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ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL
:: The Sleepy Jackson ::
12 October 2003 / Academy 3 / Manchester
By Craig Mather

Tonight a hungry crowd wait in anticipation, starting chants, mumbling, expected Mr Luke Steele and his merry men to come out and knock them off their feet with a kaleidoscopic power pop attack. This is not what happens. With a new line up who don’t seem to have entirely gelled yet, the band seem like Luke Steele and just three other musicians. Luke himself, a recovering alcoholic, wants to make sure we follow a moral path, and in doing so, he hopes we find god.

Now nobody expected a angry malicious man to show up on stage, but Luke seems unusually tame. Unfortunately this lack of fire in his belly is visible to the naked eye, and well, it all looks a bit formulaic. It was to be expected the latest single “good dancers” received a loud cheer, along side “Vampire Racecourse”, though they were played exactly as on record with no real stage swagger, no adrenaline, and it would seem with little love.

This is all quite ironic due to the fact people came to see The Sleepy Jackson, a band renowned for being a little left of centre, but tonight, this band walk right down the middle of the road. The “Sleepys” claim to havehad madcap gig the night before in Newcastle, where the bassist broke his wrist (queue crowd “awww”), though after thinking for a while, it seems hard to envisage how wild this band could / can actually be after tonight. Let’s hope they’re capable of something better than what was on show tonight. For everyone’s sake.


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