WORDS AND IMAGES BY BILLY SEAGRAVE
Beck has taken five years making it back to Manchester and tonight it is Victoria Warehouse that welcomes him back along with his loyal fans, Billy Seagrave makes hie way to cover the event for All music Magazine. For what turned out as a great evening of great music and entertainment.
Opening for tonight’s host is Jacob Lee-Nicholas Sullenger, who is quite simply known by his stage name, ‘Jawny’. Formally Known as ‘Johnny Utah’. The singer song writer has developed his own unique bedroom pop, lo fi indie funk.
There are no frills on stage Just a Bassist, who lay down some real bombs and a drummer who had the whole set-in perfect timing. ‘Jawny’, was left to do what he does best, and that’s entertain the crowd. “Trigger Of Love”, has a real beatnik kind of mantra, and begins the ball rolling, whilst “Sabotage” rings around the venue with a spine jingling array of guitar riffs, pushing the band to another level. “Honeypie”, his breakout song, that brought him first real recognition, is a catchy melodic, piece of work.
Next up was “Tombestone Grey”, once again a powerful ponding beat and the clever and creative delivery of lyrics, has the crowd warming to the set.
The set is full of crowd pleasers and without doubt there is no mistake of the influences drawn from both performances, but also on substance of work. “Take it back”, which both of tonight’s artists have collaborated and worked on together, is another great piece of work. ‘Jawny’, will be back later in the year, do yourself and get to see a performance.
It’s been a long five years since ‘Beck’ played in Manchester, how they tonight’s crowd have missed him, the venue was packed early on, it was the warmest day of the year so far here in Manchester and the heat was rising by the minute. There are few greater living musicians in the world today than ‘Beck’, with great song writing knowledge and a steady output of material over the years. Only one question remains: Is he still up for it? Without a doubt, he is a real tour de-force.
Coming on stage to the “Intro/Hyperlife”, that would see a 38 song, yes 38 song set list, I told you he had a body of work. Straight into “Mixed Bizness”, then throwing the shackles off and its “Devils Haircut”, to add to the venue that has now become a furness. A cover version of “The Valley Of The Pagans”, by ‘The Gorillaz’, has a great reception, we are well into the set and our host hasn’t stopped to take air, covering the stage, arms aloft funky dance moves and theatrical twirls, work from side to side.
‘Beck has such a great back catalogue of music to bring to the fore, and the songs kept coming, “Nicotine And Gravy”, makes way for “Girl”, the crowd are in their element and ‘Beck’, is the master of style and control. The band are all on a raised platform part way back on the stage, this allows our host to work the floor in his own inimitable style. “Chemtrails”, and “Earthquake Weather”, bring us towards the end of the set, but not before another cover version, from ‘Cage The Elephant’, “Night Running”, “Up All Night” and finally “E-Pro”, sees ‘Beck go off for a much needed few seconds, as the sun was setting on the Manchester horizon and the heat was glowing, ‘Beck returns for the first of two encores.
Opening with ‘The Korgis’ “everybody got to learn sometime”, “Hollow Log”, and “Asshole”. Once again leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
Joining us for the second encore the unmistakeable strumming of “loser”, and the opening line of “in the time of ‘Chimpanzees I Was A Monkey”, drags the best out of the crowd, just when you need a pick me up, one of the most iconic ‘Beck’ tunes people will respond to, Once again as the Keyboards throw out the opening strains “Where Is At”, has a mass audience participation.
Closing out the marathon show was “One Foot In The Grave”, everything brought back to walking pace. The set list was a mammoth task delivered in a carefree haze of enjoyment, the crowd participation was relentless, but ultimately the performance was flawless and immense, as I began this piece, not many artists have a catalogue of great hits that they can deliver in such a way that you are lost and totally immersed in the occasion.
2/ Mixed Bizness.
3/ Devils Haircut.
6/ Diamond Bollocks
7/ New Pollution
8/ The Valley of the pagans
9/ The Wizard
11/ Hollywood Freaks
13/ Lost Cause
14/ Hell Yes
15/ Que Onda Guero
16/ Nicotine and Gravy
18/ Hot Wax
19/ Dear Life
25/ Turn away
27/ Earthquake Weather
28/ Night Running
29/ Go It Alone
30/ Black Tambourine
31/ Up All Night
33/ Everybody got to learn sometime
34/ Hollow Log
37/ Where it’s at
38/ One foot in the grave