Manchester Jilly’s

They are a proper, starry-eyed rock band.

Mani and Andy Rourke have been spotted by the bar. There is, however, little generational symbolism to riff on. For Gecko Levy (debut EP, ‘Motels At Midnight’, in certain northern shops now) have little in common, musically, with Manchester’s past or – with the exception of Haven‘s more introspective country-rock – its present.

Instead, they look to the rusticity of Buffalo Springfield, Jeff Buckley‘s balletic squalls and the blues-rock of The Rolling Stones, for inspiration. They are a proper, starry-eyed rock band. Just look at guitarist Tim Brennan. Fag glued to his lips, hair all over the show, facial muscles fixed in rigorous concentration – although, that might just be the smoke getting in his eyes – he looks possessed, iconic, as he conjures up a beautiful ethereal, Verve-ish lead.

If the rest of the band look like normal lads, they don’t sound like it. The grand, chiming, fleet-footed ‘Hijacked’ breaks your heart in two; as Simon Aldred lets rip with a burned soul croon, the tremulous, brushed-drums urgency of ‘Wake The Walls’ is similarly beautiful. Although tonight the brash blues-rock of ‘Vertigo’ (its lung-capacity increased by guest Denise Johnson) seem comparatively graceless, on record its preening, screaming mix of Suede and Led Zep is perfect.

Couple this with the affable, quick-witted characters revealed in recent local press interviews, and you could get very excited about Gecko Levy‘s prospects. Very excited indeed.