Vegastones - Manchester Apollo - 12.12.00

Australian band the Vegastones have been described as an antipodean Fun Lovin Criminals and their are fragments of truth in this comparison. Singer and guitarist Tim has the cool detachment of FLC's Huey and shares with that band their sleazy brand of rock and roll debauchery. However, Vegastones have enough of their own identity and personality to shine through as a credible and original group. Svet on bass is glamorous and vivacious while drummer Damon looks like he's having the time of his life.

The catchy, accessible and infectious "N.Y. Girl" has a vocal very much like a youthful Lou Reed while former single "Porcelain Skin" is described as being about "love, sex and UFO's". The latter, a rap infested song has a mysterious moody feel and we hear the first few bars of "Ferry Across The Mersey" from the additional keyboard player. An acoustic guitar is brought out for new single "Drag Queen Eyes" - a fast and furious, eclectic wall of sound.

"The Bombs" is more mellow while "Add It Up" is a country tinged rocker with Svet taking on lead vocals for the duration of the song. Damon showcasing his rapping skills on the songs middle 8 while Tim plays his guitars with his teeth for one Hendrix inspired moment. Closing their set with "Nico Is A Drug User" this rockabilly anthem finds them finishing on a high.

With new album due out in February the band are busy supporting Duran Duran as well as promoting their own single. Its a tough call supporting a major successful group, but the Durranies warmed to Vegastones and were suitably impressed. I think at the moment though they'd be more effective at smaller venues where they'll no doubt be playing on their own tour very soon.

Nicholas Paul Godkin