LIVE REVIEW: Little Fish, Roadhouse (Manchester), 04.11.2010

As little known gigs, by little known bands go, this was no exception. I got to the venue quite late so was just in time to see the first act finish up her song to a roaring group of friends and family. About 12 in all. But I chose not to be too disheartened so early, so off I went to the bar to get a pint of weak, weak beer and await the second act, which was going to be a treat, no doubt.

After a few minutes, lead singer of Little Fish, Juju, came on to the stage to great applause to say simply, ‘Well Manchester, you’ve really gone and f**cked us up this time, haven’t you. We had no second act for you but we’ve been able to draft Richard Walters to help us along. So here he is.’ So, two things: why did this girl just come out on stage and tell a stunned crowd that their city had f**ked up her night? And why on earth did she introduce Richard Actual Walters with such a  degree of louche?! So, out he came and yes, he wowed. I was completely blown away. Simply because Richard Walters is one of the best of the current crop of male and emotional singer/songwriters and because I wasn’t expecting to see him at all. Two of his songs “All at Sea” and “Needless Advice” made me melt a little bit inside and for ten beautiful minutes I was taken away enough to forget to watch that my bag wasn’t being nicked. A dream, a sweet sweet dream. After the gig he asked me for a light outside. I said, ‘Sure. Lovely songs.’ He said, ‘Thanks’. Swoon.

So on with the show, as they say. It was a few minutes more after Richard finished delighting that the main act came out. I was surprised to see that the crowd that had assembled in this damp, underground question mark of a venue were so incredibly joyful at the prospect of a rude southerner who didn’t appear to want to be there at all. However, it was when Juju and Nez came to the stage that all became clear. Immediately the room was filled was a two-fingers up attitude, which I guess is all part of the image, right? And I figured too I would soon find out if this apparent attitude was in any way justified.

I can tell you now that it was. Little Fish are a band who know what they are doing. Juju on vocals and guitar and Nez on drums  were infinitely better than many ‘pop-rock’ duo’s I have seen at carving out a credible tune. Baffled and Beat was one of the top tunes of the night ad was helped along very nicely by Juju stomping around the stage, throwing off her hat, screaming in the faces of those closest to the stage. If there is something this girl can do, it’s perform. As well as having a stage presence which deserves to be on a bigger platform than the modest little Roadhouse, Juju’s voice is the like of which I have never heard. If you want to hear a girl screech in perfect pitch, then go and see this band. Kudos on the cleverness of seamlessly weaving such high notes and unearthly sounds into their tunes and actually enhancing the song, instead of ruining which is most often the case.

The set was mainly the latest album release, which is entirely as standard of course. I haven’t yet listened to the album but I suspect strongly that what is put down on record will be much, much different from what I saw Little Fish and her fishy fans enjoying that night. Songs such as “Am I Crazy” and “You, Me & The TV” were absolutely made to be performed live and I will trepidatiously listen to the album in the hope that it lives up to these guys on the stage. VERY much worth a look.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Hugh Hamill


1 Comment

  1. i like

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