A1(M) Music From The North, Band On The Wall, Manchester.

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A new Northern story was unveiled tonight as The Nouvelles, the superb Backhanders, Northern poet J.B. Barrington and the brilliant Moods, played to an audience of all ages at the superb B.O.T.W. venue.

To be fair , when I first heard about this, I was very keen to go along. I ‘m not sure why, but every now and again I get a good feeling about a gig, and this one had my name written all over it. Paul Travis, head honcho and talent guru for A1(M) Records, was also very keen for me to attend. I like Paul. He’s a great guy and has great knowledge of the Northern music scene. So how could I refuse.

It’s an early start tonight, as there’s a lot to get through. Tonight’s compare is Wendy Smithy from North Manchester F.M., who takes us through the running order.

The Nouvelles are up first. And what a start to the evening. These guys are well rehearsed and as tight as  a well fitted glove. The first thing I notice are the great bass lines that hit my ears from rhythm maestro Rob Regan, who works well with  drummer Steve Atkinson. Guitar is provided by the very talented Tom Kinton, whilst the unmistakable vocals are provided by Johnny Jacko Jackson.

They have strong tunes and give a great performance. Check out “Here She Comes”. It’s a great atmospheric tune and a sign of great things to follow.

Next up we have a band that by all rights should not be here tonight. The Backhanders are managed by Karl Power, owner of Marley Studios in Ancoats, Manchester. Karl explained that the present line up had only been together for six weeks as the original bass player moved to Spain, the guitarist couldn’t make the rehearsals and the drummer was moving house and couldn’t commit.

It was only through the sheer determination of Karl and singer Steven  Chadwick, (chaddy) , and the ‘show must go on’ attitude, that they where able to find replacements. That came in the form of Kester Lucklock (guitar vocals), Lewis Donnelly (bass), and stand in drummer Dave Smith. Oh and Dave had only been rehearsing for around 3 weeks. With that in mind the band took the stage.

I must say that they sounded absolutely brilliant. The band played together so well that I would have said they where a couple of years into their career. I heard hints of Artic Monkeys and Stereophonics. However these guys have their own style stamped on their songs.

I recommend you see The Backhanders soon. Check out up and coming gigs on their facebook feed.

Up next we have the Salford poet JB Barrington, who breaks the evening up with his sharp wit and straight to the point poems. “Sunglasses” is a perfect example of how he can express what’s on everyone’s mind. Great stuff. check out JB’s material on youtube.

And so on to the headline act. I caught The Moods at Gorilla a few months back Now these guys are something else. They are tagged on FB with descriptions such as Alternative, Electronic, Dance, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, Reggae and Dubstep.

With more members than I have fingers, I feel like I’ve been transported back to a basement club, somewhere in the USA, during the late 80’s/early 90’s. The vocal talent within this group is amazing. As musicians they are outstanding. and more to the point the crowd are going wild. What a perfect end to a fantastic night. The whole night was filmed and there might even be a live recording available soon.

It’s a very long time since I’ve been to a night that showcases so much talent in one room. Manchester so much to offer music wise right now. Paul and A1(M) are leading the way forward in promoting our new rising stars. It’s a tough job, but he can handle it.

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