When I’m not earning a living as a member of Manchester’s elite Bloggerati, I do a bit of moonlighting. Even so, I’m going to keep this as impartial as I can.
There’s a lot of really good musicians in Manchester, a ton of talented bands and an endless stream of opportunities for Saturday night fun. We’re famous for it. This is both a blessing and a curse. Being exposed to so much talent can raise expectations so much that it’s hard to be impressed – this is part of the reason so many touring bands consider Manchester a tough crowd. It’s not because we’re moody or too cool to show appreciation. It’s just that we’re so used to seeing talent that what a crowd in say, Peterborough, consider great, we’d probably find boring.
Last night however, I found myself uttering the words Holy. Bloody. Hell. Denis Jones is a genuine, absolute, bona-fide genius. And a home grown one at that. With the Mancunian drawl of Guy Garvey, the wit and charm of John Bramwell and the one-man-band loop and effects talent at a level I havn’t seen since Jeff Klein, Denis Jones demonstrated he is perhaps the most talented and innovative musician on the scene at the moment.
Playing to a packed to the rafters Band on The Wall, with a backing band and complete audio/visual setup (as well as bringing his own stage), he’s also shown us that he’s ready to make the step from pub/indie clubnight fodder to full blown concert performer. And about time too.
Catch him at small venues while you can, he’s about to blast through the stratosphere. Friend Rock’s tip for 2010, so far.
Photo: Peter Rea