(Pic: Gasperilla)
New Antics / Gasperilla / Paris Riots / Future Pilot
Night & Day Manchester - 3.7.07

We're not quite sure what's happened to the audience for Future Pilot but looking around at Night & Day there's only a handful of people to be seen. Maybe Tony's Cronies or Gordon's Morons have put out coded messages that Pilots in the Northern Quarter could attract terrorist attacks and people have decided to watch TV and do something more boring instead. Its a shame because in recent weeks Future Pilot have been mentioned in the same breathe as Cherryghost and Liam Frost an if anything are more palatable than both. Tonight was supposed to be a full band set, but with their bassist and drummer out in action (Army Forces editor: all members of Future Pilot have been service-men/women at some point) they're forced to deliver a 3 piece set of piano / vocals backed by violin and cello which only half hits the spot. "Into The Rain" is about missing the Mancunian streets when abroad on service while "Slow" sounds like a lost song off Suede's "Dog Man Star" album. The big pop tune of the evening "Does She Notice You" is a classic with descending piano motifs. Future Pilot are halfway there and when they have the full band together a world of Ivor Norvello's, Mercury Music Prizes and constant national airplay awaits.

The last gig The Paris Riots played before a homecoming Manchester gig was Glastonbury. Out of step with the rest of the Manchester you can imagine them having discussions about indie being a dirty word and how no-one cares about rock music anymore. Similarities with bands such as the Black Crowes are inevitable as Paris Riots looks to the same blues rock template and while what they deliver is nothing new, in Manchester itself they stand out amongst the indie fakirs. Frontman Toby Connor is an enigmatic frontman with snakes hips while Guy Connor beats 10 shades of shit out of his guitar. The Paris Riots are one of those bands you love or hate. We loved them but whether their time is now is one of those things that remains to be seen.

By the time Gasperilla take to the stage the venue is packed, the atmosphere electric and its easy to see why they're finalists in the Unknown Pleasure's competition (by the time we got to press Gasperilla have been announced as winners to support the Gossip, The Horrors, New York Pony Club and The Whip at the 5000 capacity event at the Lowry). Like their name  suggests Gasperilla are a mixture of sweet and sour, rock and soul, a dual vocal extravaganza between Neil Grainey and the elegantly dressed Jess Knappett. Despite only forming 7 months ago the band look like seasoned pro's and whispers around us are suggesting that it wont be long before the band open up stadium gigs and with a wow factor like we see tonight its not hard to imagine. Unlike most bands whose main concern is massaging their own egos, every single second is all about entertaining the audience. "Mockingbird" and "Renegade Blues" are their anthems, while "Cradle To The Grave" is a lost Rod Stewart song suggesting that they can provide something more soulful. Few bands can entertain like Gasperilla!!

New Antic's frontman hasn't stepped on stage since his last band split up in 1999. Caught up with the excesses of rock'n'roll it took him out of action for nearly 8 years before he hooked up with the other New Antic members Adam and Ben's whose youth and vision invigorated him. After original headliners King Kayak pulled out at 9.30am that morning New Antics stepped into the breach to do their debut gig as a 3 piece while waiting for the right drummer to arrive. Already with interest from the States and MTV before they've played their first gig its seems everything is fitting into place and the gig certainly does not disappoint. Unlike the Twang whose Madchester' posturing is embarrassing with New Antics its sincere, these are the streets they grew up on and they have the Happy Mondays on speed dial.

Looking like Shaun Ryder and dancing like Ian Brown the comparisons are easy, but the songs stand up strong in their own right and are more than just the sum of their influences. "Promises To A Prodigy" is a song of Kasabian proportions just waiting for a thousand strong crowd to sing it back to them, "Solar From The Son" sounds like recent Ian Brown mixed with early Charlatans with "Got A Thing Going On" features techno and house flourishes. Expect big things

Alex McCann

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