Colt 45 - The Tide Is Turning
When Radio 1's Big Weekend rolled into Carlisle in 2011 it gave the area's music scene a much-needed shot in the arm. Once an outpost at the western end of Hadrian's Wall, this most northerly frontier city hasn't been renowned for turning out many chart toppers, but the presence of Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga galvanised local venues and acts into upping their game, leaving a legacy most obvious in the now annual week-long Carlisle Music City event.
One of the first to reap the rewards of that national spotlight are three piece Colt 45, whose radio friendly rock secured them a slot at this year's Download. As an example of what's happening on the ground locally, Colt 45 are fairly typical; Carlisle bands tend to be down-to-earth and unpretentious, and while there's a rootsy edge to some of the city's acts, these lads continue to fly the rock (with big hooks) flag. Disconcertingly, vocalist/guitarist Neil Harper sounds rather like Robbie Williams, emphasised by producer Romesh (Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Twin Atlantic) Dodangoda's decision to push the vocals to the front. Still, The Tide ... revels in its smart musicianship and arrangements that should satisfy aficionados of modern melodic alt. rock or, indeed, Manic Street Preachers fans in need of something less cerebral. '595' is the obvious anthem-in-waiting; the more metallic stop-start rhythms of 'I Remember When The Rain Came Down' is prime Scuzz channel fare, while 'Crutches' proves the kids still want lighter-in-air moments, just like their parents. Somewhere, a sub-editor is toying with the phrase 'Young guns go for it!' Who are we to get in their way?