Kinesis / Moco / Morning Star - Manchester Roadhouse - 5.8.02

Launching City Life's amusingly titled bi-monthly music showcase City:Live, which according to the promoters is "what we think is the best live music in Manchester", and if tonight's line up proves anything it's that they're prepared to put their money where their mouths are. And the great thing about being a music journalist is that you're always right. When you back a band from the beginning and watch them grow to international superstars you can say we supported them from the beginning. When you watch a band flop before your eyes you can speak with the utter conviction of Lord Jeffrey Archer that everything you've ever said was the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth...and everybody else was in the wrong!!!

First up as one of the bands to watch in Manchester are Morning Star who mix up the sound of the Rolling Stones, The Who and The Faces with a Communist Agenda. I've always said that the most important political artist will be the person who can reach out to the ordinary folk, speak their language and adapt the most commercially viable sound of the day. Which is just one of the reasons why Morning Star are sadly not going to break out of the local band circuit in the year 2002. Amongst the American Metal bands and the sounds of UK Garage, the band sadly sound like a throwback to the Britpop era, which is disappointing as they wear their hearts on their sleeves and have that fire which drives the greatest of minds. With the likes of Ms Dynamite offering her pearls of political and social wisdom, Morning Star either need to modernize their sound or hold on to that window opens and the world embraces them with open arms.

Moco on the other hand should be playing the Comedy Store if it weren't for the plain and simply fact their one line joke wears thin after a while. Think of The Young Offenders without the sexual ambiguity. Think David Devant and His Spirit Wife without the bohemian lifestyle and the eccentric frontman. It's not a pleasant thought for the strongest of stomachs and once we've got over the hilarity of Moco's frontman interchanging between 2 wigs and his real hair we start to question where are the actual tunes. Still that hasn't stopped Tony Rogers of the Charlatans taking them into the studio to produce the single "Where She Goes". An album Fizzy Pop is expected in the near future - don't drink too much of it or it will make you sick!!!

It's Kinesis who we've all come to see though so any other band are just a bonus. Strictly not from Manchester, but Bolton's near enough to hide under it's umbrella, and hence they don't have any of the cultural baggage which often pigeon holes Manchester bands. Kinesis hail from a town where Fugazi is thought of as a rare Italian dish and a NME front cover would be followed by questions of what is this ENEMY thing. You can understand now at the outset why they only view headlining the main stage at Glastonbury as a success and why everything else is just a stepping stone.

Setting their sights higher than the usual suspects they display the wisdom of old wise men, while attacking their instruments with the sort of ferocity that you'd shove a brick in a coppers face. It's would be easy to forget, if it weren't for their cult heartthrobs in the making status, that these guys have just completed their A Levels and unlike most of their peers they've shunned the idea of planning their career options (Ed: All the best bands don't view music as a career option) or pension plans. With an unwritten rule that they won't write love songs it would be easy to make comparisons to the Manic's, but the comparisons end after the fact they're young and give a damn about more important issues than "I love you, baby".

"...And They Obey", "Average American Corpse" and "Black Holes" are typical Kinesis, while "Everything Destroys Itself" is about the media's censorship of the truth and the rise of the far right across Europe. Just a little light entertainment compared to your average white band three stables of sex, drugs and rock & roll and with a mass of bodies down in the pit these guys really have the power in their hands to raise entertainment to a higher level. Imagine a world where CD:UK has a line-up including Kinesis and Miss Black America alongside Ms Dynamite and the one member of So Solid Crew who by law of averages will take after Public Enemy rather than keep up the bling bling front. People say music can't change the world, but within 12 months the nation will be able to digest politics within a 3 minute pop song on a Saturday morning. And that my friend is true enlightenment!!!

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