Had a cheeky night out in Manchester last Saturday. Cheeky because I should really be devoting my energy to packing, and because at my age I should know better.
First stop was the Lass o Gowie by the canal just off UMIST campus, for a pint or two of real ale and a nice pub lunch tea. Nice Andy was impressed with food and beer but agreed with me that the pub is a bit like sitting in a Victorian museum. Still my favourite pub in Manchester thus far.
Then we went over to the venue and upon seeing the huge que ducked inside the Kroo bar across the road for a pint. Verdict. Beer nice n smooth, bar too hot. The search for a decent pub/bar near the Academy continues.
Excitement getting the better of us, we went across the road to the Academy and had a pint of Guiness in the bar and people watched, as a an array of tattooed, not tattooed, 20-30 somethings paraded past.
Clutch were on first and were the ultimate warm up band. This is the second time I’ve seen them, the first was supporting Raging Speedhorn (?), and I really want to see them headlining. There were moments were they rocked out, but other wise they just plodded along. Still bloody good, just could do better.
Corrosion of Conformity were awesome. The politely chatted between tracks, in almost English accents, and played full on. They did a good mix of old and new material, Infinite War, Fuel and Vote with a Bullet (a might track indeed) got me happy slamming in a very active pit. Rise River Rise off the last album was played with a passion that was searing. Not surprising since they come from New Orleans, although the song was written by the singer wondering what would happen if the levy broke before Hurricane Katrina. In fact it was played with such passion that Pepper Keenan (lead singer) blew his amp. 15 minutes of perfectionist nob twiddling with the replacement Marshall Amp head (which he wasn’t happy about being a Mesa Boogie man), and then they picked up where they left off. No encores, because the Academy has a strict finish time that I suspect they went over, but the best gig I’ve been to in years. Hopefully they won’t take another nine years to come again.
Hobbled outside, bruised and battered from the pit, and headed down Oxford road to Rock Kitchen at Manchester Metropolitan Students Union. All I can say at this point is usually when I get really drunk I remember the my stupid antics the next day. This time it was other people’s. The whole effect was like going back in time 10 years, to a rock/metal school disco. Incidents that stick in my mind. The Kevin who took three attempts to communicate to me at the three deep bar “comon just let me slip in” and went off in a huff when I said no. The young chap who was being harrased by an older chap because he was talking to his blonde female friend and older chap wanted him out of the way. Now young chap comes over to me and reports older chap’s “dick head behaviour” to me, and I shrug saying “isn’t security around?”. Of course only later did I twig that he probably thought I was security. Doh! Then what’s with hair and younger rock fans these days. In massive evidence was the Hitler Haircut (as Nice Andy labels the emo fringe) but there was a couple of what I can only describe a coifiteured cockatoos amongst the female turn out. Layered highlighted multicoloured messes that only Toni & Guy could have produced for a hundreds of pounds. Like Nice Andy pointed out, it was like the return of glam in the most horrible way.
Had a chill out pint at the Kroo Bar 2 and then headed to Piccadilly train station only to find all the trains had been cancelled. Fortunately there was an alternative train across town at Victoria station, so a nice but very cold walk down hill through the shopping area and then hopped on a very warm train back to Leeds.