A – Manchester University

By paul

There’s only one word on my lips tonight nostalgia! I will happily confess that I have a few reservations about tonight and whether A can meet the unfair expectations and memories I have from when seeing them at the turn of the century. First up though This City hit the stage. This is a great support slot for This City. Their sound isn’t light years away from that of A and the audience tonight is a bit older than the normal projected Academy/university crowd. This is thus a n older crowd than their target audience. Hopefully this will mean they’ll pick up some new fans tonight because these guys have definitely got it in them to play this venue as headliners. They open with two of their more catchy tracks off the album with ?We Move? and ?Romantic? getting things moving. First impressions with new bands and in particular new live bands is crucial so this is a bold but great choice. As the set moves on they seem to have the crowd well engaged and force a good few to venture closer to the front. The support vocals tonight are really adding something as well which is great to see. It’s also good to see a band have an out and out vocalist without a guitar for decoration. Refreshing.

These Brighton boys also do their best to mix it with a vocal crowd tonight and just about hold their own in what turns out to be a very enjoyable set this evening that is sure to pick them up some new fans (I’m fully converted now) and see them as a band to really look out for in early 2010. They are the most impressive support band I’ve seen in a while and if A aren’t on it tonight they could well steal the show!

?A? shortly follow and a couple of old classics from the Monkey Kong album, including said track start things up before the first of many humorous anecdotes from Jason this evening follows after the hit ?Starbucks?. Despite the crowd being immediately into it I get the feeling the band are holding back, or at least I hope they are. Either way a very healthy portion of nostalgia is brimming in the audience tonight and to a degree on stage. This is helped further by Jason wearing an orange jacket very similar to that in the video ?Good Time?, when A were arguably at their commercially peak. That said song soon follows what’s becoming a greatest hits type set list tonight. ?I ♥ Lake Tahoe? is next and soon steals the show. No snow but the ?Na, Na’s? whilst being predictable and cheesy were good as the lights get turned out, seamless, well…. almost! Nothing and Something are obvious highlights towards the end of the night but since about half way through tonight A really stepped it up and any reservations about tonight are completely dispelled. A Van Halen cover as well. Excellent! Throughout the evening Jason’s dialogue with the crowd really added something as well and it doesn’t need him to tell you that this re-form is all about just having fun and enjoying playing rock music with your mates. I can’t help but feel this is something that maybe a few other bands could learn with re-appreciating. Brilliant!