By Sam Bennett
It’s only right that we treat Friday, February the 11th thoroughly and thus I must tell you that prior to the Mannequins gig, I had a smashing curry at Ruchi in glossop. Certainly if I were a food critic, that would get a cracking review.
Anyway, on with the business at hand. The Mannequins and their first gig. What were we going to see? (carrying on the food theme..) Would we be served up a range of delights which tickle the taste buds and leave you gaggin’ for more? Or would it go down badly, rip through us and leave us with a bad feeling in our stomachs? (End of food analogy.) Nobody knew which end of the spectrum it would be at…
Well earlier indicators were bad. Firstly, Andrew Bingham MP turned up in Glossop and the police though ‘Shit, we better do something’ thus half of the audience were turfed out for being under eighteen. Typical, the one day most of us wanted the pub to be a creche as it usually is, they did something to stop it! I imagine, that the Big Society David Cameron is proposing doesn’t include rallying around in the pub but surely it should!
Secondly, was the place. £3 a pint nearly blinded me, and certainly didn’t put this reviewer in a good mood. And then after that, was the waiting around. Forever. In a room. Hotter than hell during a heatwave, after satan has had a particularly bad curry….
Forgetting that though, there were many positives. An expectant crowd full of friends and family and Guy Gorman running the door efficiently with grace and charm being the two main positives pre gig. Indeed, the crowd were enthusiatic, very enthusiastic. Jame Eyre, lead singer had his own group of devotees wearing sexy t shirts spelling out ‘EYREY’. Even the Beatles were not considered good enough for people to make t shirts…Honest.
The support came from two local boys Luke Tipple and Rob Smith.
Mr. Luke was on first and did a splendid job, singing some thoroughly acceptable songs and also muttering what appeared to be ‘I’m going to be singing mainly songs…’ An approach that is tried and tested, and worked quite well for him. His only issue was the fact it was so warm, most of the crowd were in a coma, waiting for the Mannequins then the end and the promise of fresh air.
Rob Smith, was also good. Using his kind face and some lovely covers he was entertaining and was a good lead on into the main act. Again the heat did him no favours, Glossop crowds love a sing a long, but everyones vocal chords had melted so he mainly sang alone.
The main event. After 4 hours in the chamber of deathily heat, the crowd got what they wanted. The Mannequins. Expertly introduced by friend of the band Matthew Kells, they were now on stage.
Bucky looked scared, tears looked the next step. Eyrey looked at home. The other two looked normal.
Overall, their performance was solid. In terms of playing the crowd young singer James ‘EYREY’ Eyre did well, cheeky banter and dedications went well and his confidence grew. Though it would be interesting to see him handle a crowd that wasn’t full of people he knew…Shouting ‘Hiya Nan!’ works less well when your nan is actually at home watching Casualty.
Musically, they were good. Bearing in mind this was a first gig, theyshowed impressive ability both musically and in holding the crowds attention to the music that they had never heard before!
Highlights for me were, Gestures which coming in the middle of the set got the crowd having a nice bounce along and kept people watching the band rather than say going to the bar.
Exclusion sang by Mr. Conor Keem was for me the best song. Slow and steady, it was strong and came across well. Not as ‘WOO’ as the other songs, it was nice and calm and got rapt attention from the crowd.
G and T is another song that went okay on the night. However, its subject matter is something that the crowd would relate to (It’s about girlies and fancying them) and after a few gigs, would probably have a few sing a longs going on.
It has to be said however that sometimes the audience interaction was a bit of a bad move. For instance announcing ‘Ashes on the floor’ with ‘Mauny(Friend of the band/loud person) would pay money for this’ suggests people are going to love this more than any other songs. They went to the bar instead.
Despite that, this was a very strong start. All the band by the end were confident and the music never wavered. The songs aren’t bad, in fact they are good. Given time and nuturing this band will be playing bigger venues than this, I would reckon.
Indeed, they may have to, on this stage they had to actually be Mannequins, no one could f**king move.
I liked it and the crowd in general liked it. They are on to something here…
Also…As I returned to Uni, I saw Mr. Eyre who said ‘Are we something special?’
Given time, they may well be.