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The Cooper Temple Clause - with support from Kaito - Live Review

The Cooper Temple Clause with support from Kaito

(19/07/04 Band On The Wall, Swan Street, Manchester)

When Norwich meets Brighton it usually results in a resounding bore draw with little or no action. Tonight's openers; Kaito who boast representatives from both of the aforementioned cities gladly redress the balance. They not so much warmed up the crowd, but frazzled them with their brand of Bjork meets Chicks On Speed vocals and bellowing provided by Nikki Colk, ably assisted with some undecipherable yet quirky and compelling backing from Gemma Cullingford, who also contributed bass lines that bounced around the tight venue leaving onlookers fascinated. The finishing touch to this captivating sound is provided via compressed Erase Errata mingled with The Libertines guitar riffs, most noticeable in the new song 'Julian', but also prevalent in the tracks from their latest sizzling sixteen track album; 'Band Red'. Possessing the mysteriousness of a V.V. Kills, the stern nature of a Patti Smith and the almost haunting vocals of a P.J. Harvey; Nikki Colk helped to keep the Coopers' hungry crowd as riveted as the nation on Big Brother eviction night.

Writer's block is something that has plagued everyone from Sylvia Plath to Paul Weller and is a bug that eats away at your soul until it is given to the devil on a plate. The cure for this affliction according to guitarist and principal lyricist of The Cooper Temple Clause (TCTC); Daniel Fisher, is to write a razor sharp and succinct song about it; 'The Same Mistakes' making for a perfect set opener. Also, included early on was another highlight track from their popular second album 'Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose', a whirlwind of keyboards, guitars and lyrics telling of the frailty of relationships against the strain of

The Cooper Temple Clause - with support from Kaito - Live Review
The Cooper Temple Clause - with support from Kaito - Live Review

hectic modern life; "Blind Pilots". This single saw the absorbed crowd rocking the foundations of this nostalgic and sweaty venue, onlookers were not one bit perturbed by the absence of eccentric bassist Didz Hammond who has recently become a father. The replacement Dan Austin managed to replicate Didz's sound if not his stage presence. Tonight was mainly a forward thinking set incorporating a few acoustic fuelled new tracks, soulfully sung by Dan Fisher. However, there was a treat for Cooper die hards with the inclusion of the dark and sinister 'Amber' from the debut album; 'See This Through And Leave' a rare addition to the live set list.

Although seemingly happy to take a back seat at times, and contribute more musically dabbling with guitar and keyboards, front man Ben Gautrey's vocals remain as commanding and powerful as ever. He was in good spirits as drunken yells of "Ben is gay, Ben is gay" would only evoke ironic smiles from him. The reaction of the crowd to the soulful new and non album tracks show that they are happy with TCTC's more reflective and somber direction. Although, it was evident from the exuberance during 'Murder Song' and 'New Toys' that the dark songs still brighten up a mundane Monday evening.