Selfish C**t @ Club NME - Manchester Bierkeller -28.3.05

So Martin & his band march back into Manchester, this time as headliners for the debutant CLUB NME night. We are still a bit bloated from the Easter excesses, so tonight's it's a sit down type of affair, despite Martin exhortations.

Wandering the venue prior to taking the stage with his hoodie wrapped loosely around his face, he appears as a burglar casing up a joint, looking for access points, potential weakness', only this time he might be selecting which audience member will be a part of his 1 to 1 interviewing technique

He will roll around on the stage, on the floor; he will stride purposely across the tables, taking his raw, uncompromising music to the audience, by means of tables, and an extremely long mic lead.

Tomlinson wants to be in your face and he literally manages that.  In Manchester though we are a peculiar lot and hype is not necessarily something we swallow easily.   So the response is muted save for the two, seemingly deranged followers who do encroach onto the empty dance floor and perform their own version of "Dance Fever" albeit to a soundtrack that appears to be playing in their head only.

Effort and commitment is backed by solid baselines and punkish intensity, but it's Tomlinson who is the defining element of the band.

Body adorned with "?" marks it's unclear whether Tomlinson alluding to an enigma wrapped up in a riddle.  Yet with a name that's likely to deter more potential listeners than attract them, and after all,  the Sex Pistols did it with more flair, what's the point?

Words & Photos: Ged Camera -

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