Army of Freshmen Live @ Academy, Manchester (UK) - Monday 10th October 2005

I would love to be able to tell you that the entrance was fantastic and the crowd went mental as Army of Freshmen kicked off another unbelievable show, I'm sure that they did, but as I and 99% of the audience were still trying to get into the venue, I wouldn't know for sure. When will concert organizers realize that it takes time for people to get into a gig, and if I can miss the start of a set, even though I didn't have to queue because I was reviewing the gig, what chance did the paying customers have? Shame on you!!!!!!!

Ranting over. On with the review…..

I eventually arrive inside to find AOF onstage kicking an unbelievable amount of ass, and a somewhat depleted audience loving every wonderfully energetic second of it. I have to say that they interact brilliantly together, and the addition of Mike Milligan on skins is most certainly the cherry on the top of the ice-cream sundae. (It could have it without, but it wouldn't be quite done properly!) A fantastic selection from 'Beg, Borrow, Steal' and 'At The End Of The Day' played with a zeal and passion which, exceeds all expectations. Those of you who have had the pleasure of witnessing AOF play live know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who haven't, imagine the most enthusiastic, positive performance that you have ever seen, times it by ten, take away any pretense, cover it all in a massive amount of love of performing and you are somewhere close to how these guys are on stage.

Fantastic lyrics, great vocals, incredibly talented musicianship and stage presence few could match, made it a performance that would have been more than a little daunting to follow. Closing a phenomenal set with 'Get Um Up' they make sure that, even the people who walk in at this concluding moment, will remember them for a long time to come. Vocalist Chris Jay deciding mid-song he was too far away from the people he was doing it for, and leaping from the stage, to pretty much finish the song standing on the barrier, was a moment few will forget.

These guys are the most enthusiastic performers in the history of the world ever, well if not they would come fairly damn close. In the interview with Glitzine a few weeks ago we were promised an ass-kicking performance that would wipe the floor with last years cracking display, these guys keep their promises and did not disappoint!

by Talia Kane

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