Live review, the roadhouse Manchester Wednesday April 7th from Kerrang


LITTLE GREEN Men are having problems. The microphone keeps cutting out, leaving the singer doing his best Norman Collier impression while the bass amp insists on emitting the squelchy sound of a surprisingly wet fart. Luckily, they've brought their own mini fan-club with them, so they get the whoops for their dodgy AHa covers and much more creditable self-penned material. Their own songs show a great deal of promise, rocking out like an under rehearsed Stereophonics with impassioned vocals and muscular riffs. Unfortunately it's hard to take them seriously with that bass sound threatening to pebble-dash the front two rows. Tonight was apparently the new bassist's first ever gig. It wasn't one to tell the grandkids about. It's a good job Cable didn't suffer from a similarly flatulent bass or the venue would've been leveled. They build their sound on a tooth-rattling four-string assault, add the occasional burst of white noise and wrap the lot in a wash of monochrome, lo-fi guitars. If you'd never heard them before, you could be forgiven for thinking they'd sacrificed songs for the sake of sound, but this really isn't the case. They may not have the saccharine hooks of Idlewild, but there are some great songs buried in the rumble. 'Bluebirds Are Blue' mixes catchily stumbling near-spoken vocals with a huge melody and chorus. 'Ultra Violet' displays a devastatingly simple use of sparse rhyming couplets, while 'The Colder Climate' is a similarly warped yet tuneful affair, and the clutch of tracks aired from forthcoming new album 'Sublingual' are just as strong, if not stronger than the old material. Throughout it all guitarist Darius Hinks and bassist Pete Darrington bounce and weave, while frontman Matt Bagguley stands stock-still, staring out his audience. He's either too preoccupied with the songs, too uncooly 'cool' or just far too hot in this sweatbox of a venue. Underground alternative rock is a type of music that has traditionally been peddled by thin, speccy Americans with no friends. In Cable, we finally have our own geeks to cheer. PAUL TRAVERS