(Pic: 4ft Soldiers)
The Bishops / 4ft Soldiers - Manchester Roadhouse - 24.7.06

Sometimes you know a band instinctively will capture the ears of the nation and for 4ft Soldiers that time is just around the corner. Designer Magazine first witnessed the 4ft Soldiers supporting Test Icicles on their debut UK tour and since then they've played for a whose who of the British rock scene including the notorious Towers Of London, brit boyband rockers Laruso and in a bizarre twist they nearly deafened The Feeling who asked them politely to turn their amps down, which they did only to flick the V's and turn it back up louder than before.

In 2 months time the band will be blasting out of movie theatres across the country as they soundtrack the final scene in the forthcoming Dirty Sanchez with their single in waiting "Get Laid" and with rumours suggesting that several big names went for the soundtrack and got rejected it all bodes well for the Warrington four piece. The simple fact is that it could have been either of 4ft Soldiers tunes that were selected for the soundtrack because never before has a band been primed for international success with a collection of songs that manages somehow to slice rockabilly, primal punk rock and tunes so big that The Killers wouldn't need to start fights with Fall Out Boy for column inches.

While tonight's Mondayitis has caused people to stay at home it's clear that the majority of tonight's audience are here for 4ft Soldiers rather than the headliners. It's easy to see why. Frontman Jim Green is the consummate showman not giving a f*ck about being cool instead clenching his fists powerballad style, punching the air and doing "Timewarp" style gestures to the audience. A couple at the back sneer (before no doubt going home to wank over the Kooks album), but the fact is the rest of the audience go mad for the likes of "Louie", "Quebec", "Scars" and a storming version of "Get Laid". Not everybody will like 4ft Soldiers, but 99% of the population will so you better get used to them because soon you wont be able to escape the
sound of the soldiers.

The Bishops are one of the most entertaining bands Designer Magazine has seen in ages which is why just a couple of weeks after they supported Jamie T on tour we're back for more on their first headline date in Manchester. After 4ft Soldiers it was always going to be hard but the happiest band in the world ever carry on regardless and smile their way through a set which
takes us back to more innocent days. An aural prozac they take us through the back catalogue of the Beatles, Byrds and at times the quieter moments from Queens Of The Stoneage, but the London 3 piece essentially make every Beatles referencing Scouse act (hello Cast, Lightning Seeds, Coral) sound like Radiohead.

With choreographed star jumps, head shakes and haircuts the band have been practising their Beatles moves in anticipation that Steve Lamacq will take over from Matthew Kelly on Stars In Your Eyes and demand that all contestants have to play live as well as sing live and have their own moptop. It's a glorious patronage to Macca and the boys and during these bad times of the nastiest divorce in recent history maybe the boys could sing outside his house for supper and lift his spirits for the first time since the Frog Chorus.

By the time the festival season ends The Bishops should have won over the nation and be on a fast track to superstardom.

Alex McCann

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