Zen Guerilla - Manchester Hop & Grape - 5.12.01

You only have to watch a show like Pop Idol to realize that the general public really don't know what's good for them. A shout from the left, one in tears on the right....oh all the drama of a badly produced pantomime!!! And this kind of media white wash isn't just confined to the likes of lame pop acts, its also seeped into what people commonly refer to as real music. I for one still remember the days when you used to get a couple of hyped bands early in the year and that was it...now we have a new best band every week whether it be the Strokes, Andrew WK or the White Stripes. And that's where Zen Guerilla come in - don't get me wrong Zen Guerilla are not a new band, nor are they a hyped one - but they play the same kind of blues driven punk rock that the White Stripes play and they sure put Jack and Meg White to shame.

They may not have the style of the White Stripes but they sure make up for it when the amps are cranked up and the guitars are crunched. Playing songs from their new album "Shadows Of The Sun" the only criticism I could possible have is they just don't play long enough. It may be very punk to play for 35 minutes but I for one could have stayed there all night taking in the sounds of dirty sleazy America. The real pity is that although the British Press are currently looking over the pond for the latest musical sensations they only seem to pick the ones that look pretty for the teen mags while still appealing to the older generation. What we get tonight is Elvis fronting the Sex Pistols...how much more rock & roll can you get than that?

Alex McCann