Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Airborne Toxic Event - Manchester Ritz

Apologies for the delay in this gig review. The normal trick is to get home slightly tipsy and write the review immediately thus ensuring millions of hits on the site the next morning and thereby entertaining everyone with incoherent nonsense. In this case it's almost certainly a good thing that I collapsed into my bed rather than foist late night rantings on anyone.

There are two distinct types of gigs in my head, the ones where you can appreciate the musicianship and more often than not these tend to in smaller venues and are often acoustic. There is an exception to this, which is the early afternoon bands at festivals where the same thing can apply. The second and as anyone who knows me can testify my favoured option, is the full on band with drunken singalong 'how great is this?' behaviour.

This gig was always destined to be the latter rather than the former as I was meeting an old pal for a 5pm drinking start. We had a brilliant three hours of drinking heavily and talking bloke nonsense before staggering off to the gig. Just so you understand the caliber and depth of conversation the only useful conclusion we came to is; that blokes don't need any new clothes after the age of 40 (Ever) provided they don't change size. ok a sex change could change things too, but I don't recall that part of the conversation.

We met other pals outside the venue and promptly lost them as we had our beer and bar priority heads on by now.

Full enough but not too packed the perfect combination, enough room to get comfortably to the bar and back, swaying space and 12 yards from the front..ideal. The Ritz isn't a massive venue but a little imagination had created an excellent stage set, drums raised atop of a set of stairs rear mid stage and then two huge white light panels below on either side.

Silhouette guitar playing shapes and curvy silhouette girl shaped violin playing kicked off the show with feedback at two pegs below uncomfortable.

From the end of the instrumental the band played every song on the album with confidence and swagger, even I could tell they'd played an awful lot of live gigs lately. It was the third time in Manchester in 12 months, at least a few other people had missed the first 2 shows as we were informed that audiences had grown from 6 to 200 to about a 800 at this gig...that's a wild guess.

I'm sure the sound was fantastic and the playing virtuoso, but more importantly they played all the songs I know and we got to sing and dance. There was a Springsteen cover,a Lou Reed cover and they played a couple of new songs that went down a storm. They even threw in a couple of shortened Smiths covers during the encore tune as homage to their favourite Manchester band (cue even louder drunken singing). On top of this they looked like they were having a great time and that they appreciated the support of exuberant crowd.

Listen to the album, make an effort to see them at a festival next year and lets hope they play Manchester a few more times. Good band top night out.



  1. I think its such a waste to get drunk and not appreciate the band properly, even worse to sing over it and spoil other peoples enjoyment. You should both be ashamed.

    As for the clothes thing, thats like saying "I'm over forty now and just waiting to die". What about if someone said 'No more CD's when you get to forty, that lot should be enough now' Buying what will become a new favourite shirt even though you have enough is just another way of sticking the V's up at the Grim Reaper.

  2. With Craig on this one - is the reason old people smell because they never buy new clothes?

    Mind you Paul, wearing your Primal Scream t-shirt with the sleeves chopped off could be a good look for the retirement home.

    Who would win in a fight? Megan Fox or High Jump Girl?

  3. No Andy they smell because they piss themselves. And you should worry, the longer you live the longer you get to sit in your own piss. Eat pies and drink Stella mate. You know it makes sense.

    Oh the T shirt copped a slimy one and is no more, only 27 Ramones T shirts to get through.

    High Jump Girl she's use the bar as a spear.

  4. Well that's not very nice. I expect that sort of a mean response from Andy.

    I was thinking more that old folks have sort of a musty old books.