Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Long Blondes LIVE

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It’s not often that Spurs get a 4-0 away win at Premiership opposition. It’s even rarer that it should happen and not qualify as the highlight of the day; but then again it’s not every day you fall in love is it?

Ok so “love” may be slightly OTT, but Long Blondes lead singer Kate Jackson is quite simply sex-on-legs. If God himself came down from the heavens and said “Matt, because you are such an outstanding human being I will reward you by making it that you can marry any woman you like” then I would, without hesitation, choose Kate Jackson.

Her appeal is evident from the very moment I walked into the less than palatial Manchester Academy 2. The crowd is literally jam-packed with girls dressed in her inimitable style and it’s pretty clear why most of the young men have turned up as well. (I’m exempt from all this stereotyping as I am –much like Jackson herself – a respectable 27 years old). It’s also clear from the moment the band walks out onto the stage that she’s the star of the show. Indeed apart from the two people near the front who professed their love for the drummer Screech Louder its debatable whether anyone’s eyes were anywhere else other than firmly fixed on Jackson.

And in a way this helps. Because it is Jackson that transforms a good concert into a great one. In an age where there seems to be a distinct lack of genuine pop-stars Jackson shines like a beacon of hope. It’s been a long slog since their formation but time, and practise no doubt, has improved their sound. The rest of the band are tighter than ever and indicate that it's not just about style...the Long Blondes have the substance too.

The concert was pretty much the album plus a sprinkling of B-Sides. It’s a sure sign of their popularity that the likes of Fulwood Babylon and Five Ways To End It were met with the same foot-stomping, hand-clapping hysteria that the more familiar singles got. Even so the biggest reactions were reserved for Once And Never Again and Giddy Stratospheres although from start to finish the crowd is riding the crest of a wave and it’s clear that Manchester loves The Long Blondes.

And it seems the feeling was mutual. The Long Blondes don’t always reappear for an encore…tonight they did.

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