Men Women & Children - 53 Degrees Preston 1.3.07

Men Women And Children are from New York, have supported Panic! At The Disco and performed at the Give It A Name festival. Tonight in Preston is a rare headline date as a stop gap between support slots for Forward Russia.

On stage are tall vertical light sabre props, illuminating the band in white plus strobes throughout. Being such colourful characters themselves (previously described in Designer Magazine as a rock version of the Village People) Men Women and Children pull out all the stops and put on a show to be remembered. The two guitarists and bass player put on a slick, choreographed dance routine while Nick with his long ginger hair, beard and rustic attire could almost me some mystical druid or a magical Wizard in a Tolkienesque universe. The security even have to hold him back as he precariously swings from the lighting rig. Singer T Jo passes a miners helmet with strobe lights to a fan at the front and is invited to start a conga line and Designer Magazine watching on in astonishment as more and more people join the conga as the band jam away.

Men Women and Children have the talent and songs to equal the flamboyant theatrics. The bass player who at one point wear's a diamond encrusted turban can out funk Flea from the Chili Peppers. These can rock but there's a disco element and pop sensibility with a retro feel like the Scissor Sisters and Kool & The Gang. With the synths dominating the bands sound on
occasion and the falsetto vocals MWC come across a little like forgotten pop band El Presidente.

"Monkey Monkee Men" is madcap and camp as christmas while "The Name Of The Train Is A Hurricane" is rocket fuelled rock with excellent guitar work from the musician who was formerly in Glassjaw. "Messy", a song about finding love is heavier, more intense and less frivolous then what we've heard so far but it's another side of the band which shows versatility. Recent single "Dance In My Blood" is standard emo and not really their best moment, but even this little blip can't spoil a frenetic forty minute set from one of the most consistently entertaining bands around at the moment

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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