10 Acre - Life Cafe Manchester - 29.7.05

A few years ago 10 Acre looked as if they were going to be Manchester's next big breakthrough band. All the signs were there, a support slot with Mansun at Academy 1 gained them a legion of fans, Johnny Marr declared them "the best unsigned band in Manchester" live on national Radio 1 and record companies were knocking on their door. And then nothing. But like the Cardinals who signed to B-Unique Records last year and Barfly who have interest from Alan McGee's Poptones label it looks as if 10 Acre could follow that recent tradition of Manchester band's whose persistence has finally paid off. Whereas Hanky Park have been singing for United with their Anti-Glazer rhetoric, long-standing 10 Acre have been singing "Boys In Blue" for the true Manchester football team and with a legion of 50,000 fans hearing the track each week at the City Of Manchester Stadium the time hasn't been better for the band to break through.

The 10 Acre we meet now in 2005 are much the same band we met years ago, a little bit older, a little bit wiser, but essentially the same. Whereas they used to deal in elongated musical passages with enough effects pedals to beat Muse in top trumps, it's now a little more restrained. "Gorgeous In Grief" is most reminiscent of the older material with it's Pink Floyd-isms that thankfully with bands like Porcupine Tree around prove there's a fanbase for more musically inventive bands than Snow Patrol and Keane. On "Top Drawer Cheese" it's the sound of System Of A Down covering Led Zep, while "Sacrifice" could quite easily fit in with Manchester bands like The Smiths, Haven and Long-view.

Like all the best bands they make their own scene and playing to a packed out crowd on a Friday night when other bands would struggle to compete with the latest Big Brother eviction proves that there's an audience waiting for a band like 10 Acre. With a few maverick manoeuvres and the right support slot they could truly break through to a much larger audience!!!

Alex McCann

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