Paramore - Club Academy Manchester - 13.10.06

How many times can you shout at the sky and ask for a female fronted band as good as Echobelly before someone finally answers your prayers and brings us Paramore? About a billion if the Designer Magazine offices are anything to go by. Far too long the rock scene has been dominated by a handful of skinny boys crying into their light ale about their girlfriend leaving them and since Courtney Love there hasn't been a strong dominant female in the music scene in the last decade. Enter Hayley Williams, frontwoman of Paramore who it must be repeated is not the band, but for this generation provides a figurehead that isn't male and called Gerard Way or Ryan Ross.

Last appearing in the city for the Manchester leg of Give It A Name where the band managed to turn an afternoon performance on the second stage into one of the weekends highlights matching the headliners, the band were forced to cancel appearances at Leeds and Reading festival due to Hayley suffering throat problems. So for many here this is the first time they'll get to witness the band in action (and for those who have seen them before it's a chance to catch them in an intimate venue) and there are many reasons why Paramore are band destined for longevity out of the Fuelled By Ramen roster.

Although the T-shirt clearly says "I Am Not A Band" all the focus of people's attention is on Hayley Williams regardless of gender. That's not to distract from the importance from the rest of the band because without guitarist Josh Farro the lyrics would simply be bereft of the chiming pure pop melodies. But Williams ultimately is the first icon of the new generation of rock and her vocal tics have seen her compared to everyone from Avril Lavigne to a female version of Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria.

As a band there's no band that can compete for every song hitting the mark and being a potential international smash. Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, Lostprophets all have their weak moments, Fall Out Boy have a hell of lot of filler, but Paramore have a perfect debut album that's that perfect it's almost impossible to imagine them following up successfully. Live its a nigh on perfect replica of that, albeit slightly rougher around the edges, and by the end of a set which last for about 45 minutes but feels like 10 they've played "Pressure", "Brighter", "Emergency" and our personal favourite "Whoa" which is one of the best songs ever written.

For us Paramore could play Manchester every week and we'd still not get bored. Let's hope they don't leave it too long with that all important second album and get on these shores soon

Alex McCann

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