Shanty Town - The Aftershow @ Sankeys - 13.12.07

If there was one band that proved you can stay DIY and still make an impact on the music scene it was Salford's Shanty Town. Playing their first gig for Designer Magazine back in September the band promptly got asked to play Versus Cancer alongside the likes of Glasvegas, Bez and Andy Rourke. Next step In The City and then playing the Academy 1 with the Complete Stone Roses. Now this would all be par for the course if the band had major league management like the Courteeners and The Tings , but when you realize the band are doing everything themselves they really are taking up the Cribs case for keeping music independent.

With the likes of Danny McNamara and half of Manchester out to watch them this gig is probably their most important to date, but as always the band aren't playing to the chin strokers at the back, they're playing to the mad f**kers down the front who are causing the maddest pit the Aftershow as ever seen. To paraphrase Shameless, the Salford Shanty town crew realize that "foremost the most vital necessity is this life is they know how to throw a PARTY".

Unlike most bands who write one song and base their whole career around it, Shanty Town have a full set of material that will make for a great debut album and not one song sounds alike. The pure pop of "Quaker Days" looks back to the Housemartins as much as Jack Penate, "Fake Blonde" somehow takes in part of the lowslung bass of New Order with the guitar sounds of the Roses but ends up sounding original enough to make the song more than the sum of its parts. "Waiting For" again sounds totally different and is a hit in waiting.

Shanty Town have achieved so much in just over 3 months that other bands are looking and thinking where they've gone wrong. If they can build on this in 2008 they could just end up being one of the most talked about bands in Manchester

Alex McCann

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