The Chemists – Live

Academy 1, Manchester, 24/11/2009
By Simon Poole

Three weeks and a day after the release of their debut album, ‘Theories of Dr. Lovelock’ hit the shelves, The Chemists take to the stage tonight filling the support slot for Skunk Anansie. This is their eighth turn out in nine days, in which they have played in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Scotland and, erm, Yorkshire. 

As usual for this time of year (and most other times of year, if I’m being honest) I arrive at tonight’s venue rather rain soaked. Normally when turning up to see a support band, you will find most of the attendees either at the bar, or still at the boozer round the corner. Well, tonight is not one of those nights and as I enter the main hall I find that it is well on its way to being three quarters full. 

At the stroke of eight o’clock, the PA buzzes into life with the sound of some banging techno beats. Shortly into this, the band take up their positions, and as singer Johnny Benn bounds onstage – much to the admiration of all in attendance -they launch immediately into ‘Tazmanian Devil’. Only stopping to introduce themselves, they proceed into current single ‘Milk And Honey’, which is followed by ‘A Love Like No-one Else’.

By now, their love for bands such as Queens Of The Stone Age is clear, but at the same time it is obvious they’re not trying to recreate an exact replica. There is also a bit of the Foo Fighters thrown into the mix for good measure, too. After ‘A Bit of Education’ and ‘To Die For’ they finish off with the bouncy “Radio Booth”. 

An article by The Guardian last year described The Chemists as awesomely average, I can only comment on their sound a year on from when that was written, but would urge the author to take themselves off to see them now, and I’m sure they reconsider their choice of words.

For a band that has only just released their first album, they should give themselves a hearty pat on their collective back!

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