Live Review: Elliot Minor – Manchester Club Academy

Posted on 23 November 2009
By Danny Keightley
  • Share:

Think of a play-pen for teens – that’s the atmosphere here tonight at Manchester Club Academy. Many have dragged parents along, most of whom are heavily chugging down on beer before the first act; Franko take the stage.

The floppy side-fringed student foursome from London bounce on stage with shrill screams eminating from the front rows – their set list consists of Franz Ferdinand meets Kaiser Chiefs with (don’t worry you’ve heard it before) indie-pop choruses, and whilst FranKo remain a harmless, ordinary and ultimately forgettable affair, they do have a sense of belonging and kinship with the crowd as they receive weighty amounts of applause and ‘Ohmygod I want your babies’ screaming – I suppose that’s the advantage of opening the night to an adrenalin-fuelled group of teenagers.

Such a response is given to following (easycore?) fun lovin’ fruitloops Me vs Hero who approach tonight’s audience with cringeworthy attempts to ‘blend in’. Vocalist Sam Thompson would be an excellent kids show presenter with a ‘fuck rock n roll, lets all be friends and hug’ attitude as he demands the audience to take part in a ‘wall of friendship’, that’s right folks, split the crowd in half, run to whoever’s opposite you and give them a big hug! Yuck. Their songs aren’t much to write home about – they’re a soundtrack to a very boring summer, but thankfully their stage presence almost makes up for a mediocre set-list.

It’s around five minutes after Me vs Hero have left the stage that I’m considering the noise which will welcome tonight’s headliners, Elliot Minor to the stage and whether or not I should have bought earplugs (yes, I felt that old) as various members of the crowd were chorally chanting along to every song that played from the radio before Minor even entered the stage. When their intro started to blare and the lights started to dim, the ambience was electric for the boys from Electric High.

Regardless of what you say about Elliot Minor, they’re arguably the best at what they do – their classically composed inoffensive pop rock translates extremely well live and a dedicated fanbase (despite my cynical comments previous) feed the quintet with enough of their adolescent energy to keep ’em going strong – providing a choir of backing vocals to every vocal hook and verse, ranging from b-side material to the well known and admittedly silly ‘Jessica’ (a deliciously catchy rock-number dedicated to Jessica Alba).

There is a genuine boyish swagger in their performance, and for a band who knows they have nobody here to ‘win over’, they strut their stuff with a definite confidence and notable pride. It’s predictable on principle as the ballads are stuffed towards the latter stages of the performance as arms swing and various lighters are thrust into the air, and saving their huge single ‘Parallel worlds’ til second-to-last, it’s a show that puts both their support acts in their place. They aren’t arena sell-outs like Muse or My Chemical Romance but they’re no Mcfly or Busted either (thank God).

It’s a great start, and with two albums worth of material and enough harmonies and singalong opportunities than you know what to do with, Elliot Minor are exciting and talented live performers with a big future ahead of them.