Monday, 16 February 2009


Even the self-proclaimed gamekeepers to the new music rhino are entitled to periods of blogging inactivity, ok? We’ve seen some gigs alright – and here they are - just get off our backs. Jeez.

The roundup starts as long ago as two whole weeks, when Manchester's Citizens played their debut show at Tiger Lounge. Considering the band are friends and New Ears associates it’s difficult for me to provide an impartial opinion. But, on Saturday night, two of the band were in the same corner of the Star & Garter as that twonk from The Courteeners, their short sharp shock of a set was evidence enough to make me confident to exclaim that Citizens were the best band in that corner of the pub. Big talk I know.

For a more considered and reasoned opinion check out new blog, Pow Wow’s words on the band. As that post attests, Citizens are producing some seriously good post punk, which I’m genuinely excited is happening in Manchester. The band have a veritable feast of gigs coming up pre-Easter, go check them out soon.

Citizens - 'Carnival' (live demo)

Supporting Citizens' Manchester-not-Manchester flagwaving is WU LF WU LF. Murmurings of excellent demos and amazing live shows have grown ever more vociferous in recent weeks, so on Friday I moseyed on down to Club Irish in Chorlton. It was not a wasted mosey.

These guys look YOUNG. Not even British hero and early contender for young enterpriser of the year candidate, Alfie Patten, would look out of place here. However, what’s more striking is the volume of ideas showcased in WU LF WU LF's drone-art-rock. There are definite hints of HEALTH, albeit without the same frenzy and intensity, on standout tracks 'Diamond Voices' and “new song”. The closing and largely useless (in a sonic sense) hysterics at the end of their set will make the more haughty members of the audience tut, but you can't deny that these kids have got potential. Keep at least one eye on them in 2009.

WU LF WU LF - 'Diamond voices'

I’d always hoped that the sound of the jungle-like percussion at the start of ‘The Bears Are Coming’ was made from Nicky Campbell’s hollowed out head being plonked by some poor sod who was forced to watch one too many editions of Watchdog and just completely lost it in an entirely justified but brutally violent broadcaster-mutilating frenzy. But no. Turns out it's actually just some hanging bamboo. That was about as revealing as it got on Saturday night at Late Of The Pier’s gig at Academy 2.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t impressed, but the band did little more than blast through their ten best tracks. But I guess when you’re working with songs from one of last year’s best albums, why try harder? The best tribute you can pay LOTP is that when you’re watching them the memory of that nauseating period of post-Libertines dirge we had to put up with (...The Cazals anyone? Jesus literally wept...) is completely eradicated. Thank Christ then, for LOTP.

Words: SS

Citizens artwork: Dan Szor

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