What will �20 buy you these days?
If you type �20 quid� into google.co.uk (because silly old google doesn�t recognise ��� signs), the top three hits are for a budget hotel in London, a rusty Volkswagen camper van (bought for �20) and a digital camera. Wow! �20 sure does go further than you think.
But what does �20 buy you on Saturday night in Manchester.
Well, if you happen to be in the Academy 3 last Saturday it gets you an audience with 4 men of dubious reputation.
1. One of them is a punk who secretly professes to like Pink Floyd
2. One of them was married to Britt Eklund
3. One of them may or may not have been �friendly� with Boy George
4. One of them taught Bono to play �Knockin on Heavens Door�.
Are these all good things? Maybe, Maybe not. But, I challenge you to bring together a more eclectic collection of men for �20 that can walk onto a stage and give any artist in the world a run for their money (and more than 20 quid of it at that). And all this in the intimate surroundings of Manchesters best venue, the International 3. Despite the fact it was pretty full tonight; you could still walk up to the stage and fondle the ankles of all those reputations for no extra cost. How much better can it get?
Reviews can easily be a hat tipping exercise, which are as embarrassing to read for the performer as for you the reader. But for those with enough good sense to buy into THE DEAD MEN WALKING experience (oh! Did I mention them?) you will know, that tonight�s �20 will get you a lot more satisfaction than sitting even 20 rows back in the M.E.N. Arena or any arena in any country.
DMW don�t muck about with fancy arrangements or twiddley keyboard solos.
They get them songs out and nail those rascals. They rip �em up. Bash �em out and wave �em around. Your getting the idea now aren�t you?
Old song or new, the same treatment fits all. Mike Peters (who is always my deciding factor with the DM) plays �Sixty Eight Guns� (and lets face it, we NEVER get tired of that one) and 45RMP to the same reception. It strikes me that the DM could play musical scales and make it sound like we are stood in CBGB in New York in the seventies. How is that? I just don�t know.
But they aren�t slapdash. Passion and commitment to the song stands out.
They aren�t doing this for a laugh, although there are a few of those as well.
All the usual suspects were here in terms of songs. I�m not going to list them now. Partly because I was having such a good time I forgot to write them down, and partly because that would be even more sycophantic than I already have been.
DMW is just one of the 20 things to do before you die, or you haven�t lived.
And for �20, you can�t say fairer. But hang on. The tickets were only �17.
Don�t be ridiculous, the eagle eyed reviewees amongst you will know that I never write a review without a Kebab. That would be like the Dead Men without guitars. Just silly.
Andy Labrow (aka MrPloppy).