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:: Fatshaft :: Gabrielle's Wish :: HedzJellmo :: Drift :: Mentalist :: 'Various Artists' ::
15 July 2002 / The Roadhouse / Manchester
By Tommy Mack

Damn, I missed "Number One Blue Murder" (Mart from Gold Blade and mates) mangling 'Truth', though I arrived at Roadhouse in time to catch "Fred West" (sadly not his real name) doing Billy Bragg versions of 'Thieves Like Us' and 'Warsaw'

I’ve got all Joy Division’s stuff but only a dog-eared tape of the best of New Order, so hopefully I’ll cope without revealing too much of my ignorance tonight…

"Fat Shaft" start with a so-so melancholy versh of 'Run', it doesn’t really do justice to the euphoric misery of the original. However, with a keyboard sound that’s more Commodore 64 than New Order, their amped up electro punk race through 'Touched by the Hand of God' proves to be an early highlight of the evening.

"Gerd and the Volkswagens" knock out rocking versions of 'Procession' and 'Incubation'. They play it straight, but they do get it spot on, especially the Hooky bass.

Puressence’s bassist does a reasonable Ian Curtis on "The Mooch"’s 'Transmission' though kicking a beer bottle across the floor is no real substitute for an epeleptic fit…at least he looks the part. He apologises for his singing, but I think he dropped fewer notes than Ian did on the BBC version…

"Gooberzimmes" employs acoustic guitar and beatbox to pull off a surprisingly excellent one-man Levellers-style 'New Dawn Fades'.

Brother Martin’s second outing of the night, "The Ice Cream Bandits" opt for the full version of 'The Perfect Kiss' (I only know the 7” off Best of…) Again it’s a fairly faithful version, although with twin girl and boy vocals.

Scariest band of the night is easily "Drift". They’re on for what seems like hours, burying 'Isolation' beneath an impenetrable chugging synth drone and creepily whispered vocals. They have a strobe flashing on and off constantly, I’m sick twice and thoroughly shaken by the whole unnerving experience.

"Gabrielle’s Wish" (Beating off some stiff competition to claim worst name of the night) bring some edgy, feedback searing moments into 'Elegia'. But for the most part it’s Icy twinkling starkness rather than the full on assault of Drift.

"Mentalist" stick fairly close to the original on 'True Faith', with the bassist giving it some nice Peter Hook rock star posing…singer is the best Barney impersonator of the night, too…

Biggest departure from the original goes to "HedzJellmo" for their sprawling Mancunian dub take on 'Heart and Soul'. With a sound-system vocal somewhere between Shaun Ryder and Roots Manuva, they manage to make the foreboding centrepiece of 'Closer' sound quite low slung and dirty. Full marks for artistic effort…

"Tribeca" are headlining with 'Dream Attack'. I have to say it doesn’t really work for me, coming over as is quite muddy and confused.

All in all a good night out, but not the powerhouse it could have been. Why didn’t more bands fuck around with the songs more? Why did no one do any of my favourite songs? Why did everyone’s sampler break down? Why do birds suddenly appear?

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