Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester
11th October 2013
Following on from the launch party for their recently released album, The Creature Comfort are back at the newly refurbished Gullivers venue on Oldham Street.
Expectation amongst their underground following is high tonight because of the band’s reputation to produce a riotous and impulsive live performance. There’s a healthy, almost capacity, crowd in attendance swelled by a few famous faces from local bands old and new.
Against the backdrop of an imposing great bear The Creature Comfort take to the stage, typically late, to rapturous applause from an enthusiastic audience built into a frenzy by the fantastic pre-gig DJ set.
‘Sally Sucks’ sees Le Jeune pacing the stage frenetically, snarling and Iggy body-Popping. The rest of the band grinning and enjoying the lively start. It’s a classic two and a half minute assault on the audience, “Sally” and her “rich daddy”. …and also a great way to start the gig.
Without time to catch breath they launch into ‘Electric Eyes’ complete with heavy drums and guitars. This is a band at their very best. It’s confrontational to the audience and it demands answers from a pent up frontman clearly frustrated by years out of the limelight, in the wilderness. I particularly like the youthful energy coming from a band who have been out of the bigger picture for so long.
‘Windowpane’ sees Le Jeune darting about the stage like a jack-in-the-box. Now you see him. Now you don’t. Mesmerising the audience with his unpredictability yet always engaging them. The Moss Side themed track is a big hit with the crowd and mid-song Tim Booth / Ian Curtis jerk like movements add to the drama.
‘1000 miles’ has a more Scouse vibe rather than Manc. The band have always said that despite being a Manchester band they didn’t want to be part of the Manchester scene. I can hear Beatles-esque tones tinged with a touch of The La’s thrown in. It’s popular with the fans and the ever enthusiastic band seem to enjoy playing it too.
As the lone bass intro rumbles ‘Step Down From The Sky’ offers respite amongst the madness. Soon the guitar majestically kicks in. Then we have Le Jeune’s charm and Nick Cave style vocal mixed with heavy organ – easy on the ear – the crowd look on, fully engaged with the enigmatic frontman and, not forgetting, in the shadows, a superb female backing vocal.
‘What We Want (Power, Corruption and Lies)’ sees the band offering something different. It has a hip-hop kind of vibe to it and could well become a regular song in the set. It’s as if they are testing the boundaries. Seeing how far they can push the audience with their different styles of music.
‘I Do Need You’ – a post-punk blues love song is popular with the audience as all arms are aloft, heads are nodded to the beat and feet are stomped on the wooden floor creating a fabulous noise of crowd and band in unison.
‘Sauce’ is the final song of an action packed set. It’s quirky, it’s funny, it’s witty and it’s catchy. Some of the new fans seem taken aback by the 100mph, 100% committed approach by Le Jeune but it’s this energy that is ultimately passed on to the rest of the band and the majority of the audience too.
As the band depart the stage to thunderous applause the lights come on and we are treated to videos of the two recent singles – Sally Sucks and Sauce – just to remind how good they are not only live but on record as well.
The night appeared to be a great success. I chatted to various people after the gig who were mainly complimentary of what they had just seen and heard. My only criticism was the set could probably do with a few more songs in it but, admirably, the Creature Comfort, in true punk ethos, are sticking to their guns and doing it the way they want to.
- Sally Sucks
- Electric Eyes
- 1000 Miles
- Step Down From The Sky
- What We Want
- I Do Need You
All words by Jason Wynne. More writing by Jason can be found at his author’s archive.