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Mclusky, Roadhouse, Manchester, 12th August 2003

Despite breaching one of the seven deadly sins of the rock industry, as both front man and guitarist shamelessly wore T-shirts with their own band name plastered across them, 13 Amp still impressed with their sharp and snappy tunes. The Libertines are in a state of disarray at the moment, so this young Warrington band could be ready to step into breach. Standout track 'You think you invented drug abuse' has an anthemic quality to it similar to that of 'What a waster'. 13 Amp have a good variety to their music, as the last song on their brief, but promising set, 'Just give me the knife' was heavier with a The Cooper Temple Clause feel to it.

Things got rowdier in more ways than one as metal punks The Foofs had to evade abuse and taunts from an inebriated young lady, who took such a disliking to the band that she ended up throwing a glass bottle and was removed from the venue. Therefore, 'My God you showed' was a pertinent number with thrashing guitars and an Atreyu meets Sick Of It All sound, which gained a good reception from the crowd. The dark 'All the time I lie' was another highlight of a tight, but nothing special set.

What fans of the Welsh rockers Mclusky lack in numbers, they more than make up for in enthusiasm. The first song 'Who you know' saw a surge towards the stage like hungry pigs at feeding time by many of the 115 or so crowd. The mercurial guitarist Jon Chappel and singer Andy Falkous entertained the crowd, with in between song banter covering topics like the environment. Mclusky have earned a strong reputation for their thrashing live sets and it was easy to see why. They are most definitely heavier live than on record, comparisons with The Lost Prophets don't seem unfair.

The set list consisted of a healthy mix of old favourites to please the crowd such as 'Whiteliberalonwhiteliberaction', 'Alan is a cowboy killer' and 'Joy', as well introducing some new songs like 'Icarus smiccarus'. The latter track shows that they are not mellowing with success, as this track is more crude and poignant than The Lost Prophets who they are oft compared to and with the shouty repetition of the chorus "Get in your hole, Get bent".

Mclusky have more of a Rage Against The Machine feel to them in the new material. It is a pity that the crowd was the same size as when they last played the Roadhouse around three months ago, as their sheer rock energy and enthusiasm seems contagious.

David Adair.

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