(Manchester Bands Section)


Tsuji Giri
The Girly Show
Night & Day 22/10/00

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Following hard on the heels of the “Sabbatical” & “Glam Slam” events, the ritual deconstruction of our musical heritage continues with the latest installation the “Girly Show".  Long may it continue.  This time around it's up to another batch of Manchester acts to loosely reinterpret a clutch of Madonna's back catalogue in their own style.
As it says on the tin, which version of Madonna do you want her to be?
First up in the well packed N&D is M. E. N. hack Daniel Martin, and his luck is in as I got there as he was just departing the stage.
Learning from previous occasions, the time between bands is reduced significantly and Attack of the Saucerman lay into “Sky Fits Heaven” with a myriad of tape loops & guitars.  The rigid discipline then gives way to a colourful explosion of guitars in a way that HRH Madonna might want to pay attention to.
We even have the recital of prose specially put together for the occasion to prove that we are not just a bunch of piss heads looking for any excuse to get out on a Sunday
Whether or not it's the pink dress that was the original inspiration, but the distinctly male vocalist from Inspector 71hams it up taking to the stage in pink dress an white gloves, even being passed a tiara (fake) from the crowd during a pop version of Material Girl.
Dubiety exists over claims that the dress is a Madonna original, because although he may have all the right curves, they are definitely not in the right places.   It's not what you wear though, but how you wear it, and he wore it in a manner that Madonna would have been proud of.
The lyrics to “Papa Don't Preach”are spat out with venom and disdain by Monro Stahr as they slow it down to walking pace without sacrificing the impact
A kick start up the arse is given by Tsuji Giri whose coruscating guitars strip “Like a Prayer”of all resemblance to the original during a 3 minute blitz into which as much energy is seemingly wrought as some performers manage in an entire set.            
"Frozen” from Sonar Yen is almost exactly that.  A slowed down, ice cool trample across barren soundscapes, building with the momentum of a juggernaut that has just started rolling down a hill, until it crashes in a blaze of feedback
Liz McVeigh guides Hooker through a sensual take on Erotica before the dead pan irony espoused by Exit 52 is displayed as they abuse “Like A Virgin” capturing the spirit of the occasion superbly.
This leads into the most original take of the evening.  Ninebar features Dumb vocalist Mark Hoyle employing a rap/scratch attitude to the occasion.  With onlookers decidedly unsure of what was happening, he becomes more user friendly, more accessible and sets himself up next to a few tables off the main stage.  Onlookers carry a quizzical expressions on their faces, and accompanied by a “scratcher” on the decks, his powerful lungs belt out “Justify My Love” in a manner that made the original unrecognizable, but this was infectious
Camping it up for maximum effect Ark front man Pete Keogh recites almost John Inman style over a bass driven “Beautiful Stranger", before Tom Hingley, lyrics pinned to the mic., stand shows us how to “Open Your Heart”
Gold Blade ran a fluffy jacketed knife through the heart of the night. Three minutes is not a lot of time to make an impression but this lot took less than 1 second from the moment the curtain went up.  Resplendent in fluffy top, waxed chest to the fore, probably having exfoliated the night before, John Robb - backed up by attitude, aggression and all out attack-, led his disciples through a blitzkrieg rendition of “Music”  To be quite honest it could have been any song, as they all strutted, jumped climbed on speakers and beckoned their disciples onto the band wagon of rock’n’roll music with an irresistible surge of passion and energy.
 If there was a competition to decide who could command, no DEMAND, the attention of the audience more, Gold Blade might just have the edge over Madonna.
Then they were gone, leaving a stunned, bemused but joyous collection of disheveled souls.
Such a blinding act would always be difficult to follow.  Stella closes the event with another version of “Justify My Love” more of a homage to the original than a re-interpretation
So with each event building on the last, it won't be long until the Christmas one is upon us.
Till next time then
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For a different review of this gig see Music in Manchester
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