Fighting With Wire - Roadhouse, Manchester (31/01/2009)

Fighting With Wire - Roadhouse, Manchester (31/01/2009) Rock trio Helsinki Seven fire the night off with a plentiful helping of alternative and original tuneage to bop along to. The comic banter dividing songs with the addition of layered vocals and innovative song structures was both crowd pleasing and a refreshing experience. Compared with the efforts of bands of a similar genre, this bearded group's showmanship is on a higher level.
After such a light-hearted set, the following act is a little bit of a shock to the system. But bless their gruff little faces, LaFaro only found out about the gig today since the other tour band was unfortunately forced to drop out. They rushed from Belfast and spent the day on a ferry in order to entertain the Roadhouse tonight.

The Northern Irish explorers carry a sneer reminiscent of McLusky along with punk-style vocals that groan and moan along with a plodding bass. The experimental fusion is further accelerated when they introduce choppy beats and angular guitar sequences. Unusual, but actually quite captivating to watch.

The Roadhouse has been steadily filling up tonight, and the room full of punters are clearly just anticipating what headliners Fighting With Wire are going to provide as entertainment for their ears. And quite rightly so - the lads are the only ones who really get things stirring in the venue. The familiar rush of melodic verses, sing-along choruses and decorative discordant sections are all present, filling the room with energy and a sense of satisfaction.

For a three piece they make a whole load of sound: massive dynamics and a great vocal range give them an unforgettable edge. Frontman Cahir O'Doherty can shout, he can scream when needs be, and damn that man can sing – all while playing complicated little licks, syncopated fills and riffs that craft the core of their songs.

'Cut The Transmission' is the final factor in reminding the ever-bouncy Roadhouse crowd how lucky they are to be spending a cold Saturday night in the engaging company of a super-talented band that deserve every applause they get. Unpretentious, animated and even more enjoyable live than on record, Fighting With Wire are a band who know how to go out with a boom.

Rating: 3.5/5