Peaches with support from The KBC and Humanzi
Manchester Academy 2,
A sparse gathering huddle closer and closer towards the front while the thick guitar beats of indie/dance trio, Preston's The KBC are driven by the robust percussion of Michael Brown. With the composure and rhythm of Donald Johnson (A Certain Ratio), Brown is one of the most complete drummers of this ilk. The potential anthem of 'Pride Before The Fall', allows vocalist James Mulholland to let loose with a heart laden 70s rock chorus, whilst also providing the snappy guitar thrust. Tonight, The KBC are demonstrating an ability to cruise into the funky haven occupied by the likes of Radio 4 and The Rapture. Fat bass led stomping and a weighty vocal range follows the accomplished percussion like a teenager with a crush. A groove riding opening slot is completed with grace and some welcomed, but not overbearing musical strut.
A bolstering drum solo allows the menacing Irish gang, Humanzi to unleash their AC/DC and Primal Scream merging bolts of freewheeling, guitar led rock jams. The topics of insomnia and politics obviously influence their mindset. Early on the bite of '6 Gun' proves to be a fiery incendiary of caustic vocals and grinding guitars in a live setting. This soon shakes into focus the wandering attention of a crowd here to see a spectacle really, given the main act's reputation. The heart of singer/guitarist Shaun Mulrooney, coupled with the focused vice-like bass grip applied by Gary Lonergan, endears the gnarly and likeable act to the numerically expanding crowd. 'Fix The Cracks' parades true R N' R grit and rhythm to become the most infectious combination of proceedings. With the dark horse debut album, 'Tremors' and several successful mid-range support slots under their belt, it is now surely time for Humanzi to take centre stage. When they do; bring your own bottle because it will be a party of Charlotte Church proportions.
With sound choreography that Torvill & Dean would have sold their tightest outfits for, the provocative poseur Peaches and her time-warp clad, full backing band enters the fray. The crowd is stirred up by the background boom of Petula Clark's strolling classic 'Down Town', setting the excitement bubbling. Unfortunately, this is where the uplifting and well put together music has a break. The master of the single entendre lacks thrust early on and mono dimensional synths pollute 'Hit It Hard', from the raunchily rampaging recent album of 'Impeach My Bush'. Tonight the song lacks any really power or belief in the performance. The set is in grave danger of merging into a shameful faux disco/punk farce. Peaches is close to joining Har Mar Superstar on the list to give to the local hypnotist to erase from the memory for ever.
Just when you are seriously contemplating the surreptitious shuffle towards the exit, the drum beats step up and the synths are suddenly awoken, joining Peaches' provocative vocals that pick up in passion and strength. 'Two Guys' epitomises this renewed vigour all-round, as the crowd who previously ignored pleas to liven up are suddenly switched on. A giant inflated penis is thrown around the venue and the most brazen number 'Shake Yer Dix', sets inhibitions free. Peaches is reluctantly dragged back to the stage for an encore that includes her very own rags to kinky underwear story. A moment is taken to rejoice in the fact that she now has a full band behind her. 'IU She' gives the encore a provocative pinch and ensures a continuation of the set resurrection. Like it or loath it, there is no denying Peaches sheer enthusiasm and belief in what she does that carries her away from the cabaret category.