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22-20s : Manchester Hop & Grape
Believe the hype
Yes, their bluesy element has seen them lazily touted as the ‘British Stripes’ in some quarters. True, they share Jack ‘n’ Megs influences in people like legendary bluesman Muddy Waters, but 22-20s sound is significantly more heavyweight. Hurtling at breakneck pace through raw, scuzzy shitkickers like ‘22 Days’ and ‘Messed Up’, they’re a staggering live force: permanently rooted to the spot, singer Martin Trimble possesses a stare that could burn holes through steel. Clad in – what else? – a leather jacket, he’s an unflinching embodiement of studied cool, primed to join the Casablancas/White stratosphere.
As clear leaders of the BritPack movement, it’s obvious that 22-20s are taking this all extremely seriously, as throughout the set there’s a complete sense of unwavering focus. There’s no needless between-song mumbling or over-exuberant pogoing and, like all the best bands, once they down tools after awesome set closer ‘Devil In Me’, there’s no encore, leaving the crowd desperate for more. It’s a trick they’re going to perfect over the coming year. Pretty soon everyone’s going to want a piece of them. Believe the hype.
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