Simple Plan / The Glitterati - Manchester Academy 1 - 24.2.05

The Glitterati come across as a porn shop Velvet Revolver. Slogans are spewed out ad infinitum like the Manics without the politics degree. The leeds five piece pull all the right shapes and leave a crowd of punk pop fans with bleeding ears, endless guitar solos and a sense of decadence not seen since Guns'N'Roses. "You've Got Nothing On Me", "Back In Power" and "Do You Love Yourself" plough a similar field to what King Adora and The Ga Gas have before and while it's life affirming you expect they're destined for cult status rather international stardom.

The last time Simple Plan played Manchester it was opening for Avril Lavigne at the Arena. At the time we suggested the band could be playing the Arena in their own right in a few years time and with Blink 182 taking an indefinite hiatus it's logical to look to Simple Plan as the heirs to the punk-pop crown. Their latest album "Still Not Getting Any" expands on the original template, incorporating "Complicated" and "The Reason" sized ballads, but at the heart of it are gems such as "Shut Up" and "Worst Day Ever". It's these tracks which kick off tonight's show and prove why Simple Plan's mixture of angst ridden lyrics and sugar coated melodies are such an infectious blast.

The non-Van Halen "Jump" incites such a reaction from the crowd it's like Dick and Dom have escaped the bungalow and spiked the pop with Jesus Juice purely for fun rather than Jackson styled motivations. The crowd a mix of early teens and overgrown children trapped in adults bodies can't help but relate to "Addicted To You", a song which has the trite wordplay of a red top but is such a joy. "God Must Hate Me" in another bands hand's could turn out to be Korn-styled song of self loathing, but with Simple Plan it's the most joyous song about everything in life going wrong you can't help but sing along.

Even when they slow it down for the football chant of "The One Forgotten", imagine Green Days "Are We The Waiting" rewritten, and "Welcome To My Life" they touch the audience. The latter is their "Complicated" and should see the band truly breaking through internationally. An inspired choice of covers with Guns'N'Roses "Sweet Child O Mine" and The Darkness' "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" only adds to a set which in-between features drummer Chuck Comeau waving around a Union Jack flag declaring the UK to be his second home. It's only trumped by Pierre dancing to Staying Alive.

Once witnessed live Simple Plan are impossible not to like. Soon enough they'll be impossible to ignore.

Alex McCann

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