It’s the run up to Christmas and despite all the glitz of the street decorations, despite all the high street shops doing their best to convince you that it’s a good idea to buy useless expensive presents for your aunt who lives in Inverness, the one that you haven’t seen in ten years, it really doesn’t feel like the festive season at all and I’m in dire need of cheering up. With this in mind I make my way the Roundhouse in Manchester, a venue which is basically a cellar that is painted black and has a only sparse scattering of tables and chairs tucked away at the back and in the corner of the venue.

Exile Parade take to the stage in and one and twos and when all four musicians are together they open with an with an instrumental number that just rolls along with more than a nod to Oasis. It has that sort of 60's feel to it that sits between the Kinks and Brit pop. They are joined by singer Lomax who kicks the set into life with the first song of the evening. It rocks from first note to the last. Exile Parade don’t let up at all, following one song after the other with little thought for a break or a pause. After just a couple of numbers the whole band start sparking off each other, looking tighter than the wallet of a Scotsman whose getting the next round in.

It’s never easy playing to a crowd when you haven’t got a record on release yet. I guess some of the audience is made up of friends who have come through from Warrington to Manchester for the night, but the majority of the crowd are enthusiastic enough to come nearer to the stage after a couple of songs. With titles such as 'Superstar', 'Girl to Me', 'Still Number One' and 'Firewall With Me', and by working with producer Owen Morris who has worked with the likes of the View, Oasis, The Verve and Ash, it’s not difficult to see where these guys are coming from in respect to who they admire. It's always a danger that any new band might slip into sounding like those who have come before you, but these guys despite this stay clear of doing that and keep their own sound, while all the time sounding like they have been doing this for years.

As the set progresses it comes as a surprise when Lomax tells us that this is the last song. With just a 35 minute set, the disappointment of the crowd is obvious. It is too short for a headline act. The upside, however, is that the whole set rocked tonight. It sounded sharp, clear and kept everyone's interest up all the way through, a brilliant achievement for any unknown band. As the crowd start to make their way back to either the bar or home I realize that Christmas is a little brighter this year thanks to five lads from Warrington.







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Commenting On: Roadhouse, Manchester, 14/12/2007 - Exile Parade








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