Matchbook Romance, Jackson & The Holiday Plan

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Matchbook Romance, Jackson & The Holiday Plan. Manchester Academy 3 27/01/04.

Matchbook Romance, Jackson & The Holiday Plan. Manchester Academy 3 27/01/04.

Try as they might with their searing post hardcore rock sound that gives the a Funeral For A Friend meets The Lost Prophets feel, tonight’s openers the London based four piece The Holiday Plan, just could not raise a better reaction on the crowd’s faces than the A Christmas Carol style Snow scene that was forming outside. Vocalists Matt Rider & Blue Quinn did their best to keep audience eyes on the stage with their humble between song banter, apologising more times than a love cheat for the technical glitches with blighted and otherwise promising set. The highlight ‘Greenlights’ stopped and started more times than a Tony Blair sentence, but the potential was there to see in the discordant guitars accompanied by high pitched and emotive vocals. The ironic ‘Sunshine’ towards the end was a mellower and more melodious offering hinting at the depth and potential of these lacerating Londoners.

Music - Matchbook Romance, Jackson & The Holiday Plan. Manchester Academy 3 27/01/04.
Music - Matchbook Romance, Jackson & The Holiday Plan. Manchester Academy 3 27/01/04.

With super groups such as Zwan and Audioslave in recent times having formed and played to crowds as big as, or even bigger than the bands from which they were born out of played. It was a slight surprise to discover that Jackson, featuring none other than Chris Shiflett from the Foo Fighters and boasting Pete Parada of Saves The Day as an “honorary lifetime member” were playing a venue the size of Dave Grohl’s guitar cupboard, despite the absence of the latter member tonight. Shiflett was relishing his new found outpost for his creative flair, beckoning the audience to the front because “It is more fun”. Then Jackson ripped into some Foo Fighters meets Saves The Day and a dash of a Hundred Reasons style tracks, such as ‘All The Way’ and the emotive ‘Better Life’. They also found the time to throw in a few Blink 182 ‘Happy Holidays You Bastards’ and ‘Adam’s Song’ style riffs, as Shiflett paid homage to his punk roots.

A humble stroll similar to that of a sailor boarding his vessel signalled the entrance of Matchbook Romance to the stage. A sincere Andrew Jordan was talkative throughout, explaining what the band (formerly The Getaway) stands for; romance. They tackle this topic with sheer emotion and razor sharp guitars at times such as in the catchy ’14 Balloons’ that was utilised early on. The New York quartet are like Dashboard Confessional, without all the patronising pretension that Christopher Ender Caribba chooses to mush up his shows and songs with these days. Matchbook Romance would swing from soothing & tender to frenetic and frantic throughout the evening, no better example being in the middle of the set when back to back tracks ‘Tiger Lilly’ and ‘Playing For Keeps’ really reached the crowd and there was not one eye on the snowfall. In fact, the snow could have been rising up back up to the sky, instead of falling down and no-one would have turn their fixated stare from the stage as the frenetic ‘The Greatest Fall Of All’ got some of the crowd bouncing. Andrew Jordan and Ryan Judas De Paolo continuously apologised for the technical problems and occasional errors that they feel blighted their set. However, it was apparent that the crowd didn’t really mind, as that is part of the appeal because Matchbook Romance are, at the end of the day; human.

David Adair

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