2003 has already seen Manchester’s Puressence part with both their manager and long term label, Island, throwing the future of these 90’s survivors into some doubt. But rather than sit back and fade away into obscurity, they’ve hit back with a series of sell out gigs around the country in the hope of signing a new deal.

Originally planned for two weeks previously, the gig was rescheduled after frontman James Mudriczki was rushed to hospital with appendicitis. Tonight, sans appendix, we see him in fine form. Whilst not cutting as trim a shape as he once did, he makes the stage his own as he swaggers on, informing us that tonight is going to be "raw". And raw it is – there’s no keyboard player, the lights are very basic, and the video backdrops of the last tour are gone. It soon becomes apparent that they’re merely peripheral, as Puressence launch into one of the most passionate sets the Boardwalk has ever seen.

Opening with ‘Near Distance’ from the first LP, the band have clearly taken their fans’ wishes into consideration and mixed up old stuff with new. Splicing together the highlights of their three albums, they also introduce a new song written "two weeks ago" called ‘Drop Down To Earth’. It’s no classic, but at least it shows they’re still writing.

All the crowd pleasers are here – and the appreciation when ‘This Feeling’ is played is incredible. The fans are there to show their support – and they’ve come from all over the world. With a fanbase as passionate as it is small, these lads really need to make a good choice with their next record deal. If only more people could get the chance to hear them I’m sure they too would fall in love with them.

Whilst it does feel a bit like something’s missing (the songs from the latest LP ‘Planet Helpless’ don’t work as well without the sequencers) Jimmy’s voice is, as always, spectacular. He may lack the glamour and cool of your Liam Gallagher’s and Ian Brown’s, but here is a true talent. Along with the rest of the band, solid as always, they put the past troubles behind them and belt out a great set of truly great songs. Next time you see a poster for Puressence playing in your town, get down there, you won’t be disappointed.

Set List :

Near Distance
Walking Dead
I Suppose
Drop Down To Earth
Traffic Jam In Memory Lane
Half The Way You Were
Make Time
How Does It Feel?
Standing In Your Shadow
All I Want
She's Gotten Over You

Mr Brown
This Feeling
Sharpen Up The Knives

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