Manchester Apollo Theatre,
Remember a few years back when critics leaped upon their high horses about bands being too derivative these days and, that music is being robbed of dynamism and creativity? It makes you wonder how bands are supposed to respond to this condemnation. For many, JET had the biggest question to answer, as their harshest critics accused them of strutting in old men’s shoes (The Rolling Stones).The antipodeans continue to stick two fingers up at these critics. Swaggering into the balls in the air, Rolling Stones canvass splattered with dots of Led Zeppelin and Free that is ‘Come on, Come On’, taken from last year’s ‘Shine On’ album, as well as the older, slightly rawer ‘Get What You Need’. These two songs roll into each other so well and it wakes up a Sunday night crowd, suddenly the venue gets hotter. Front man, Nic Cester builds up the interest and pace with his 70s style stage swaggering, involving numerous trips to the top of a speaker. This is far from arrogant posturing, merely an extension of the exuberance that is built up through the powerful opening volley drawn from their heavier, back to basic rock material.
Matters slow down slightly mid-set and a funkier direction is being steered into via ‘Skin And Bones’, as the enthusiastic, cross demographic crowd relishes the chance to take stock of it all. The momentum continues to slow for the piano laden, ‘Look What You’ve Done’ that surely helped 2003’s debut album ‘Get Born’, broaden its appeal. It set them en route to lofty heights, such as tonight’s sound facilitating theatre setting. Also, this number ups in the poignancy stakes live and it is as far from The Rolling Stones as Jade Goody is from public redemption. The crowd cajoling, stadium rock antics are prevalent throughout, but they do not get near sanctimonious point, unlike other acts like The Darkness who have graced this venue. The lofty shriek out of ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ has the seated area up on its feat and the party spirit reaches its peak. An encore of contrast says to critics, you want broadness? Put this in your pipe and smoke it, as wistful ballad ‘Shine On’, is followed by the frivolous jamming spiked ‘Rollover DJ’. Cester’s vocals go from shiny polished to gruff and ready in the time it takes to say:
“Does it really matter if a band is proudly derivative? Everything has to come from somewhere, doesn’t it?”
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