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It was an early start at The Avenue on Sunday so I only caught the last few songs of Choc Electrique's set, but they were going down well with the punters who had got there early. The band were pumping out a melodic rock noise while front-man Greedy Jesus prowled the front of bar area and up the stairs on a long mic lead, I thought they were reminiscent of a more accessible Captain Beefheart perhaps, with some nice tuneful guitars and hammond-esque organ, I'd like to see them again. Calls for Greedy to play his popular "Council Kids" were sadly ignored as they made way for the next band.

Dressing For Pleasure are an all girl band consisting of twins Naomi and Alexandria from Birmingham and drummer Jessica who, as they told the audience, is from Wigan. This comment perhaps didn't go down as well as they might have expected with the residents of Leigh, as for decades Leigh was Wigan's poorer cousin and great sporting rival. The girls put in a good set, ending with an off-kilter cover of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ which got the audience moving, and their infectious fun approach went down well. They mentioned that they had decided to share one microphone because it would look cool, but regretted it because "although she's my twin, I don't want to get that close" to which a (male) wag in the audience replied "I do!"

Next were Jeramiah Ferrari, and by the time they started their set the place was pretty much full to capacity. Since I first saw Jeramiah a few years ago they have gigged constantly, including SEVEN gigs across this Bank holiday weekend. The upshot of which is they are supremely confident, and very tight. Bassist Hanson's agile playing and drummer Stuart's dexterity providing a solid rhythm section for guitarist Joshua and vocalist Ryan to work the room with a lot of charm. A mix of classic reggae covers and their own strong material, coupled with their effortless playing makes them one of the best bands around, and their upcoming show at the Etihad stadium should bring them a lot more fans.

All in all a fantastic night! Shelley, Ian and the team at the Avenue are to be thanked for building up a great place to see live music in the face of an economic downturn and a difficult trade to be in. Three great bands for no entrance fee, it's a no brainer!

Review and photos by Pete Cunliffe

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