Live Review: Made as Mannequins, Junebug, Where’s George? at Sleazy’s, 25/1/14

MadeAsMannequiuns_NicenSleazy_John Graham Bassline Images08It’s Burns night and in the basement of Sleazy’s Made as Mannequins is spreading appreciation for the Bard with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne – who says young Scots today are not proud of their roots?

Earlier on, the first of three Glasgow-based bands, Where’s George? start things up and the three-piece make a lot of brilliant noise between them.

Penny Osbourne has a bluesy quality to her voice, leading a sound influenced by Stones-era rock ’n’ roll, meanwhile the drummer and backing vocalist, Amelia Stokes, take excess to a different level by swigging honey mid-set, apparently to help a sore throat – and her Meg White style drum-kit skill is matched by a consistently strong bass part.

Next up are Junebug, who open with a new track ‘You and I’, the video for which is up online now.

Their brand of guitar heavy indie pop goes down well as Heather Laughland’s high-pitched vocal gives their songs an endearing and cheerful tone, her version of Katy B’s ‘On a Mission’ is impressively controlled.

One guitar solo is played so high up the frets it leaves ears ringing, but otherwise the band is tight.

The last two bands playing tonight are coming to the end of a mini tour, which has taken them to Stirling, Edinburgh and shortly, Aberdeen.

MadeAsMannequiuns_NicenSleazy_John Graham Bassline Images02Headliners Made as Mannequins have coincided these shows with the release of their debut EP, Chief, and by the time they take to the floor the room is half-packed and on its feet.

They bring the energy in a big way, each song is catchy and compelling and the gleam on the singer’s forehead reflects how hard they are working.

The band are clearly having a great time performing together, delivering the set with the same fearless abandon of four teenage boys jamming in a garage.

Covers of early Arctic Monkeys and The Fratellis pinpoint their contemporary influences.

Fans’ favourite ‘Am I Alive?’ asks “If I sing like a Scottish man, will it make them understand?

What the crowd understands is that Made as Mannequins are doing all the right things and getting audience members of all ages dancing.

Hey, if a rock band can play ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and still appear cool by the end of it, who is going to question them?

More photos

Words: Ellen MacAskill
Photos: John Graham

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