MUSIC IN MANCHESTER

 

Cosmic Rough Riders
Manchester Roadhouse 24/6/03

What is it about these Scottish bands? Travis asked "Why does it always rain on me?" and on the hottest night of the year CRR open their set with "Justify the Rain." Supplementing the vocals of newly "promoted" front man Stephen Fleming with those James Clifford: (Bass) Gary Cuthbert: (guitar) to provide warming harmonies that overlay deceptively hooky beats has led to inevitable comparisons with the musical compatriots the Byrds
And perhaps that is one thing that has counted against them in the past. For whatever subject they may be singing about whether it be lost loves ("Pain inside") or smiling ("For A Smile"), the mood is always decidedly upbeat.
After the last tour, a point in a bands life where you would expect a group of individuals living out of each others pockets to be virtually at each others throat, one resulting song, "Sunshine", still has an upbeat refrain. Anger and rage are only expressed verbally, never being realised as scuzzy guitars or chewed up vocals from Stephen Fleming.
Since the departure of Daniel Wylie, Fleming is the main focus for the group, and a good job he does of it. Displaying a dry, ironic sense of humour as he regales the crowd of their "pride" at entering the charts at number 76. He wanted to make number 75, but now tells people they had a top 100 hit
But none of this seems to worry the full crowd at the sweat pit called the Roadhouse, or "Welcome to hell" as one heckler put it. They've probably all got the last 6 albums, and judging by the lack/greyness of the hairs on display probably waited as eagerly back then for each one, knowing that they will seldom deviate from a well crafted melodic, yet narrow formula. Now if they went into collaboration with "Regaine" or "Grecian 2000"
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Music in Manchester