Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Mando Diao - Manchester Academy - 17/9/9


Swedish rockers Mando Diao never enjoyed the success on these shores as some of their peers did when they emerged with their debut album ‘Bring ‘Em In’ in 2002 but since then they have been a relentless touring and recording machine, picking up an army of admirers in their home nation, Germany and Japan.

Tonight they’re on the Manchester leg of their short but sweet zip of the UK and there is no doubt that this band have indeed won a small but notable army here too.

Like I said, these boys are unyielding and if five albums plus notable EP releases in the seven years that have passed since their debut don’t convince you of this then you simply have to watch them live.

There is an explosive and curious character to this live act and they’ve thickened themselves out with the addition of two female backing vocalists and when combined with their two lead vocals and the twinkly keyboards, this band are out of the garage and into their own dimension.

This year’s ‘Mean Street’ EP is displayed to its full extent and they open with the edgy and illustrious blues stomp that is ‘Blue Lining, White Trench Coat’ before the title track comes three songs in and whips the crowd into a frenzy as the two vocalists stalk across the stage, apparently unaware they’ve nearly knocked each other out on their unforgiving headstocks on several occasions.

They burn with a rock n roll spirit that is quite often absent in a live gig, too many bands rigorously follow their album sound and are therefore unable to break free into a set of spirit and sweat but Mando Diao have got the balance and mix the bag with an acoustic interlude, probably to give themselves a small break more than anything, but the crowd continue to lap them up.

“This is the Swedish blues, I want to dedicate it to Michael Schumacher because it’s his favourite song,” crows singer/guitarist Bjorn Dixgard before he introduces ‘High Heels’ and the band slink through ‘God Knows’, Dance With Somebody’ and ‘Sheepdog’ in raw and enticing form as they end their set in the eye of their own party that has the ferocity only the finest could muster.

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