The Young Offenders Institute - Dry Bar Manchester - 16.7.05

Tonight nearly didn't happen. A few hours before the show the Young Offenders Institute had been smoking weed in Piccadilly Gardens and the bassist got his hand trampled. A ruck ensued and there was talk of the gig being cancelled. A few spliffs later  the band arrive at Dry Bar, the venue that legend says Shaun Ryder walked into with a pistol and started firing randomly at the ceiling.

If previous gigs have been stand offs between sensitive indie boys and the friends and family of YOI's then this seems like a homecoming. Scally Mancs are out in force tonight, the place is rammed and drugs are being consumed with the fevered passion of kids in a pick and mix.

The songs by now are already Mancunian classics. "We're The Young Offenders", "Acid Man" and "Let Me Out" have already been released on Anthony Wilson's F4 Records and there's every sign that these guys are going to follow the career projectory of the Mondays rather than the Space Monkeys. The best tracks though are the ones yet to be released, "Havin A Party", "Baby Cocaine" and "Jiggy Giro". Classic rock n roll songs which grab you from the outset and don't let go. Sure, it's nothing innovative but it's done with such pure honesty about their way of life that you can't help but be enthralled by it.

Like Oasis and the Mondays who came along at the right time, The Young Offenders appeal to a group of people disenfranchised by the current music scene. The type of people who wouldn't listen to Franz Ferdinand because they're too arty or The Bravery cos they're metrosexual tarts and quite rightly see that Kaiser Chiefs are shite. The Young Offenders Institute are a true band of the people!!!

Alex McCann
Photo's by Karen McBride -

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Check out Designer Magazine's previous reviews of The Young Offenders Insitute
Bierkeller - Feb
Blowout - March