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:: Jackie O :: Tsuji Giri ::
27 May 2002 / Dancehouse / Manchester
By Captain Cornell TBTA

After some previously questionable organisation and puzzling sound standards, The Dancehouse Cafe Bar on Oxford Road has finally sorted itself out and found some quality acts to play on its busier nights. It's free, beer's reasonable and has a fairly good vibe where bands are on our level (literally) to play their sets for a new and eclectic crowd. The first two bands tonight were the kind of experimental outfits who appear at Butlins Holiday Camp festivals. It's interesting perhaps, but fairly basic stuff by approved standards. It just shows has pathetic indie music can really be sometimes!

Tsuji Giri's comically accented and affable frontman Martin spent much of the early evening predicting a mass hiatus caused by his bands impending appearance. It would have been more accurate to forsee rampant jubilation and appreciation from the kids in here. In no uncertain terms, Tsuji Giri brought the house down. The band look cool. They pose, with minimal effort, as 4 northern lads here to save your soul and become your new cult band in an instant. Sound wise its Sonic Youths obsession with noise, The Trail Of Deads, humour and belief, intelligent punk ideals and influences from Nirvana, Joy Division and drum'n'bass outfits. It's obviously lapped up by disenchanted alt.guitar fans who've outgrown pop songs and feel isolated by metal. Perfect. The familiar faces are here, somewhere, but it's too cool to see "strangers" raising from their chairs, acknowledging the band and even dancing. To sum up Tsuji Giri in one word is difficult, but right now, in my life, I'd call them essential.

It's a tough act to follow, but Jackie O are up to the job. Jackson Starfield and his two riot girls are the blues-sleazepunk stalwarts of this scene. Everyone who is anyone loves Jackie O and although, on first appearances, I was pretty dumbfounded and unaffected by this band - it's been a rollercoaster ride for us in the last year. I use the word "us" because that's how it feels to be a fan. It's a belonging. Jackson is a truly phenomenal frontman. He poses, whinges, cusses and screams his team in to action, and causes more flutter with the raising of one eyebrow than souless indie schmindie acts do with entire turgid careers. It's Jon Spencer, it's Elvis, it's The Stooges, it's stuff I've never heard, but perversely, it's the sound of today. Flailing limbs, spilt beers and sweaty bodies are in on the act and drawn by the sounds into a frenzy of riffola, rhythm and pulsating vibes. It's captivating old and new friends alike. How celebrity fan Johnny Marr can produce Haven but not these heroes is beyond me. The ending is of course impeccable. After being wrestled by the audience, Jackson flings his guitar away, takes his good ladies hand, waves at us and leaves. It's the loudest cheer I've ever heard for an exit. Even the bar staff applaud! I fucking love Jackie O

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