The Paris Riots – Deaf Institute, Manchester – 8th April 2010

Posted on April 16, 2010

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written for High Voltage

The Paris Riots demonstrated tonight that last year’s appearance at FIB was not a fluke, and that performances on larger stages may become habitual in the future. Their stage presence is exemplary, and they write pretty impressive stadium rock songs, meaning they are quickly outgrowing the smaller music venues, and, judging by the reaction of this packed out audience at the Deaf Institute, they are gathering a sizeable cult following in their home town.

The energy that lead singer Toby Connor exudes is remarkable, and he worked every section of tonight’s audience, even mounting the bar at one stage in order to interact with the people not standing at the very front. They are a band with confidence and belief and this was forcefully conveyed to their watching fans. They opened with the powerful single ‘Introspection’, a blistering track which demonstrated the skills of their dynamic drummer Scott McKnight. ‘The Indian’ was arguably the highlight of the evening, with its subtle ballad-like opening that builds smartly into a potent piece of music. The band are very tight and the complex rhythm changes in ‘Hotel of Infidels’ were carried out with precision, as was the jam that ended that particularly imposing track.

Despite their obvious talents and ability to perform so enigmatically, there are some palpable limitations to their sound. They are not particularly unique or innovative, which makes them seem a little short of ideas, and some of the lead guitar playing was questionable. Indeed, the guitar solos were shorter than a 2 year-olds attention span, and a better player would have attempted to incorporate vibrato, and other more interesting lead techniques, in order to keep the discerning listeners contented. However, overall they provided enough evidence to suggest that bigger things lie in wait.

Set List –

Introspection

Get Out

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Wrecking Ball

The Indian

Strangers

Wasted

Hotel of Infidels

Astronauts

photography by Sam Ellis

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Posted in: Music