Miss Black America - Night & Day Cafe - 7.10.02

Born out of the frustration of small town apathy and tired of seeing friends replace dreams with career plans, Seymour Glass formed Miss Black America with a political manifesto underwritten with the clause of doing it 100% independently. This wasn't just another band who went public with his concern for the problem of Homelessness in the Big Issue and then went and sold his house at a ridiculous profit just because he can (Ed: Hello, Ian Brown), this wasn't a band who sold out their original plans and turned into a lumpen mess of Bryan Adams sized cack (Ed: By that readers I think you can safely assume he means the Manic's). Here are a band who come out with aspirational ideas instead of the nihilism of Nirvana or the Manics and set about turning the impossible dreams into a reality and were happy to support the Anti Nazi League because they were true believers - not just because they'd have to smile, look pretty and give glib quotes to a tabloid rag as most charity or causes have been turned into in these media frenzied times.

The last time MBA played Manchester was for the ANL's Love Music Hate Racism Carnival in Manchester alongside the likes of Ms Dynamite, Doves and The Heartless Crew and while their own headline gig doesn't feature the same diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds and cultures you sense this is only a matter of time. At the front of the stage a pair of friends, one chinese and one white, put their arms around each and punch hands in the air mouthing words to each and every song. And what songs? "Talk Hard", a song which deals with the system inbuilt in school where children lose all hope by the time they're 16 and subscribe to office hell. "Miss Black America", their theme tune - a call to arms with "We want real lives and we'll get them, yes, you'll see". Each song pummelled into submission from the indie-lite of the "Worship Here" album which just doesn't do justice to the intensity of the live shows.

And you know that as previous generations were energized by the Clash, this generation will leave a Miss Black America gig with an intent to bring on change. Whether it's simply subscribing to the ANL on the LMHR stand on the way out or you're are actually taking part in organizing campaigns for a better life were all going a small way to combating the rise of Nazi politics which spring from the apathy built out of years of cynicism. A band will never go onto change the world because they are simply representing the views of the individual which in turn connect to similar voices out in country towns. But when faced with a voice like Seymour Glass and his soldiers in tow they're a necessary anti-dote to the apathy of the current musical climate of tie wearing pricks and talent show drop outs.

Alex McCann

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