'I'll take a picture of you
First on on this mammoth night were After Effect, and they were unique in that they chose to play songs from Gold Against The Soul, 'La Tristesse' and 'Life Becoming A Landslide'. Their interpretations were faithful, and it was a timely reminder that that album is not to be overlooked.
Ed of Al Qaeda Training Manual insists that the Manics recording of 'Motorcycle Emptiness' is far too long, and his band set to producing a shorter, punkier version 'without any of the boring bits'. This the two of them proceed to do, to the accompaniment of a drum machine that originally thought it was back at The Ramones night as it played 'Blitzkreig Bop' by mistake! The band also played a version of 'Loves Sweet Exile', and their no nonsense DIY punka versions of these classics were well received by many sections of the crowd.
Matt Abysmal of Prolapsed Catholic had suggested, a long time ago, that we combine the Richey night with a commemoration of Ian Curtis, whose anniversary coincided with the date we had originally planned for this gig. He kept true to his vision, by playing a version of 'The Intense Humming Of Evil' combined with 'She's Lost Control', an unlikely combination which worked really well and suggested that there maybe be more than meets the eye to the links between the bands.
Next up were Uncle Fester and the Wednesdays, whose beat-box powered girl fronted versions of 'Last Exit on Yesterday' and 'Starlover' breathed new life into the songs, and led to the first outbreak of dancing of the evening. It's about time this band got on and started making an impact on the Cambridge scene; their bubbly girl powered punk pop is a perfect refreshing antidote to too many dull metal bands with too much testosterone.
Princess Drive had been up all night preparing their backing tracks, and all their hard work paid off in eerily authentic versions of 'Spectators of Suicide' and 'The Intense Humming Of Evil', both sounding as if they were being sung by a young Joe Strummer. As an added bonus, there was also an acoustic version of 'Small Black Flowers...'
The Virgin Suicides are past masters of the Manics cover, and their set did not disappoint. Versions of 'Spectators of Suicide', 'Little Baby Nothing' and 'This Is Yesterday' had the venue spellbound, and sent a shiver up the spine. How sadly appropriate then that this may be the band's last ever appearance. Fear not, you've not heard the last from Dickon!
Jordan Hacan Ramone chose to celebrate The Manics choice of cover versions, and in 'Take The Skinheads Bowling' and 'Velocity Girl' they picked two of the best indie-pop songs of the past 30 years. Jordan delivered these songs with authenticity with a smidgen of his own added S*O*U*L...
... before taking to the drums to wake the room with a rousing version of 'Damned Dog'
Greg from Neo was clearly taking the night seriously, having been practising with a cellist for weeks; the combination of her instrument with guitar and Greg's fantastically evocative voice made for truly memorable versions of 'She Is Suffering', 'Small Black Flowers' and 'This is Yesterday', the sort of performance that made me wish I'd recorded the night.
And then it was time for that long time acoustic Street
Troubadour, Greg McDonald of the Dawn Parade. He initially confounded
expectations by playing 'Hurt' by Johnny Cash, which he then fused into
'Yes' and 'Little Baby Nothing'. Greg was then joined by unsuspecting
members of the audience for impromptu versions of 'Repeat' and 'Motorcycle
Emptiness' with the lead part played on kazoo.
AD/HD ended the night with full band versions of 'Strip It Down', 'Motown Junk' and of course 'Repeat'; they then broke Manic tradition by playing an encore, another rendition of 'Motown Junk', this time with Dickon VS on vocals.
And with rock'n'roll firmly destroyed, it was time to go home. Thanks to everyone who played or paid at the gig, raising £100 each for Love Music Hate racism and The Missing Person's Helpline. It all went to show the lively and varied legacy left by Richey James Edwards, wherever he is now...
By Rosey, pix by Dickon
Get intensely intense about this review on our message boards here