Lo-Fidelity Allstars: Manchester Academy 3

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Getintothis travels back in time to witness first hand how to operate with a blown mind.


The Disco Bison, Albino Priest, The Many Tentacles Pimping On The Keys – yes they’re all here tonight.
In fact to be honest there’s almost as many people in the crowd as there are Super Hero Alt-Dance beatmasters on stage.
Well, initially anyways.
For a somewhat, ‘what the frick are we here for’ gathering has descended upon Manchester tonight.
Look around and the picture tells its own story: Thirty-somethings, weathered and cargo-dressed, post-Britpop indie-heads, nu-ravers in dayglo, Long Blonde-alikes and one lone Keith Flint character, wasted before the first of two support acts are done.
Of course they’re all here to just make sure they heard it right the first time: were the Allstars just that good? Were they?
To be fair, it is so long since we played that genre-straddling, sample-frenzied Big Beat flux known as How To Operate With A Blown Mind, we weren’t entirely convinced how it would work out either. A few minutes in and our worries are allayed.
Opening with a five-song battlestar galactica of interstellar house-rock you’re more than convinced, but when five songs in they casually throw away Battle Flag with nonchalant drops of the shoulder you’re utterly won over and back in 1998. Kicking, and more.
It’s better than funny to see how sensually carefree and utterly unarsed the collective are – you’ve a hoodie whacking beats and swilling Carlsberg like they’re running out, a bass player fret-weaving, a guitarist-sampler and jazz-style drummer all plodding – yet equally working it – and Phil the Albino Priest draping his mass of hair over keys and mic stand like a slovenly extra from Dallas, seemingly completely free of occasion – but this looseness, playfulness, fucking-yeahness only adds to their appeal. Addictive, soulful and rabid.
Oh, and by now EVERYONE is dancing. Not just Keith Flint – he’s just dribbling.
The blitz of bass and attitude is ramped up considerably with a primal, Gallagher-rasping Vision Incison; a tune that the Primals and Oasis would have loved to have fused but neither have dared or tried.
And if your fried brain wasn’t overcooked by now – Mr Flint’s certainly was – they storm out for a 12-minute Blisters On My Brain which sees the Academy descend into dancewarfare. Bottoms are shaked indeed.
Brief and bombed; in little over an hour the Lo-Fi Allstars have once again – a decade later – blown my mind.

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