Ram - Night & Day - 12.6.02

After suffering in the hands of the Libertines earlier tonight I walked the streets of Manchester in search of music. And pied piper like I was lead to the Night & Day cafe where I encountered the poptastic sounds of RAM fronted by a strange but familiar figure on vocals. Of course to those in the know, or at the very least Manchester, that figure is none other than Pottsy from Monaco. If you remember Monaco stormed the charts a few years back with classic songs such as "What Do You Want From Me?", but were always in the shadow of New Order. To condense over a decade of New Order side projects into one sentence - Monaco were better than the Other Two, but way short of Electronic. Simple, concise and to the point.

Bringing it back up to date, RAM delivered a storming set around last years In The City conference and were tipped to be signed had it not been for various management wrangles which has kept them out of action for the past six months. Back and with a new found energy they do say that good things come to those who wait and if tonight's set is anything to go by Manchester will be washing its hands of Nu-Acoustica lo-fi bullshit and rubbing its hands with glee at a band who can finally fill theatres with its lush pop sounds. Take "My Favourite Onion" with its incessant keyboard motif, before the huge chorus comes in and the biggest smile lights your face since you saw Steve Coogan in 24 Hour Party People.

The great thing about RAM is that they have this huge Northern heart and soul, but it isn't weighed down with sounding like you archetypal Manchester band. Note the lack of the words The Smiths, Oasis, Stone Roses or the Happy Mondays in the musical references - of course they're all there somewhere in Pottsy horizons, but his scope is bigger than all that and looks back to the harmonies of the Beatles or the Beach Boys through to the grand theatre of bands like My Life Story and the glam generation.

Whether you were simply a fan of Pottsy in Monaco or are looking for an alternative to the what the yanks are offering us you can do worse than check out RAM. After finally shaking off the Nu-Acoustic tags, Manchester really is the musical capital of England once again and within the next 12 months the likes of RAM, The Cardinals, Stephen Nancy, Fi-Lo Radio, Oceansize and Nylon Pylon will be the only bands you care about. Remember where you read about them first.

Alex McCann

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