Switches - 53 Degrees Preston - 1.2.07

Designer Magazine have experienced Switches live on two previous occasions last year. At the Carling Festival in the Leeds, their early afternoon slot eclipsed every other band who played the Carling Tent that day (and many of the main stage acts). Later on in the year as support to Graham Coxon, Switches were much more than just a support band. They introduced to the ex Blur guitarist's fans a band to really take notice of. Now on their own tour Switches have their army of fans waiting to see their favourite new band again. Without a support band as part of the 53 Degrees promo night, the club is open till two which means Switches don't arrive onstage to near midnight. The venue is crammed but the crowd reaction is lethargic, almost to the point of a muted response. The die hard Switches pose at the front are excited and eventually everyone follows suit.

Frontman Sam is the only member of the band who wants to look like a rockstar, with his pretty boy looks and glam poses. On "Snakes & Ladders" his vocal is like that of a glam obsessed Damon Albarn as his face contorts like a main in abject pain and he dramatically rolls his eyes back. Maybe Sam has been watching tortured Craig Nichols a little but too closely as his mannerisms mirror the Vines singer. With the vocals low in the mix much of tonight's audience don't get to hear the sexually obscure and weirdly compelling lyrics that Switches delve into.

"I Think I'm Coming Down" is the B Side to their new single and is an undiscovered gem, good enough in it's own right to be the lead song. There's a lot of great bands in the switches sound from Blur, The Rolling Stones, T Rex and Supergrass. "Lay Down The Law" is a Franz Ferdinand-esque anthem with a chorus most bands would in The Kaiser Chiefs world "w*nk off a tramp for".

With new single "Drama Queen" and "Lovin It" sounding just as good as anything played tonight we can't wait for the album as it's this years debut album that's not to be missed.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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