REVIEW: Alias Kid at Club Academy, Manchester

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MANCHESTER based fivesome Alias Kid sold out last night’s date, ending their debut headline tour on a high. To some, they are the ‘new Oasis,’ but to others, they are the band rock and roll needs. Our entertainment reporter, Rae Coppola, went along to see for herself…

Stray Scene were the first band to perform, playing their foot tapping indie rock riffs as ticket holders entered the venue. Never before had I watched a band with a member that’s duty was to dance and warm up the crowd. Bez from Happy Monday’s is known for it, but it was unexpected for a support band. Nils Arnold’s dancing, however, was infectious, and the few ticket holders who arrived in time for the doors could not resist moving along too.

Second to perform were West Yorkshire based Bravado Cartel, formally known as Redstar. Front man William Bloy instantly made this known, asking the audience who had travelled across and starting of a chant. Instantly, the crowd were at ease, knowing full well that it was going to be a fun, energetic performance, with band members not taking themselves too seriously, nor the notion of being on Mancunian territory.

Bravado CartelThe band’s drummer, Stef Drepan, had only been in the band for three weeks, but no one would have guessed. His trashy drum beats combined with Timothy Whiteley’s strong bass lines drove the quintet’s music, creating the perfect setup for Bloy’s deep and menacing vocals and contrasting deeply with the 80s synth coming from the keyboardist. If it was not for the over dramatic hand gestures with every lyric, jellyfish like dance moves, and spontaneous handstand, the audience may have even been scared. Stand out tracks included ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much,’ and ‘Kill the Messenger.’

Next up, completing the trio support acts, was Sixty Minute Man. The six-piece filled the stage, looking the part in matching T-shirts, and playing their polished psychedelic rock tracks. Their set was full of energy and creativity, with recently released single, ‘You Made Me Say Yes,’ being a real crowd pleaser.

From the get go, the band undeniably had a lot to live up to thanks to their vibrant home city bringing together greats such as: The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Verve, and so on. Alias Kid therefore, have had to work hard in an attempt to prove they are their own thing, and that there is no need for comparisons. Although, the outfit have not helped themselves by combining Primal Scream-esque psychedelic riffs, with sing alongs fit for the Gallagher’s.

Obviously swayed by their musical influences, Alias Kid’s tracks sounded familiar: ‘Dirty Soul’ being comparable with ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles, if it was not for the repeated cries of “come on” and ‘Shot Through’ providing lyrics that The Sex Pistols would have been proud to call their own – no doubt meaning guitarist Sean O’Donnell played a part in the song writing. That being said, it was easily Alias Kid’s best live song, with punchy guitar and drum beats present throughout.

Frontman and vocalist Maz Behdjet kept audience participation at the forefront of the gig, making sure to respond to heckles, and see how everyone was doing in between songs. Not only did he have banter with the crowd, but also the other band members. When I interviewed Maz, he said Manchester may be able to expect to see drummer, Colin Ward, beat him up. Although this was not the case, the constant quick and witty comebacks put a smile on the crowd’s faces and demonstrated the bands, but more particularly, Maz and Sean’s, chemistry.

Midway through the set ‘Smoke and Ashes’ was played, finally giving the audience a chance to catch their breath and stop jumping, until the chorus at least. The song was slightly weaker than others, but Sean’s guitar riff before the last chorus was impressive and ensured the crowds contentment.

Alias Kid even surprised the crowd with new songs, dropping them in to test the waters, after their most popular hits. Some were unnamed and full of repeated lyrics, but the new track titled ‘History of No One,’ was very Stone Roses and one of their best yet, combining vocal harmonies with a slow paced guitar solo that soon sped up and was joined by a kick drum beat ready for the crescendo.

They ended their set with stage invasion tune, ‘Messiah’, kicked off by Colin alone on the stage until the rest of the band members joined him for the encore. It was the perfect track to end their debut headline tour, loud, catchy, and easy to sing along to.

The next time they headline a tour it will undoubtedly be with a new album, and hopefully their own, incomparable to anyone, sound.

By Rae Coppola
@raethedeer

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Rae is an aspiring writer, reading Journalism and English at the University of Salford. She tends to write for the entertainment side of the website, trying her hand at both reviews and interviews.

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