Junior Senior : Manchester Roadhouse

Junior Senior : Manchester Roadhouse

But Junior, we're a little more cynical than you

Cripes, last time the Roadhouse had its doorways brightened by bona fide Number Four Popstars, Coldplay had fallen through a wormhole back to 1999. Stranger still, the place is deserted. Either this is the fastest backlash in pop history or Junior Senior have got some way to go before becoming the sensations we dearly wish they were.

But, just as a chart-approved fat gay man and a thin straight one singing about ‘Chicks and Dicks’ won’t necessarily draw an audience, 45 too-quiet minutes of Cramps-ish punka, dayglo melodics and one bona fide brilliant single won’t place you at the vanguard of the New Pop. No bad thing though, as Senior bounces like a wired-on-Sanatogen Bungle, Junior bashes out surf riffs too far in the corner, a confused-looking bass player pogos gamely and some backing singers coo and squeal. It doesn’t help that they waste ‘Move Your Feet’ halfway through the set and choose to climax with a cover of ‘Twist ‘N’ Shout’ that – ouch – actually samples Salt’n’Pepa. And though ’60s-centric moments like ‘Shake Me Baby’ can buoy things for now, if Junior Senior want to be more than this month’s Electric Six, they need more of those.

Sure, pop careers have been built on less than being a welcome breath of fresh air, but live it sounds like washing down half a pill with a gallon of Lucozade. Tremendous fun, but Jesus, you wouldn’t want to see what it’s doing to your teeth.

Dan Martin