My mate once won tickets to a band on Manchester’s GLR. That band was Suicidal Tendancies, they of legendary hardcore metal infamy (they were promoting the track ‘Feel like shit, de ja vu, at the time) I sort of knew this, but when I raised this with said mate, he said they were like the Stone Roses. We were very much into the baggy scene at the time, and although I thought I knew a lot about music, he probably knew about as much as any person I’ve ever met. And in the way that sometimes someone speaks so knowledgeably they can persuade you that black is white etc, so he did to me.
Imagine our horrified looks as well turned up at Manchester International 3 all those years ago… I had Converse, Joe Bloggs flares, my James t-shirt over the top of a stone roses long-sleeved thing, an acid house smiley badge, and it was during the few weeks that I had pierced my ear. The sight in front of us was like one of leather, studs, well-worn jeans, bullet belts, and the like. As we creeped in the back, all (musical) hell was being let loose and worshipful hands we’re raised in the air doing that little finger/index finger thing I’ve often found rather mystifying. Although the music wasn’t really my cup of tea, as it happened turns out the thrash metal community is very accepting of all comers, and as I witnessed my mate, throw himself of the stage, in full Happy Mondays regalia to be caught by the throng, it didn’t seem so bad.
Quite a few years later, I saw Manchester’s Mazes without ever hearing them. I was pretty sure they weren’t like Suicidal Tendancies, and anyway, I dressed fairly unremarkably for every age given my age. What was different was that instead of being overcome by the smell of sweat and leather, I was overcome by this mesmerising band I had somehow failed to see. Instead of my breath being taken as my mate flew through the air, it was taken by this….noise, this wall of guitar sound, faux garage almost, with this sort of classic songwriting over the top.
Recent reviews of their new album ‘Ores and Minerals’ have been almost universally gushing. They’ve come a long way since an early mix tape they made featuring out-takes, covers and the like. It was enough to persuade the fantastically consistent Fatcat records to sign them up. The three-piece, Jack Cooper (vocals/guitar), Conan Roberts (bass) and Neil Robertson (drums) look to have a bright future…. We spoke to Jack Cooper to find out more….
So there you have it. There’s no need to worry if you’re seeing Mazes without ever hearing them. They’re fantastic. What you should be asking yourselves is – Why haven’t you heard them before now….