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:: The Second Floor :: Jonny Brown Shoes :: The Naughtys ::
30 November 2006 / The Castle / Oldham

Most people who enjoy local music and maybe even stuff from beyond, will probably be familiar with local music guru Conrad Murray. After a successful stint alongside Terry Christian at GMR, Conrad continued the unsigned shows at the station running solo, until Revolution 96.2 snapped him up.

Now lighting up the end of the weekend with a Sunday evening show on Revolution, Murray is now the radio stations unsigned specialist. As a natural progression, hes utilising one of the best Greater Manchester venues, The Castle, to bring at the end of each month, the very best of the stuff hes listened to and played on air.

So here at The Castle and kicking off the first of these, is JONNY BROWN SHOES,recognisable to many as the talented guitarist out of The Children. Its easy to see why The Children are doing well with just one part of the act here, Jonny is skating up the neck of his acoustic guitar, hitting it like hammers one minute to the point of distortion, the next delicately scurrying along with a riff. Someone takes the mickey out of his jacket. Id be upset if Id paid for it .. comes the cheeky reply before he launches into another punchy northern busk. The Brown Shoes trademark comes via tracks like Snakes And Ladders hard muted twangs of the strings that mix sound of The Arctic Monkeys narratives with the melodic ingenuity of The Coral. Excellent stuff.

THE NAUGHTYS I have to say took me by surprise. Wed caught up with them during In The City and after that chat we thought wed check them out. Earlier reviews pointed to something a bit shambolic, but all I can report is that this band have really - really got their act together. The whole set is totally tight. A neatly retro guitar sound picks up bits of The Jam and particularly The Specials which combines well with the total Ska / Blues sound. Theres a charisma too. They look so unlikely. They dont dress to get themselves in the NME but are one of about half a dozen bands who are re-inventing pub rock into something as exciting and credible as it was in the old pre-punk London / Hope And Anchor days. 'We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted To Be (still the Bugsy Malone classic) still completes the set and you cant just help feeling a little blown away.

The final act is the magnificent THE SECOND FLOOR. Revolution have got right behind the band with a session already completed and after two rousing EPs this is a band very much on the up, as they seem to have found their natural sound and state of mind. Weve said so much about them here at MM all I can tell you is that its all true the blackened sound of droning pop and spine tingling space rock, sets The Second Floor as purveyors of something rather special - its also a sound that the music world is beginning to catch up on (Early Years, Film School, Londons Club AC30). As the last wisps of smoke dissipate and over-resonated ear drums settle, you definitely feel pretty hungry for more records from a band that believe in such proper, urban soundtracks.

96.2 The Revolution
The Second Floor
Jonny Brown Shoes

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