As far as tribute nights go, this was pretty special as bass legend Mani recruited a collection of musicians to interpret the music of arguably Manchester's finest group, the Smiths.

Opening proceedings were up and coming Northampton band the Moons who delivered fairly accurate readings of four classic singles in the shape of 'Ask', 'The Boy with a Thorn in His Side', 'Hand In Glove' and 'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out'.

Next up were Kid British who thrillingly put their own reggae/ska stamp on another clutch of well known numbers and clearly flying in the face of Morrissey's "Reggae Is Vile" statement from yesteryear. Whilst not a form of music I would normally warm to, hearing songs such as 'Girlfriend in a Coma' and 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable' re-invented in this way was an unexpected highlight.

Having guested on a couple of the earlier tracks, Mani finally headed up the final act that featured Gary Briggs (former frontman of Haven) and the Enemy's Tom Clarke.

Briggs worked his way through 'London', 'Shoplifters of the World' and a riotous take on 'Panic', while Clarke belted out a superb 'This Charming Man' and final track 'How Soon Is Now?' that despite featuring Smith's drummer Mike Joyce struggled to match up to the original.

With free JD and cokes and souvenir T-shirts, this was a job well done.

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Commenting On: Band on the Wall, Manchester, 13/5/2011 - JD Set

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