NME New Music Tour; The Rumblestrips, The Little Ones, Pull Tiger Tail and Blood Red Shoes
Club Academy Manchester 24.5.07

On the brink of their first single release for their mammoth new label V2 records. The boy/gal pairing of Brighton based Blood Red Shoes, seek to show that their Sonic Youth based, Hole and Blondie decorated, uncompromising volume tempering approach has not been watered-down due Major Label expectation and the needed justification of this backing. The robust, almost combat styled, beat leading percussion of Steven Ansell, hits overdrive in ‘Stitch Me Back’, giving their uncompromising, rustic projection extra impact.

Guitarist and front end of the driving, heaviest band on the bill, Laura-Mary Carter cuts a charming and unassuming presence and, the in and out vocal back and forth betwixt the duo, shows what The Kills might attain if they chilled out a little. A spacey launch through forthcoming single ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’, breaths freshness into the opening slot and gives a small amount of credibility to the luminous spectacled character, who has been trying to rave his way through the set. His enthusiasm takes him onto the stage, much to the quiet amusement of Laura-Mary. A pleasing and focused performance coupled with that major label backing, implies that Blood Red Shoes could strikingly stain the new indie market with their heavier stomp.

It’s that angular, melody drive that introduces Pull Tiger Tail and eyes light up, are we about to witness the new Kaiser Chiefs and even Cast (just when many are trying to repress memories of the old ones)? There is certainly a John Power thrust to the vocals of Marcus Ardere.  However, as the tiger masks are doled out, the sound gets stretched further and is slotted into a melodic straight jacket, ‘Hurricane’ sets off an Editors reverb and hands go aloft like they’ve just asked for volunteers to clean Pete Doherty’s feet. ‘The Ukrainian Dancing Song’, gives a colourful romp to proceedings and it is a direction that will inevitably be built upon and will certainly help their festival appeal, as that season approaches.

In true punk fashion, The Little Ones open up with a protest about the heavy handed treatment of their friend Laura-Mary from Blood Red Shoes at the hands of security, but they decide to play anyway, how noble of them. The sun-drenched Californian sound kicks off and immediately captures the carefree depth of The Magic Numbers and The Go! Team. Constant smiles decorate each member of this quintet, as they effortlessly plough through their repertoire of uplifting, melodic frolics. A jungle boom broadens out the sound and impact and has the dance-floor in fits of gaiety. That jungle kick is emboldened by a drum N’ bass push to lift proceedings up in the rhythm stakes for ‘There’s A Pot A Brewin’. Happy pills and rhythm drills are all part of The Little Ones rehearsal techniques, it seems.

It’s that old ska/psychobililly touch, to be able to split a room from front to back. The Charles Waller led, trumpet and sax utilising troupe of four musical renegades, The Rumblestrips, inspires some baggy trouser styled frivolity towards the front, yet blank looks as though they’re watching an Anne Robinson striptease show is worn by dwellers further back. Naturally, the bouncy ‘Hate Me You Do’, is a defiant, thrusting and in cases, fitting opener. It’s that moment that every showcase gig needs, an anthem that even those who have never heard before, still find it familiar. ‘Alarm Clock’ has a beast of a horn thrust and an everyday life grappling chorus, creating an infectious blanket of noise. Waller’s deep, soul searching cry draws out gritty life and brings down barriers. This is immediately followed by a soul quaking new foray, showing up an adventurous streak and a possible trend defying touch to future material. A Slow rumbling intro signals ‘Motorcycle’, it is churned out with yearning heart and provides more escapism than Harry Potter. The Rumblestrips do enough to justify their headline slot and despite looking like extras from ‘Delinquents’, they ensured a fiery, but friendly finale.

David Adair

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