Slo-Mo - Manchester Academy - 5.2.03

It can't be easy being a support act to an established band with a twenty year career behind them. In fact it's a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand you're playing larger venues and to an entirely new audience which gives you a potentially larger fan base, but this also means that the people are there may still be in the bar until Soft Cell come on who Marc Almond personally chose as the support on their nation-wide tour.

Slo-Mo are a four piece from Sheffield split 50/50 on the gender ratio with a male drummer, singer and guitarist and two women on bass and keyboards and occasional backing vocals. Musically speaking it's epic and grand with a hybrid of rap, pop, rock and dance with dark and catchy songs reminiscent of Space. "Lost Stones" has a feel of classic 60s easy listening with pop sensibilities and glamour from the frontman who may be something of a heart throb in the future for his female followers. "Junkie On A Fast Lane" has the singer rapping in a similar fashion to Stereo MC's Rob Birch, but more refined and not as street wise. With the addition of backing vocals from the petite keyboard player it ends up sounding a little bit like Moloko.

During "Boy From The City" Slo-Mo are plagued with technical difficulties but carry on regardless with this 70s Glam rock meets contemporary beats groove. Their closing number "Girl From Alaska" is Slo-Mo's next single and is a slice of radio friendly, commercial inoffensive pop music and could easily scrape into the top 40. While not exactly ground breaking, Slo-Mo are an accomplished band with an enigmatic frontman who oozes confidence from every pore. The bass player adds a bit of eye candy for the guys with the melodic and girl group backing vocals in a Lush meets St Etienne kind of way.

Some bands make great support acts and never progress further than that. Slo-Mo on the other hand are a great band, period!!!

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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