Cable35 @ Retro Bar, Manchester

Posted by vibrations on 06-06-13

Some bands deserve a lot of attention and others, well, not so much. Out of the five bands that are featured on this evening’s bill there are a few that walk the thin tightrope between the two, including this evenings first two acts: Vamos Vaquero and Kiefer.

With each act showing signs of promise, especially with the technically brilliant doom/stoner outfit Kiefer, calling them bad would be harsh but more often than not both sets appear to be made up of one big number rather than individual songs. Snippets of brilliance do occur from both bands including a song named ‘Liege’ from the latter of the above and a rowdy rendition of ‘Propane Nightmares’ by Vamos Vaquero but these moments don’t turn up enough to warrant either set a major triumph.

Troops Of Mafeking are the next band on the bill and an absolute delight to this writers unsuspecting ears. With Pixie-esque hooks and melodies catchier than most, these troops defiantly take the musical level of tonight up a notch or three. Choosing a highlight of their set is big task, given that all their songs are so good but ‘Join The Parade’ defiantly takes the gold, whilst closer ‘Chugg Norris’ falls not far behind. Just like the rest of the acts tonight, Troops Of Mafeking don’t have a huge amount of individuals to impress but they’ve certainly made at least one new fan.

Grunge outfit Dead Circus are up next and they appear to have drunken the ashes of the late and great kings of their chosen genre. However, despite their best efforts to emulate their heroes success through gritty bass tones and Cobain-esque growls, this three-pieces set gets quickly tiresome after a short while, as a feeling of ‘we’ve heard this all before’ cascades over your ears. Good moments do arrive in the form of tracks such as ‘Way I Can’ and ‘Nonsensical’ but with too many tracks sounding like a regurgitated version of the last, Dead Circus emerge as the weakest link of the night.

Now that all the support bands have come and gone, it’s time for the act that we’ve all been waiting for, Cable35. Starting off with the ever-boisterous ‘Cows Head,’ Cable35 are even rowdier live than they are on record, which as anyone that has given them a spin will know, is saying something. Combining grungy guitars with a raw punk edge, these Maltese rockers bring with them tonight the first sense of genuine exhilaration, which can be seen in the pile of modest but raucous bodies crashing together in front of them. They also bring to the table the first sing-along of the night, with their brilliant ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ cover which gets lips moving and causes one young man to hop on stage and perform his best Joey Ramone impression. After a final bow and a boisterous last track, Cable35 end the night in blistering fashion, proving that good things really do come to those who wait.

Review by Emma Quinlan.

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