Supergrass – Manchester, 9 June 2010

July 14, 2010

Of the bands that emerged from Britpop Supergrass were the one who were constantly underrated by a media that regularly praised their no more talented peers. Now they’ve decided to call it a day after 17 years and they are playing a four date farewell tour. Tonight’s show in Manchester is the second.

They have, however, had a stroke of genius. As sales of their recordings appear to have fallen,despite an amazing consistency of quality, they have decided to highlight their albums in reverse order. This means that early in their two-hour set, 2002’s Grace begins a run of terrific tunes that demonstrates their ability to deliver classic singles. The sell out crowd goes mad to Moving, Pumping On Your Stereo and Richard III. They finish with songs from 1995’s I Should Coco, including Lenny Alright and Caught By The Fuzz. The one problem with the show is the way in which they leave the stage between albums, which prevents the show building up momentum. But this is a minor quibble given the great performance and superb material.

So, thanks for the memories Gaz, Danny, Mick and Rob. How long will it take for us to realise what we’ve lost?

Raul Malo – Manchester, 23 January 2010

February 18, 2010

It’s the first show of a new year so we celebrate, my GLW and I, by combining it with a night at the Manchester Malmaison and a Sunday lunchtime trip to the Deep Rooted: How Trees Shape our Lives exhibition at The Whitworth Gallery.

For many Raul will forever be the public image of The Mavericks and their massive hit Dance The Night Away, but in reality he’s more than that. Tonight, playing guitar and singing himself, he takes to the stage with Jay Weaver on bass and Jamison Sevit on trumpet. Now this is not the most conventional line-up for a trio but it works! Jay and Jamison provide a sympathetic setting to enable that voice to excel in whatever direction Raul decides to take us. He opens with Lucky One, the title track from his latest album and then proceeds to give us a selection from across his career, covering latin, country and pop.  A real highlight for me was a track from his next album, a version of Rodney Crowell’s ‘Till I Gain Control Again. A great night out with a rare talent.