Manchester Band On The Wall

...poetry is not the new rock'n'roll.

Despite the fertile imaginations of Sunday supplement feature writers, poetry is not the new rock’n’roll. In fact, the only excitement poetry’s ever caused in clubland is the panicked exit from whichever room it’s being performed in.

However, new Manchester label Switchflicker, the brainchild of DJ Jayne Compton and musician Mildmanjan, is different. For a start they’re mixing words and music. What’s more, they’ve persuaded characters as opinionated, and unpredictable, as Mark E Smith and performance artiste The Divine David, to their cause.

“Get your finger right up your anus and give yourself a big whoop, you deserve it.” Transvestite poet Chloe Poems has arrived. With airy effervescence and the edge of a serial killer, Chloe enunciates over a gentle pastoral twinkle, and then does something called ‘The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock’. After which, it’s straight into the heart of decaying Britain, Chloe spitting over Lamb-ish clang and twang. Fantastic.

Meanwhile, the Tricky-ish My Mate Mark consist of Tracey Elizabeth and Veba, sometime diva to Rae & Christian. Swearing aside, Tracey‘s vocals are lost in the mix for much of their set, but new single, ‘Skin Deep’, an asthmatic skank, is immediately, obviously great. No Mark E or Divine David, the briefest of introductions to the Switchflicker roster, but still a cool debut, and, yes, tangibly rock’n’roll.