Lucky Soul - Manchester Moho Live
Pearls before swine. Playing as support to The Primitives (unexpectedly, it has to be said, brilliant and delivering, via the likes of ‘Think I’ll Stick With You’, ‘Dreamwalk Baby’, ‘Through the Flowers’ and ‘Way Behind Me’ more genuine fizz in their first half dozen songs than they really have any right to), Lucky Soul offer up a smartly assembled collection of their finest moments to a response that borders on disinterest. I’d say that’s shameful. Is it not time we introduced laws to deal with middle-aged men who spend entire performances lolling on the front barrier framing female singers in their 2.5” LCD ?
Maybe it’s the venue; Moho Live, a sprawling cavern of multiple rooms and passageways doesn’t really lend itself to focus and the non-stop traffic of punters about the place is probably unavoidable bearing in mind the presence of god knows how many bands playing across two rooms. Whatever, it detracts, and prevents the band building up a head of steam with the crowd.
Lucky Soul gleam and glitter nonetheless. They are as perky as ever and hit bullseyes for fun. From a strapping ‘Whoa Billy !’ to the final wig-out of ‘Could Be I Don’t Belong Anywhere’, they confirm beyond doubt that right now they are operating on a different level and that their joyous cocktail of soul pop filtered through a layer of indie rock ‘tude is nothing more than the Way and the Light. Singer Ali Howard is committed and the band seem to be having a ball so maybe I’m pouring cold water where it ain’t needed. A handful of diehards whoop for the sweet meats. ‘Lips are Unhappy’ is delirious and dizzying, ‘Ain’t Never Been Cool’ and ‘The Great Unwanted’, both vital, stomp into the room. They plug new album 'A Coming of Age' with ‘White Russian Doll’ and ‘Anyone Else But Me’. The title track, a barrage of Barry-esque sweep, becomes ever more of an achievement and is this ambitious outfit’s high water mark to date.
At one point Andrew Laidlaw comments to his band mates “Do you think they noticed ?” and giggles. I don’t but then I’m clearly blinded so they could probably play a song in the wrong key and I’d still swoon. They thank The Primitives for the tour slot and, again, worth pointing out that the pre-train dash sliver of their set I catch is tremendous. But, hey, niggles aside, another tiny triumph. Ten songs, polite applause, back on the bus. I guess you can’t have a stormer every night. The presence of so many hoods and Reebok classics suggest that this was never a match made in heaven and probably explains why the Oasis soundalikes who play earlier go down so well. Ne’r mind. On performance alone, Lucky Soul generate enough white heat to melt the walls. Move on, move on up, I say.