Florrie plus guests @ Ruby Lounge Manchester - 4.2.11

LOVEBITES, the first band on the bill, played far too early for a man-about-town to possibly attend. Sorry about that guys/gals.

Local Indie ‘soon-to-be-somethings’ No Flash stuck to the most important rule of playing gigs: “Never apologise, never explain”. Rebidden with an obvious and refreshing confidence, the tunes follow some standard, post-Libertine, indie riffs; all very recognisable-but-somehow-not. The driving hihat is the hero of the hour, at least to these jaded ears. I particularly enjoyed the spoken-work “Brick-by-brick”, which showed more depth than I had initially credited them with. The set-ending instrument destruction was unexpected and appeared rather without any obvious prompt! Might want to build that into the set, lads; looked a bit odd.

Next up are Suzuki Method. Five Salfordians who take their name from a phrase which Wikipedia helpfully reminds me is “an educational philosophy which strives to create "high ability" and beautiful character in its students through a nurturing environment”. It swiftly became apparent that these gents are very aptly-named band. They proceeded to steal from myriad, notable, past musical movements; 70s bass sound, 80s bleeping synths, 90s ‘rock shapes’ (mainly from the guitarist) and a 00s polish. Don’t get me wrong, Suzuki Method must drive their peers insane with jealousy, such is the consummate, effortless expertise displayed on stage. It just left me a little cold and a little confused. It’s all very anodyne and sounds like everything and nothing, all at once. Actually, my notes from the night read “Sounds like a Simple Minds record”, which I meant in a good way, but doesn’t reflect too well in the light of day. “A band by musicians, for everyone” is far more flattering.

Apparently, the Stone Roses once wrote a song about a hot female drummer. Had Ian Brown had some foresight, he would have named the song Florrie and sued for all she’s about to be worth... Florrie’s art, we’re all familiar with... She’s the in-house drummer for Xenomania, who have sold records by the boat-load. Adding to the talent, she’s heart-stoppingly attractive. Normally, I avoid making reference to an Artist’s visage, because it’s not relevant but I’m making an exception tonight. Long story short, this Lady has a lot of cards in her deck. Before the gig, all I’d heard of her solo material was some Euro-pop remixes, so to the set: as she’s a drummer, I should have seen this coming... The gig started with a drum solo. Cardinal sin, number one; I have run, screaming into the night, from venues for less. Well, I stayed and it turns out, she’s not just a potential model and decent drummer, she can also play guitar and sing! One could genuinely hate her, for all the luck she has been dealt! Tunes like 911 (one of the aforementioned remixes, so much better in its original form) and Left it too late should carry this girl a long way. It’s not exactly my bag but, given the skill and remorseless marketing machine behind her, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Florrie.

Alex Colcombe

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