There Goes The Neighbourhood

Athlete & Loney, Dear
Academy 1, Manchester
Sunday, October 14th 2007

You could be mistaken for thinking that since Manchester's Academy 1 is still a building site, gigs might not be held there yet. However, as the saying goes, the show must go on.

So, music fans are herded through temporary fences placed on the muddy ground and thrust unexpectedly into the brand new Academy 1, which…barely seems to have changed at all! The only marked difference is the location of the bar and a slightly larger stage.

Nonetheless, the state of the venue doesn’t dampen fans’ spirits. A warm and friendly hum of conversation fills the room as people watch the support acts, Sadpaw and Loney, Dear, waiting in eager anticipation for Athlete.

The Swedish-born, Loney, Dear create a calm and thoughtful atmosphere in the room for most of the set. There’s the odd upbeat song with a bit of cowbell and the latest sing-a-long single, Saturday Waits, sets the stage perfectly for the karaoke special that is headliners Athlete’s set.

The show begins with dark purple and blue lightning and dark, underground, electronic, atmospheric noises which build up a moody atmosphere, until Athlete burst onto the stage in pool of yellow and white light to the first chords of Half Light.

The set continues with this upbeat theme throughout, and crowd pleasers include You Got The Style and El Salvador from their first album Vehicles and Animals, and the recent single Tokyo from their new album Beyond The Neighbourhood.

The highlight for me is the single Tourist, taken from the album of the same name. As a song, it’s always spoken to me because of my love for travel. The way that Joel Potts sings this little tune really makes me smile, because let’s face it - no matter who you are, his observation that every one of us “# will bring you stories and bleary eyes photos like a regular tourist #” is spot on. I’m sure that plenty of people will have their own Athlete travel stories and bleary eyed photos from this lovely evening.

words: Alexia Rogers-Wright

Athlete’s third album, Beyond The Neighbourhood, is out now.

www.athlete.mu
www.myspace.com/athlete