Gig Review: Polytechnic & Cherry Ghost, Manchester Academy 3, February 24, 2007

This should have been up days ago, but I’ve been suffering from a nasty ear infection and have not been in the mood for reviewing, so apologies. It also means it probably will not be the most coherent review ever. Coming from me that may be trouble, but I’ll do my best.

We really like Polytechnic around Indie Cred HQ and were intrigued by Cherry Ghost’s performance on Jools Holland a few months ago, so needless to say we were pleased to see these two upcoming local acts co-headlining a show together. After our rather crazy two weeks of gigs, however, we did not have the energy to get there early enough for the first band. When we did get down to the Uni, the gig was sold out and I ended up queuing at the bar through the first two songs. That’s fifteen minutes in the queue to get two drinks. It would have been faster but for the notoriously slow and useless Student Union barstaff and the rudest group of punters ever. Now normally, blokes let me in front of them at the bar if they can tell I’ve been waiting ages. This time, I had a bloke twice my size elbow me out of his way, apologise and then order, delaying my getting served by a good five minutes because he was ordering drinks for about 30 people by the looks of it. I had another rubbing up against me from behind. It was not so crowded that he needed to do that, especially after he had space to move to the bar next to me and he stayed put. Then a nice girl in a very ridiculous anorak first put her elbow into Ledge’s pint, nearly spilling it across me. When I said “Careful!” to alert her to stop backing up into the pint and me, she called me a rude name and told me to chill out. Needless to say, by the time I got back to The Ledge with his pint I was rather irritated. People really should be more aware of other people, especially in a crowd.

As for Cherry Ghost, I think The Ledge was more impressed than I, although I did not dislike them. The first couple of songs were quite catchy, folky pop. At times they reminded me a great deal of the better moments of Starsailor. At times they just sounded very MOR and uninspired. It’s early days for them though so hopefully a good producer will help them bring out the more interesting ideas in their songs. More I couldn’t tell you because it’s been over a week and I was not familiar with their canon at all. It did not help that all I could see were the backs of the blokes in front of me in the crowd.

Clearly Cherry Ghost have some buzz around them, possibly off the back of that same television appearance we saw, as a large part of the crowd disappeared when the left the stage. It made queuing at the bar a lot easier the second time. It also meant we were able to move down to the front for Polytechnic, where I could actually see. The Ledge pointed out, as he could read the setlist, that “Caring Is Creepy” was the last song. The idea of Polytechnic covering The Shins actually gives me goosebumps. It’s a brilliant prospect. Sadly, it didn’t happen. But, the songs they did play were great, as usual. They’ve certainly plowed their own Mancunian furrow, and the combination of Manchester rhythms and keyboard sounds and those gleeful American indie-style guitars, make me want to sing along and dance every time. They jog through their set like it’s a party and the likes of older single “Pep” and new single “Cold-Hearted Business” do not offer a great deal of variety, but they provide wonderfully catchy, singalong tunes. The album is out in April and hopefully it will make this band a household name across the country.

Polytechnic – Man Overboard

One Response to “Gig Review: Polytechnic & Cherry Ghost, Manchester Academy 3, February 24, 2007”

Leave a Reply