The Like - Manchester Academy Three - 09.03.2006

“Somebody get naked, or I’m not gonna play.”

Z Berg, the cheekily beaming leader of the female dominated trio The Like, exclaims prior to performing the hazily poetic ‘You Bring Me Down’. Possessing the calming assuredness of Beth Orton, she floats her voice above the melodious bass of Charlotte Froom and the clanging percussion of the nimble Tennessee Thomas. This piece of sombre reflection only makes all the more invigorating, the frantic Souixsie and the Banshees sprinkled with a bit of Queen Adreena spice that soars out in ‘The One’ and the title track from debut album ‘What I Say And What I Mean’.

The prodigious Los Angeles lasses, occasionally exchange knowing glances with each other. This, no doubt, is their way of acknowledging that their deep seated emotion, age-defying insight and searching feeling is hitting home big-time tonight. Berg, in half jest, introduces the closing number ‘(So I’ll Sit Here) Waiting’ by exclaiming that they don’t know how to play anymore. However, the hanging Placebo guitars and painstakingly sung lyrics, obviously borne out of much head-wrenching bewilderment and contemplation, implies that so much is put into each number on this 35 minute journey through the cognitive processes of three of life’s thinkers. No-one in room could leave claiming to be short changed.

David Adair

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