Biffy Clyro forthcoming.

They start off the set which is everything their previous Manchester show wasn't. The chunky riffs crunch, the vocals are raspy and throaty and the whole sound has been beefed up to take them above the emo chancer's that litter purevolume and My Space. "Lost Like Tears In Rain" and "Palahniuk's Laughter" are no longer a compromise between the ideas in Charlie's head and the image he feels he needs to live up to from his former band, they're now full on rock beasts which are a damn site less commercial than the new Funeral For A Friend album.

A tender moment comes in the form of "Amethyst" which acoustically songs like Dashboard Confessional, while on the flipside there's new single "Paint Your Target" which offers a non-stop assault on the senses with the refrain of "I'm just not sure it's gonna work"

The next challenge for Fightstar are the Festivals where at V they're one of the heaviest bands on the bill and Leeds / Reading they'll no doubt win over a legion of fans. Expect them to be selling out venues the size of their musical heroes in 6 months time. Fightstar are a band making music on their own terms.

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest

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The Cardinals / The Pioneers / Brigade / Azure Glow
Tuesday 21st June
Night And Day Café (Oldham Street, Manchester)
£5 on the door / £4 with a flyer

More info at