Halo - Night & Day Cafe (Manchester) - 18.5.04
Why Sony Records f**ked up with Halo will probably be one of those questions asked by Stuart Maconie on "I Love 2002" in 20 years time. You see, for those who remember Halo the first time round will indeed remember Halo were tipped as the next big British rock band to worry Muse's pretty little heads and in a culling spree which Sony let go most of their promotional staff, Halo's debut album "Lunatic Ride" limped onto the shelf's and literally sold by word of mouth alone. Fast Forward to the year 2004, Halo are still together and have a heap of new material with label interest as we speak....Sony Records on the other hand look set to lose another great British rock band, Hundred Reasons, due to lack of promotion. Is it just us or is there a pattern building up?
Halo are a band who you could strip away piece by piece and find everything great about rock music in the modern age. The intensity of Muse or Radiohead, the stunning good looks of Graeme or Iain who wouldn't be out of place in Busted or McFly, ballads that can out Coldplay Coldplay and the rock n roll moves of Craig Nichols from the Vines. At the end of the day what were left with is a band who organically came together and are much more than the sum of their parts. Halo are a band who with the right backing could seriously bring a sincerity back to a music scene.
While tonight isn't exactly sold out, it's again been an organic process which has spread by word of mouth alone. The audience made up of predominantly stunning girls who are surely too young to have witnessed them first time round shows that far from relying on past glories Halo are reaching out to a new audience as we speak. Naturally "Here I Am", "Still Here" and "Sanctimonious" show exactly why we fell in love with them in the first place, but the sheer kinetic energy coming off the stage means that even the new material is greeted with a frenzied reaction. Returning for an encore they pay tribute to The Pixies with a cover of "Where Is My Mind?" - it's a perfect ending to a perfect gig.
Over the past 12 months we've been suffering bands such as The Thrills, Keane, The Killers and Snow Patrol. Halo are back and it's up to us to embrace they with open arms. Lightning doesn't often strike twice but one of the most exciting live bands in Britain just came back for the second time. Bring on that second coming!!!
Photo's by Karen McBride - www.karenmcbride.com
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