The Past, The Present and the Future.
Billed as the Bands 40th Anniversary tour, Jaz Coleman and Band, Saunter into Manchester Academy for what is know by the Fans as a Gathering.
There are a couple of support acts on the bill tonight, Firstly Black Waters and then Turbwolf. Two high octane bands before the main event.
First up are Black Waters Indie Punk rock band from Guildford, it was my first introduction to the band and the energy and power brought to the stage was fantastic, all the influences where there, Fidlar, Dead Kennedys, The Clash, John Cooper Clarke, The Ramones, The Velvet Underground, Palma Violets. Blackwaters are one for the future.
The Present was represented in the main support of Turbowolf. Originating in Bristol, are well known on the gig circuit, supporting various bands like Royal Blood, as well as holding their own in their own headline gigs, they always bring an eclectic energy to the stage, and tonight was no different, with a band prepared to lay down hard rock you need a front man who can deliver, in Chris Georgiadis they have the right man, the band have power and are so tight, nice to see a band take the opportunity’s lay before them rather than go through the motions.
To say that tonight’s host are the past is a vast understatement of where the band have been and where they are at. Jaz Coleman is the enigmatic front man, the unmovable presence on the stage, as he enters the darkened stage hand already reaching out to the audience, or as it shall be known as a gathering. Opening with “Unspeakable” and straight into “European Super State”, the sound is loud and the pace is being driven by a band so comfortable in delivery, you could be forgiven for mistaking them as new upstarts trying to impress. Colemans hands pierce the dark stage reaching out to an audience who are already under their spell. “Autonomous Zone” sees the band take on a new dimension, deep dark Grunge layered filthy punk, Geordie Walker on lead guitar, switches from unorthodox rock guitar to Byrds like arpeggios at will. “Requiem” gets a great reception as does “Follow the Leaders” and Loose Cannon”
On bass is Youth also know as Martin Glover, sharp and packing a real punch from track to track, youth covers the stage stopping to jam with the other members.
Paul Ferguson is the driving force on drums It’s an astonishing display of drums tonight from the back line of Killing Joke. For a man into his 60’s he smashes his way through a 90minute set with power and finesse. A combination of funk laden grooves and relentless kick drum, a masterclass in rhythmic timing.
As Jaz Coleman conducts everything on the stage from the band to the audience, in a manner that possibly is unique to him, with his Black Boiler suit and Black collar length Hair and trademark white face and blackened eyes, he is the communicator, the one who has a vocal prowess, like a lion on the prowl.
All to soon it is the end, “War Dance” and “Pandemonium” end a set for the purest of fans.
This was a dark and bewitching performance from a band who as relevant and time enduring as they where in the early days. Long may they still hold the Gatherings.