Sunday, 6 July 2008

The Music @ Manchester Academy. July 1st.

Review by Chloe West

Having waited nearly three years to see The Music perform again, expectations were running high. Dropped by their label following second album 'Welcome to the North', the four lads from Leeds have come back from the brink of addiction and depression to claim the crown they were tipped to have back in 2002, but never grasped.

Starter ‘Take The Long Road And Walk It’ literally sends shivers down the spine; the jagged guitar of Adam Nutter echoing across the Academy. Second number ‘The Spike’ is a fine example of how their new material has the potential to achieve the same success as the opener. On latest album ‘Strength In Numbers’, the band worked with Orbital’s Paul Hartnall, but rather than succumbing to the same category as ‘indie-ravers’ The Klaxons and such like, The Music stick with what they know best; the original dance/rock hybrid, without an inch of neon in sight.

‘Freedom Fighters’ delivers the feisty beats they’re renowned for; while ‘Fire’ is the rawest track off the new album. ‘Drugs’ takes a different direction, beginning almost with elements of Blondie's ‘Heart Of Glass’. Rob Harvey sings at a near whisper before erupting to his full vocal range. The capability of his voice is undeniable. Slowing down proceedings for ‘Human’, recent single ‘Strength In Numbers’ brings the pace back to a new height. It is certainly a song which never loses its energy, a comparison to Harvey who seems to dance on every inch of the stage, yet still seemingly older than his 25 years. ‘Everybody get down to the beat’, he calls during ‘The Truth Is No Words’ and indeed they do. It would be hard to suppress any movement to the rhythm and riffs being belted out. More new material is seen in the form of ‘Get Through It’, ‘No Weapon Sharper Than Will’ and ‘Idle’, to which bassist Stuart Coleman changes tack to play on synth. The anthemic ‘Getaway’ starts to bring the set to a close, before ending with ‘Bleed From Within’. At one point all four members are interestingly seen on percussion before taking back their usual roles for the climatic end.

After four years absence and a severe haircut on Rob’s behalf, The Music have turned around their differences to produce an epic third album and a tight, well performed live set. Lets hope this time round they achieve the recognition they deserve.

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