Thursday, 14 April 2011

Carl Barat, Manchester Academy 2, 6th April 2011

The opening band tonight were Foreign Office, a four-piece band from Hackney. Starting with 'Shame', they raced through their 6 song set of quirky "Franz Ferdinand meets Hot Chip" tunes, including 'On Repeat' - their infectious debut single which delivers funky guitar and bass lines along with repetitive, catchy lyrics. With traces of an influence by bands such as Talking Heads and Orange Juice, they continued with the paranoia-inspired 'Leaving The House', and finished with 'Losing The Plot'. Clearly leaving a lasting impression on the crowd, could Foreign Office be ones to watch in 2011?

Accompanied by his backing band, Carl Barat took to the stage soon afterwards, going straight into The Magus and following this up with a high energy performance of Run With The Boys. It was clear a number of people were only there to hear Libertines material so Barat added to the set a number of Libs classics, such as Man Who Would Be King and Up The Bracket, along with his solo material - in particular Je Regrette, Je Regrette, inspiring an impromptu sing along. He finished with the Dirty Pretty Things hit, Bang Bang You're Dead, before returning with his acoustic guitar to do an encore half the length of the main set, and after many a heckle for more Libertines material, he joined in with the crowd's yells of an a capella version of What Katie Did. Although the inclusion of yet more Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things tracks pleased tonight's gathering at the Academy no end, Carl should perhaps try to realise his solo work is strong enough to be performed without the large number of back catalogue hits he played this evening. Barat ended tonight with Don't Look Back Into The Sun to the obvious delight of all.

Foreign Office on MySpace
Carl Barat official

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