Right then, lets get one thing said. If anyone knows how to organise a quality night of live music with the best bands around then its Mr Peeps and he has once again delivered a somewhat perfect night. 3 top notch bands, quality clothing giveaways with the compliments of Merc Clothing, shed loads of beer, champagne spraying and of course some Blackpool Rock. Last night was my first time meeting the illustrious Mr Peeps and it was an absolute pleasure. A true gentleman, I look forward to many more meetings with him.
As far as the bands performing on the night go, it was an unbelievable showcase of what the North has to offer by means of talent. Jordan Allen Band, Velocets and No Hot Ashes are without doubt 3 of the most mind-blowing bands around at the moment and to have all 3 on one unbelievable night of music was a real coup for Mr Peeps and it was an absolute privilege to be a part of.
First up was Jordan Allen Band. Usually a solo artist, Jordan has switched things around and added a full band to back him and it was evident tonight that the brave move has paid off. The lads are a tight unit already. They all look the part, proper dapper, and they seemed to have clicked nicely providing us with a well rounded performance and full sound. The lads as a band and Jordan also giving us a solo performance looked comfortable whipping through their repertoire including the big hitters like ‘Daydreamers Girlfriend’, ‘Rich and Famous’, ‘Remembered’ and ‘Devil Won’t Cry’ but for me it was a couple of new tracks that really shone. ‘Uncharted Youth’ and ‘Space’ are the 2 contenders for their next single and they are very very promising indeed. ‘Uncharted Youth’ sounds like all that was good about early Arctic Monkeys but with Jordan Allen charm and has future hit wrote all over it whilst ‘Space’ also sounds like a future hit and thus confirms that writing sessions between the lads must be going well and should they carry on in the manner they are, with early songs like this, then the world well and truly is their oyster. A cover of Manchester’s prodigal sons The Courteeners ‘What Took You So Long/Tomorrow (James)’ went down an absolute storm and was a nice touch on proceedings. I’m properly excited about Jordan Allen Band, they are set for massive things make no mistake. They have proven that they have an ear for a tune, are a solid unit together, have undeniable stage presence and look the part, it all adds up to a bright, bright future and they were a perfect opener for the night, setting the standard for what was to come. I will no doubt be at future shows from these guys and you should be too, a not to be missed spectacle.
Next up was Velocets. Back with a new drummer (Thom) Velocets seemed to have hit the ground running. It was my first experience of a live Velocets set and I have to admit I was blown away! These guys are very, VERY special. They are a captivating live band full of charisma, wit (on Mr Peeps: “Remember when he was a nobody, just another bald guy in glasses.” Genius) and personality and have the crowd in the palm of their hands. Adam and Elliot have a connection that is somewhat comparable to Doherty/Barat in the early The Libertines days with them often coming face to face whilst smashing out their tracks in true Libertinesesque fashion. They perform with an immense energy and tear through their set like a hurricane. They perform a mixture of their (soon to be) classics like ‘Sophie’ and ‘Naked’ and some new tracks, some unrecorded and its astounding how musically mature the young lads are and how current and fresh the new tracks manage to sound. They will slip perfectly in to the current market. New drummer Thom is tight and on point, he also looks the part, slipping in to the line up seamlessly and compliments the band perfectly looking like hes been drumming with them forever. Velocets have all the hallmarks of being a huge band and I’m on board the Velocets train from here on in. Whenever Velocets are in your town, make sure you’re there, I will be.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s the future, It’s Manchester’s very own No Hot Ashes” Mr Peeps summed it up perfectly when he introduced the band. They ARE the future. From opener ‘Cigs and PG Tips’ to set closer ‘Goose’ (complete with mini moshpit instigated by the lads from Velocets”) No Hot Ashes show just why so many people are waxing lyrical about the band and their funk individuality. Its controlled carnage on stage, in particular on ‘Shoot Me’ which is a frenzied performance, and what I love about this band is that they let the music consume them with their frantic guitar playing and slick dance moves dictated by becoming one with the music. We in the crowd are enthralled, it is truly a sight to behold and it’s impressive that at such a young age a band can be performing like this in what is, unbelievably, their first headline performance. They look as though they are seasoned veterans at this and have been doing it for years. As I mentioned in my preview to the gig, there aren’t many bands I feel as passionate about than No Hot Ashes and after last nights performance I’m sure everyone in attendance now feels the same because it’s clear to see this band are heading for the stratosphere. In a couple of weeks the lads are heading in to the studio to record upcoming single and the B-Side to “Goose” with Gavin Monaghan famous for producing Editors, Robert Plant and Ocean Colour Scene amongst others and this for me is going to be the start of a long and eminent career for these boys. The boys celebrated the success of this gig by spraying the crowd and themselves with champagne, F1 style, and No Hot Ashes better get used to the champagne and the champagne lifestyle because they are a band heading for super stardom with longevity.