Manchester Academy 3,
The walk to the Academy Three venue is like heading to a Chicane gig 10 years hence, as excited young whippersnappers make their way passed us to see the new alternative upstarts, Panic At The Disco. I wonder if, in ten years time these youngsters will be heading to watch the remnants of their youth, on the back of them having just recorded a single with Tom Jones? The brains behind Chicane, Nick Bracegirdle has obviously been widening his musical pallet, as his keyboard driven, electro/blues funky new number 'Come Tomorrow' is the stand out offering of the new material on display.
Chicane's music has always veered towards that conducive to a lads holiday in Ibiza, so the girls in the house are grateful from the melting diva touch of Tash, who dives into 'Saltwater', introducing it as being one for the ladies. Such was the rhythm and rumbling accompaniment that nearly all of the trendy crowd can't resist rotating their hips. Of the two versions of the Tom Jones collaborated single 'Stoned in Love', it is the single version that stands out for the rising vocals that skim out with precision. This more than makes up for the absence of Tom Jones and closes a by-and-large forward thinking set. Chicane are obviously trying to break the mould of hazy Groove Armada skirting grooves that they seem, in many critics eyes to be set in, as they take a more vocal approach and, you know what? It could well work.