MANI (DJ Set) Warrington WA1 Club (off Sankey Street ) 04/06/04
There was a slightly uncomfortable atmosphere during their set, as both band and audience chatted amongst themselves between songs like mischievous school kids. The most memorable part of the set was the looks of bemusement as the ample framed Adam Warm would occasionally attempt to wrap himself around the mic stand with the enthusiasm of a Mexican pole dancer with a 50 quid note stuffed into her G-string.
The crowd swelled like Justin Hawkin's ego with the hint of success as six boozed up and boisterous Warringtonians crammed onto a small stage, ripping into the raw, raucous, yet soothing Pixies meets AC/DC with a coating of Black Fag number; Live fast/die young'. However, the front of room was like being in Selby, as everyone thought that the pit was closed. There was a gaping hole between the stage and the crowd, as piercingly promising numbers such as Fever' and Saturday Night' evoked little more than a few exuberant drunken bellows and jives from a few select members of the crowd, whereby the majority of the approximately one hundred and seventy gathered remained as still as a wall. This was until Iggy Pop cover I Wanna Be Your Dog' allowed the crowd to get involved in a neat sing-along. Front man Robert Gough's haughty Gallagher style stage presence is intriguing, but he does not connect with the crowd, even when he joined them for the final track Ramblin' and the set just stuttered to an end as the remaining members stared at each other or the floor. The set was musically impressive, but as the band now has a monthly residency at the WA1 they need to get the crowd involved. The mercurial Mike Bee who is guitarist and lynchpin of the band needs to take the control and as a BT salesman would say; Get Connected. This is all that is stopping The Bridge becoming the UK 's answer to JET.
Former members of giant bands becoming DJs are like ex top class footballers becoming managers; it does not guarantee success. Mani had crept into his cubby hole in the corner of the room and it was two songs before anyone had noticed. He produced a variety of garage beats, funked and jazzed up tunes and a mix of old favourites giving The Rolling Stones Get Your Rocks Off' and I'm Free' an airing and kept the interest going. However, after an hour the dance floor was emptying and more people were downstairs, as upfront indie anthems were being doled out like free condoms in Freshers Week.
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