Barbed Wire Love

Formed in 2003 and hailing from Derry in Northern Ireland Fighting With Wire have already secured themselves a feature in Kerrang, toured with the likes of Million Dead and tonight's headliners Reuben. Things are looking good for them and tonight they get the chance to showcase their wares to a sell out crowd at Manchester Academy 3.

This is their first ever gig in Manchester and they set out to impress right from the word go. Whilst there's not much movement down at the front of the crowd,the reaction to the first song is very good indeed and this steadily grows throughout the set. Recent single 'Machine Parts' kicks off with a solid chugging riff before moving into a good melodic verse; it's loud and tuneful and comes across very well when supported by the band's stage presence. They don't have much room but they do their best to give it their all, whilst managing to keep it tight.

Ex-Million Dead front man Frank tells me beforehand that they remind him of Husker Du and a couple of songs in I can see where he's coming from. The fast paced nature of the songs, the solid melodies and some good harmonies courtesy of drummer Craig McKean all make a nod to the pioneering sound of Husker Du and that instantly puts them on a firm footing. The sound tonight is excellent and helps to highlight the strong nature of the songs. Some nice crowd interaction goes down well and from the reaction it's clear that FWW are winning some new friends tonight.

'Strength In Numbers' has a heavier feel to it but retains the melody, shades of emo here perhaps but it's never overbearing and is tempered by some decent guitar work from Cahir O'Doherty. It's fair to say that FWW are not the most original sounding of bands but they have enough about them to hold the interest. Their final song features some mellow interludes before bursting into a big meaty riff and with more urgent vocals, it's a definite highlight. A frenzied ending, during which the band really go for it, rounds their set off in fine style and they leave to a very healthy reaction.