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Live Reviews

The Garden Hotel, Manchester - Ged Camera

Ac & The Observa (I’m not allowed to reveal Colin & Noel’s identity...) have been promoting this event for longer than they need reminding of, but another "Sold Out" show displays the enduring affection that this occasion holds.

Sold out is possibly the wrong terminology, because there seems to be as many people coming in the side door, as there are through the "official" back door, but punters do want to see and hear the bands on show...there's a real thirst for music.

Local 3 piece, The Forest, manoeuvre their way through the crowd to the little corner of the basement room that has been designated as the stage. Youthful exuberance means that everything and anything can go into the set, even if quality control could be improved. So we can get abrupt, raw, 30 second songs that have finished before you get served, and longer, more thought out and developed pieces that elicit appreciative applause from the audience.

It’s difficulty to tell who is the moist bemused - Stuffy and the Fuses or the crowd. Earlier in their week, Stuffy admitted to not knowing where the place was, or even what it was like, (the Gardens, not Manchester), but a willingness to take on the unknown can get the adrenalin flowing, and before too long Stuffy has left the drum kit behind and is wandering with mic. out into the intimate surroundings to generate some authentic audience participation, and the efforts are acknowledged.

Hailing from London, but linked with Leeds based Wrath Records, the Stuffies have drummer Mr. Stuffy (I know that because he is wearing a shirt with "I’m Stuffy" on) in a prominent (as much as the limited space will allow) position at the front - but luckily enough, the sprit of Cozy Powell (ask your dad) does not linger on. Using the harmonies of Jen (guitar) the resultant sound is almost reminiscent of a poppier version of the B52’s, all the songs hewn from a fast, rocking beat. Conscious of allowing drums to dominate the sounds, it’s merely used as an ingredient that will help get the crowd dancing and moving to their feel-good/happy beat - an easily acheived objective.

Tonight is probably equal parts anarchy and enjoyment. For fun on its own right, the event deserves 9/10

The Vault

Nice to see that a few bands who journos would almost certainly fit in the "indie" pigeonhole are still on speaking terms with the concepts of wit and imagination. If you see these guys playing near you, you could do a lot worse than check them out.


Half an hour of splendidly jerky pop, topped with an awesome blast through ‘Evil Knievel’.

Leeds Music Scene

Stuffy retakes the stage with his own outfit next. Stuffy has a nice blasé way of playing drums. He swots at them as if dismissing a tenuous argument. If you didn't know Stuffy had been around for a while you would have to guess, as a couple of the Fuses look half his age.

Review written by: Michael Lodge

angels are ace cover

Angels are Ace is out now, available through usual outlets, and the shop.

Buy it on iTunes


stuffy/the fuses of south london - friends since for ever but only just in a band together. first album "join me or die" almost recorded on his own by stuffy with Owen Turner (Magoo)but soon it brought together the fuses.

Been travelling the country (uk) upwards and downwards playing the songs and gaining radio appreciation from many including the late, great John Peel, Steve Lamacq and Marc "Lard" Reily (all courtersy of radio 1).

Recorded a session for the Peel show which was aired on Huw Stephen's new onemusic show. this was followed by the band entering the studio to record album *2 with steve albini (shellac mainmain and recorder of jesus lizard, pixies, mclusky amongst others). it sounds ace.

stuffy/the fuses
Left to right: jon fuse, jen fuse, stuffy, lucy fuse