Bottomfeeders - Manchester Night & Day -  22.1.08

When a band take a 2-foot saw onto the stage to use as amusical instrument and there isn’t a magician in sight, then something unusualis to be expected. A low version budge of the Texas Chains Saw massacreperhaps?

When a crowd migrate to the stage without requiring to be enticedby the performing band, then there’s definitely something going on.   The air of expectancy is raised again assome of the members of the Bottomfeeders take to the stage.  The trombonist (nick named Tullfest theBrassbone) is wearing a blonde wig and people are queuing at the side of thestage to take his picture.

When another 4 members of the unit take to the stage,there’s as much colour in the clothing  asthere was at the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nation.  Red hair, floral print dresses embracing thecolours of the rainbow are all present. When a sixth member, Natalie Sharp, clambers on stage she’s wearing a whitecape/poncho a la’ Magic Numbers, she receives an enthusiastic “Hurray” from thecrowd

As Natalie discards the poncho/cape she reveals an all in one, skin tight, pink coloured affairthat Beth Ditto would be proud of.  Notthat Sharp has the same dimensions as the front woman of the Gossip, but shecan control and dominate the crowd in exactly the same manner.  When she commands that “Skinnies (fellas) tothe front, fatties to the back”  line upfor a crowd favourite “Skinny White Boys”, within limits, that happens.  When the skinnies are lined up, sheinstantly commands “Well, drop `em.  Weneed to know if you are worth it” leaving the lads in a state of bemusement,and there rest in laughter

Now if the band were purely all spectacle and showmanship,then it would be an entertaining night purely in cabaret terms, but they alsohave a bundle of ace tunes up their sleeves.

Containing a cello, trombone and at times a saw played witha violin bow, (not the sharp end), songs won’t be grouped in the indie guitar categoryalthough Moss Freed is present for such duties.   At present there are other bands in the area (Say Stansfield,Tim & Sam’s band) ploughing this furrow of melody and harmonies away fromthe mainstream and Bottomfeeders are a welcome addition to the list.

Their music is as vibrant as effusive as their colour schemeis, indicating that although they may be based in the Manchester area, their backgroundis far away from the typically industrial Mancunian influences

They also have a wicked sense of humour darting throughouttheir lyrics.   They talk a lot aboutriding; on “horses”, on “Loretta” where the saw is used.  Skinny white boys are entreated to eatNatalie‘s “pies”.

To cries of disappointment, the set is cut short and the finishwith probably their most “typical indie” song “Fly Trouble”.  It must have been riding as well

Ged Camera -

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