Every fan of rock and roll has been awaiting the release of Alan McGee’s new biography; and why not? It charts the life of one of music’s most illustrious moguls. However, it was in a club in the heart of the Toxteth area of Liverpool where I found out he has yet another ace up his sleeve. Tonight he debuted a new Manchester band Alias Kid.
Word around the venue was that he has been watching the progress of the band’s singer-songwriters, Maz Behdjet and Sean O’Donnell, for some time and that he had the whole band specially driven in for this gig on a wet Halloween hangover of a Friday night. If rumours are to be believed then Mr McGee has been keeping his finger on the pulse of the unsigned scene across the country on the lookout for talent for his new 359 record company; and he did not disappoint with his new discovery.
To avoid obvious comparisons with the Manchester band he raised and who subsequently took over the world back in the 1990s, Alan McGee described Alias Kid as “…more like Primal Scream than Oasis”. Even so, the Manchester roots shine through in the melodic and often anthemic feel of the songs on show this evening.
The first song Dirty Soul got the room buzzing and Revolution Sometime followed which made the buzz become a bounce. Anthem after anthem filled the air; every song as catchy as the last. It was only broken up by Maz’s off-the-cuff remarks to the crowd (I have actually seen comedians who are less funny) or Sean’s very entertaining political tirades; the most memorable being when he dedicated the last song Messiah to “…anyone who hates the Queen”.
The on-stage banter was almost as engrossing as the music. From the show and from my access to the back stage area I got the sense that the pair love and annoy each other in equal measure; and this no doubt spills into their songwriting partnership. Indeed it is a tribute to the songs that the music still managed to take centre stage tonight.
In the aftermath of the gig I sat in the smoking area to absorb what I had seen with a ten deck and a pint. A thick Liverpool accent rang in my ears, “They’re the best thing I have seen in ages. It’s a shame they’re Mancs.” it said. If one of the most intense UK inter-city rivalries can be surpassed by the music of Alias Kid then it looks like Alan McGee might actually have found that lightning can strike twice.
Alan McGee’s new book “Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running a Label” is out now at all good book stores.
More information about Alias Kid can be found at http://www.facebook.com/aliaskid