Nine Black AlpsNine Black Alps

Carling Academy, 17th February 2006

Reviewed by Lib Murray

Hailing from Manchester, the grunge quartet Nine Black Alps, have built up a devoted fan base since the release of their debut album - 'Everything Is' - last June. Named after a line from a Sylvia Plath poem, their music carries the same visceral punch as any of the tortured poet’s works.

It is clear from the tight knot of people crammed around the stage that this gig is not only hugely anticipated, but promises to deliver. The backdrop of stark, white trees on black emits a Burtonesque, nightmarish landscape, which seems to suit a band famed for their enigmatic and often anarchic gigs.

The band takes to the stage to rapturous applause, charging straight into 'Get Your Guns', the first track off the album. From here they launch into a full onslaught, giving little respite between songs and playing virtually their entire album. Front man Sam Forrest allows just enough time between songs to observe that Liverpool is even hotter than Manchester. A comment the crowd roars their approval to.

With the band’s mixture of grunge guitar and melodies The Beach Boys would be proud of; this gig was always going to be a riot. Considering the band list Girls Aloud, Mozart and Kiss amongst their musical favorites this is no surprise. Nine Black Alps provide a refreshing break from the identikit monotony of many indie bands today (see Kaiser Chiefs for more details), and as such deserve to bask long in their glory.

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