Answer The Machine
Written By Michael Wood Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
The Answering Machine at The Cockpit 3, Leeds
Some bands are hardly seen as they flash by you.
They pick guitars in garages and start to string a few chords together and then what seems like months later they have gone from nowhere to a level of success and subsequent fame that leaves them out of the stratosphere they by passed so quickly, responsive only - perhaps - to the odd recorded message.
At least that is how it seems to be to the casual observer. In truth the level of effort put into the first push of a band is massive and generated on nights like this as Manchester's melodic grunge four piece The Answering Machine play to a healthy crowd in the confined space of Cockpit 3.
Three skinny lads and a lass who looks like Thelma, or was it Velma?, from Scooby Doo they are an unremarkable collective to look at. Strike up the first chords of Lightblubs and they impress immediately.
The pasty singer Martin Colclough ensues the nasal delivery of his home town preceding a cleaner, more measured timbre as he yanks tune after tune out if his well loved guitar.
Songs that plough a furrow of rasping pop played on fuzzed up guitars lacking the twee of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart or Those Dancing Days but not the energy.
Cliffer and Oh Christina arrive early in the set and set an impressively high bar. You Should've Called shows a depth to their canon while the cover of The Wannadies You + Me Song shows interesting influences.
Before near end song Oklahoma a chance to muse on the band who seem to have had enough about them to impress someone into putting Its Over, Its Over, Its Over onto the soundtrack for Fifa10 and may be about to zoom past playing venues like this small loft in Leeds in double quick time moving up to a place where their rapport with the crowd alone suggests they might go. I do hope so, music needs the more interesting bands in any genre to be the more celebrated.
On top of that The Answering Machine play tunes that burrow into your brain. That, plus the hard work they show, suggest that levels of recognition will not be far away.