Tom Hingley - Manchester - 27.12.07

The Xmas meal had long been forgotten about, New year was nearly a week away and virtually no-one else was putting gigs on so what better way to spend that lost period between Xmas and New Year than in the presence of a musical legend such as Tom Hingley.

Support act League Liege are probably the least festive band around, but then this was the year that Malcolm Middleton was touted for the xmas Number 1 with "We're All Going to Die". Dressed in regulation outfits of all black attire complete with white armbands the proggy sounds of the band look towards Radiohead's and Arcade Fire's more melancholic moments. With an average age of just 17 its refreshing to see that not everyone's looking towards Alex Turner and Pete Doherty as their musical saviours and there's moments during the set that League Liege touch on genius moments with intricate melodies and tight harmonies. The only downside is you cant but help that a couple of upbeat songs would do wonders for the band but with time there's no doubt this band could pull a "Plug In Baby" out of the bag.

The Broadcast have been slowly building there profile throughout the past 12 months across Greater Manchester and it seems to be paying off as they've managed to draw T4 presenter Nick Grimshaw down from the big smoke to catch their set. While they do nothing new, what they do do they do very well. Essentially ploughing the same epic balladry as Starsailor, Richard Ashcroft and Doves have done previously the likes of "Catch The Fever" and "Something Stirring" are better than any of those aforementioned artists have released in years. Put these guys on the big stages and you know they'll have know problem filling them.

In a few months time Tom Hingley will be touring the country with The Inspiral Carpets and playing sold out venues like Manchester Academy so this intimate solo acoustic gig in Manchester is the last chance you'll get to see him close up and personal for a while. While Designer Magazine has seen the Inspirals a number of times nothing prepares you for the experience of "that voice" stripped clean of Clint Boons hammond flourishes and the big garage pop sound. Bellowing over the audience Hingley almost doesn't need the mic as he takes us through highlights from his back-catalogue including "Saturn 5" and "This Is How It Feels", the latter amusingly played to a room full of Manchester City fans. His own solo material draws more heavily from the blues with his acoustic being bashed into submission and even a banjo brought out for one number.

Manchester has produced many stars over the years, but as far as artists go perhaps only Tom Hingley and I Am Kloot's Johnny Bramwell deserve those titles. Someone arrange a joint tour now....

Alex McCann

Click here to leave your comments on the Message Board
(NB: The message board opens in a new window so please disable your pop-up blocker to view)