You know those free CDs you get with music magazines? Well as I am constantly reminded, they are not 'free' because you have had to pay for the magazine. There's no such thing as a free CD or a free lunch.
But somehow I ended up with free tickets for The Young Knives which was not a bad thing. I've missed them on previous visits to Manchester and was keen to see them live. Slightly worried that thus far I hadn't enjoyed the latest album as much as the previous one - they seemed to have abandoned the earlier wit and invention and concentrated on a catchy riff and a shouty chorus over and over again. Which wears after a bit.
But live? What more do you want - catchy riffs and shouty choruses?! So free of the polished but flat production of Superabundance, songs like Terra Firma, Up All Night and Light Switch had the 'mixed' (age/dress sense/sobriety) crowd shouting along enthusiastically.
In person they are a mix of self-deprecating but cocky, they have terrible dress sense (“he’s wearing slacks!” said Ms L with horror) but an air of confident coolness. And live the songs are excellent, played with conviction and punch. Not bad for a free ticket.
Fit 4 U
I Can Hardly See Them
Up All Night
Weekends and Bleak Days
The Current of the River
She's Attracted To
Support was not announced in advance. First up was Mon Ouisch (me neither) who were a four piece who played The Undertones song book with aggressive shouting over the top. Sounded pretty good if a little blunt until the song with the chorus “Hey you fucking fashionistas, you’re all fucking cunts” (honestly) when the bluntness outweighed anything else. Back to the drawing board…
And second support was Pete and the Pirates (see here and here). Much as I enjoy them live I still am looking forward to a set from them breaks 40 minutes (what would an hour be like?!). They played all the singles from the album (finishing with C’Mon Feet) plus some new songs: one about a cat, another a nautical tune. Excellent stuff – although playing to a small’ish crowd.
FIT 4 U
I CAN HARDLY SEE THEM
The Young Knives