The juggernaut moves on. Only the second time I've been to Manchester for a gig, the other time was for Human Waste Project as well. But, it has to be said, last time it was the best gig on the tour, and tonight's has put in a strong bid for that award again.
By the time HWP came onstage, the place looked pretty much full, a rarity for a support act, and I'd already been almost hit by the night's first stage diver. Umm, before the bands! Someone explain that to me. Anyway, the cheer that went up when they wandered onstage would've done headliners proud. There is a buzz building about this band. Deservedly. Yeah, it's partly due to the press now getting a hold, but it's also partly down to the band themselves doing something many bands have seemingly forgot. And that's to come to the UK and tour. To prove themselves to people. Hell, this is the second tour and the album ain't even out here yet. How many US bands have done that recently. The last great band that did it consistently like this that I can think of was Faith No More, when they toured the UK about 4 or 5 times in support of The Real Thing. And we all know how immense that album was and how truly great a band FNM are. Just imagine what it should be like a year from now for HWP.
As ever, Shine get's things going, the gentle intro being the calm before the storm (hey, I had to get at least one decent cliche into this, it's part of the rules). Drowned follows up, and the place is bouncing. Support bands aren't supposed to be received this well. Get With It is one of the finest moments on the album, and is just as good live, albeit a little slower I think.
She Gives, from the single, is introduced as 'being off the backside of our single'. A wise move playing this song, due to it not only being a great song, but another uptempo track, which after all, is what most of the crowd craves, and being one which people will have had the chance to hear, because you have bought the single haven't you. You haven't? Stop reading, go buy it, then come back to this.
Things then start to look as if they could get dodgy. Aimee gets stuck in the first row, holding peoples hands. I'm stuck she says a couple of times. Eventually Dan comes over to help. Something must've happened as Aimee rebukes someone you fucking try to violate me and I'll kick you're fucking ass. and if she doesn't, which she probably would, then Jeff, Mike and Scott, who start converging to that point of the stage, will. If there was a moment to see how together the band is, and look out for each other, then that was it. Maybe as a result, Powerstrip seems even more charged. Maybe some of the crowd are trying to make amends in a way. If that song doesn't damage the charts when they're announced later today, there's something wrong somewhere.
Slide is still a masterpiece, Exit Wound will be sung by everyone next year,Hold Me Down's opening bass still reminds me of the Wildhearts Naievety Play and tonight, tonight sees Spain again, which should be on the radio sometime next year. Drugstore and disease as ever, provide a powerful finish, but not before Aimee has asked if we all know who they are. The resounding cheer tells her. Well if you don't, go and ask someone. The words of someone who I think knows that things are looking good. I don't wanna go home are also the words of someone who seems to be enjoying themselves, but probably the best news of all, or to borrow from Kerrang!, best onstage quote for the rest of the crowd will have been, We've got a record coming out on February 9th. So now you know. Start saving those pennies, and then Jeff departs the stage via the crowd.
And tonight, Sheffield. Worst gig of the last tour, this one will really show I think if people are begining to take notice.