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CHEAP CUTS @ CARSONS, MIDDLETON, MANCHESTER 21/09/12 - REVIEW BY NIGEL CARTNER

‘SAYING IT HOW IT IS’
 
 
With a tongue in cheek, yet witty seriousness to the lyrical tone, Warrington based band ‘Cheap Cuts’ are one of the most refreshing and thought provoking bands around the North West at the moment. Having constantly gigged across Britain in the past few years, they’ve forged quite a reputation, with fans applauding the tightness and energy of the band, highlighted by a pocket of avid fans make the journey across the M62 to see them perform in the North East of Manchester.
 
Tonight, in association with ‘Who Dares Wins’ events, they once again play ‘Carsons’ where they are highly regarded and rapidly becoming venue favourites, evident by the plaudits that pour beforehand from the event organisers. Recent addition Chris Gallagher joins the band onstage playing keyboards which adds a further dimension to the northern soul/pop melodies that form the base. Joining him are the founders, Gareth H Roberts (Vocals, Guitar), Joe Forshaw (Bass, Vocals), and Jo Bennett (Drum, Vocals).

The set begins with a contemporary indie guitar bounce that’s upbeat, head bobbing and fun loving, but underneath the surface lies a tirade of creative and quirky lyrics about modern society that can capture a generations’ mind. Mostly these are about, “modern, broken, bankrupt Britain”, a topic that’ll attract the attention of even the laziest of students, creating an instant connection with a band that sings about what’s lies at the forefront of people’s minds. The music itself creates visions of the student lifestyle, not being out of place to soundtrack anything that circulates this institution, a similar style to those bands launched to stardom in the late 2000s, the sort that generated chatter and sold singles and became successful. With several more commercialised bands posing a similar beat and melody, it’s the lyrics of ‘Cheap Cuts’ that differentiates them from their peers in the same genre. As the night evolved they became much louder, aggressive and energetic, with shades of a 60s demeanour in parts with riffs and rhythm reminiscent of ‘Spencer Davis Group’. The step up in pace allowed lead singer Gareth H Roberts’ voice to reach new heights as he hit higher notes pitch perfect.

September has seen the release of new single, ‘A Message of Support for Our Boys’, and has been self described as a “scathing attack on the tabloid press and their hypocrisy, misogyny, and casual prejudice.” The track itself is upbeat and jolly on the surface, a very rhythmic track with a range of notes and high pitches that keep the track interesting. Beneath the melodies lies the comical yet serious words that mockingly attack the British tabloid press in a flippant manner, further displayed in a humorous video that accompanies the track.
 

 
Having spent a few years building a reputation and a host of EP’s under their belt, I feel that the time is right for ‘Cheap Cuts’ to progress further. They’ve been voted ‘single of the week’ on Geoff Lloyd’s Hometime Show on absolute radio, and supported more notable acts such as, ‘Florence and The Machine’, ‘Kid British’, ‘Kirsty Almeida & The Troubadours’, ‘The Chameleons’ and ‘The Bluetones’, which gives them the platform to launch the new single from.
 

Review by Nigel Cartner
Photos by Melanie Smith [colour]