Weezer / Remy Zero - Manchester Apollo - 19.3.02

When they finally decide to grace us with their presence, Remy Zero announce to a bemused crowd that they've just arrived in the country but will continue to play as best they can. They needn't have bothered. The lead singer thinks he's Bono and the music is run of the mill stoner rock. You may have heard Remy Zero's single "Save Me" which is the them tune to TV's Smallville. This pitiful pantomime of a performance is strictly snoozeville and although they only played two songs, it was a relief when they left the stage.

After postponing their UK tour twice before it was beginning to look like seeing Weezer live was about as likely as having Marilyn Manson dueting with Gareth Gates on a Pop Idol celebrity special. Cynicism aside the geeky group from Wisconsin have arrived and Manchester is all the happier for it. He may have grown a beard, but Rivers Cuomo still manages to look like an extra from Revenge Of The Nerds. The other members of Weezer are not exactly pin up material, but its their everyday appearance and regular guy demeanour that endears them to their fans. Recently Rivers got into trouble by sending out pre-release versions of the the bands new album "Maladroit" to US Radio stations without the permission of the record label, proving that even Weezer can be rebellious when the mood takes them. But enough of Weezer's image or lack of, its the music were all here for and with the new album out next month the anticipation is at fever pitch.

There's no surprises tonight, yet that's a good thing. We hear fine renditions of songs from "Pinkerton" and "The Green Album" with friendly banter kept to a minimum. Weezer aren't the chattiest band around, but the fluorescent W lowered down more than makes up for their lack of communication. You can't fault the songs, but they do all sound very similar over the course of an hour set with very little musical variety throughout. The biggest cheer of the night is reserved for the song that put Weezer on the musical map, the unforgettable "Buddy Holly" which still sounds as fresh and funny as it was back in the day and is the perfect way to end the gig.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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