Pete Yorn - Manchester Hop & Grape - 4.3.02

As i'm heading down to tonight's show I learn that Pete Yorn's older brother is actually the agent of top Hollywood stars such as Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio. It kind of ruins all those images of earnest singer songwriter plugging away at penniless gigs in the hope that one day he will find fame and fortune...and he'll be able to bring his mates along for the ride as his backing band. All traces of cynicism are wiped away though with a single listen to his debut album "Music For The Morning After" and its with this hope that I continue to the gig instead of throwing a strop about keeping music real and not letting those manipulative b*stards get in the way of real passion and talent.

All in all honesty I expected tonight's gig to be sold out so when I walk into a venue about half full you can imagine the shock. Even though he is yet to release the debut single "For Nancy" over here in the UK we've been receiving trickles of information over from the states about his work with Pete Buck from REM and his songs being used in the likes of Dawsons Creak. There may only be a few of us but we were truly out to enjoy ourselves tonight and when Pete Yorn plays a set of his rock & roll classics in favour of his more introspective numbers we couldn't have asked for much more. In the past he's been compared to the likes of Elliot Smith and after seeing both artists live I can honestly say that Pete Yorn is perhaps one of the few gifted singer songwriters that actually knows how to put on a good show. "Life On A Chain", "Strange Condition", "Murray" and "Sense" are all played in succession and with the addition of the beautiful ballad "Just Another" it could almost make up a perfect set.

The next time this guy plays the UK he'll be a household name and you'll have band coming out of the sticks of Bolton and Burnley citing Pete Yorn as their inspiration for picking up a guitar.

Alex McCann

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