Manchester Club Academy fills with what is a sold out show for Reuben‘s first headlining tour of 2008, to promote the ‘TwoByThree’ EP release, split with tonight’s two support acts. With a fanbase as dedicated as the one Reuben holds, you know that any show this band plays is going to be something special in one way or another.
First support act Baddies are first up, and sound somewhat similar to The Futureheads if they had a bit of a temper on them. Though they’re not the most interesting spectacle to witness onstage, Baddies do a satisfactory job with the crowd for such a young band. Where they lacked in supreme stage presence they built-up with their sing-a-long chants in songs like ‘Join The Rats’ and ‘Little Scissors’. Even those who weren’t familiar with the band at all managed to go along with the rather weird sounds created in ‘Battleships’. Though they have a bit of development to be doing before they can pull in a crowd to fill venues, Baddies manage to give the audience a little taste of rock to the night.
A completely different face of sound from The Ghost Of A Thousand, with a rare occurrence of anything that can be described as clean vocal work throughout their set. Frontman Tom Lacey storms across the stage here and there putting his heart into his throat, maintaining his scream as powerful at the end of the set as it was at the start. Though at the start of their show not many sparks were happening on the crown floor, people began pouring in and jumping around as the set went on. Drummer Memby Jago and bassist Gez Walton complimenting each other like a powerhouse duo, and as the set went on through songs like ‘Bored Of Math’ and ‘Black Art Number 1’, the crowd kept getting more and more wild. On the final song of the set, Tom Lacey jumps into the crowd and gathers a group of nearby dedicated fans to help scream along to the closing lyrics, while moshing around and having a good time.
The room is full from the sold-out crowd by the time headliners Reuben come onto the stage, and went straight back off again 20 or so seconds into opening song ‘Scared Of The Police’ due to the guitar being tuned wrong. However, they ran back on and replayed it again, getting a storming reaction from the pushing crowd trying to get closer to the band. The band play through some of their older material for the older fans, such as ‘Banner Held High’, ‘Alpha Signal Seven’, and ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’ having the lyrics sung right back at them word for word. During one of their most popular songs ‘Freddy Kreuger’ a bit of crowd-surfing takes place, and Jamie Lenman cracks a joke, talking about help people can receive to stop as if it were the same thing as smoking cigarettes. By the end of the song Jamie announces “You might have already noticed, but we don’t like crowd-surfers.”, and with that it stops instantly.
After going through more songs like ‘Captain Of Lies’ that the band recorded with YourCodeNameIs:Milo and the heavy monster ‘Return Of The Jedi’, the band take things down a notch and play a few acoustic songs. Time for everyone to cool down is just what tonight’s crowd needs, and peacefully enjoy an acoustic version of ‘Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin’ and a new song; ‘The Last Time’. The acoustic intermission is soon over and the band kick back into their heavier rock songs, all the while the band are still mentioning how great their comeback at the start of the show was, and making insults towards Kate Nash and Oasis. The band close their show tonight with the two songs they contributed onto the ‘TwoByThree’ EP, ‘Cities On Fire’ and a longer version of oldie ‘Shambles’. The crowd of fans give it their all, screaming and singing along at the top of their lungs at the sheer joy of witnessing the band. Jamie throws his guitar to the floor, and they all walk off. Even after the show is done and over, the crowd still shout for more. So the question is; why are this band still in an underground position in the rock world?
Written by Zach Redrup
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.