By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester Correspondent
Venue: Manchester Live Rooms-JORDAN ALLEN and Indigo Sky, Stu Whiston, Aerial Salad
Rock At Night has been buzzing to see Jordan Allen for quite a while now, so driving down from North Wales to Manchester Live Rooms I was getting more and more amped for the show.
Arriving with plenty of time to spare it gave me chance to check out one of Manchester’s newest venues and I liked it a lot. There is always something kind of of cool about walking downstairs to basement venues (just like The Cavern)–low ceilings.. nice size bar. I am not sure what the capacity was, but my understanding was there were over 200 tickets sold for tonight’s gig and there was still room to spare. The sound was great, the sound guy had a really nice mix going on– and was a top bloke to boot– my only small criticism would be the stage lighting had lots and lots of LED lights at the back and on the ceiling (which was cool) but a bit of stage lighting would take it up a notch.
Anyway on to the reason I was here– the bands. The first band up was Aerial Salad a young three piece from Manchester. I have to be honest here and say I am not sure of the names of the songs, but it was fast punk-pop from start to finish in the vein of early Green Day and Blink 182. I think you get the picture. They were tight and the sound was nice and full for a three piece, but all a bit derivative. But like I mentioned, they are young and from what I heard tonight I would be very interested in seeing them in the future when they are wearing the influences a lot less on the sleeves and carrying them more in there hearts.
Next up was Stu Whiston with band in tow. This was an interesting one for me–the band looked great, the band were really tight and musically very good. But it was the songs and even though I did quite like them, I felt that for the most part the songs weren’t quite there. They seemed to be lacking a definable chorus, the hooks that lifts the songs, and all that kept popping into my head was harmonies and second vocals to lift the chorus and songs to another level. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t go and see this band again as I would I think there is something there but doesn’t feel quite there yet.
Indigo Sky was next. These four lads are from the North West, was a band I really did like and vocally he was very Brian Molk-ish from Placebo. Musically, however, it was bits of the Cure, a sprinkling of Brit pop, or Alternative indie Rock with a little Muse. One thing that stood out for me (odd as it may seem at a live show) was the intelligent and well thought out lyrics. This band is tight, great to watch, tip-top harmonies and well-crafted songs-definitely a band to keep and eye on. I think they are going to be on the up and very soon we might just all know who they are. Nice work!
Up next, THE main event! The room was full by now and here was the man and band they had come to see. On the very rare occasion you feel you may have been present at the start of something very special it felt like that tonight with Jordon Allen.
Walking on to the stage to whistles and applause he launched into a punk poem in the a style the can only compared to legendary Manchester Punk Poet John Cooper Clarke and then launched straight into the brilliant “Remembered”. I do love this track- great lyrics with a punchy, catchy chorus that any indie pop band from anywhere in the world would be proud off. Why I haven’t heard this on National Radio is beyond me, compared to the drivel I hear every time I turn the radio on. I am not going to talk about each track individually as this review would be a small novelette and even though that would be nice for me to write not sure you would feel the same reading it or have the time to, just to say my fave songs on the night were “Remembered”, “Set In Stone” (with a bass riff The Last Shadow Puppets would have been proud of) and the soon to be released “Helter Skelter”.
If you get the time you need to see Jordan Allen, while the venues are small and intimate and you don’t have to a pay 40 odd pounds to watch him in a big venue or even more to watch him at a festival. His music is as sharp as his coat–catchy, punchy, soaring chorus, spot on harmonies and an energy that only seems to come with youth. Do yourself a favour, make the effort and you can say I was there when no one knew who he was. On one final note sometimes rooms like this are full of family and friends who are there to lend support and clap politely in all the right places– that was not the case tonight the people were here to see Jordon Allen. They shouted, danced and seemed to know the words to most of the songs and sang along with gay abandon. Well done! Top Bloke, Top Band, Top Night, GAME SET and MATCH JORDAN ALLEN!
Members: Jordan Allen, Danny Quin, Nathan Howard, Kieran Loughran; Genre: Indie/Rock; Home Town: Bolton
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