McQueen set Manchester's Academy 2 ablaze!
We at RoomThirteen have championed McQueen for some time now. I, personally, was enthralled to see them for the first time supporting the Mad Capsule Markets. Their return to Manchester fills me with such pride that can only be described as "Proud Parent Syndrome". I remember their last appearance in late 2006 with W.A.S.P at Academy 2 and this is nothing like before. The crowd are shouting the name "McQueen" and punching their fists in the air. Truly, the atmosphere is the greatest I've seen at an audience with the McQueen.
Unsurprisingly, the crowd is a little younger this time around, with plenty of Wednesday 13 bat babies in attendance. McQueen's presence is as raw, rockin' and drag strip as ever, with Leah making the crowd practically eat out of her hand. Speaking with a few members of the crowd, some people clearly thought that the band rocked the free world whereas others described the band as "Angry Lesbian Rockers". Needless to say, such heretics were in the minority here tonight.
Sadly, a couple of technical faults marred the performance tonight. Firstly, the sound had a horrible drone over the top of some rather badly mixed sound. It certainly didn't have the wholesome, rounded, powerful feeling I'm used to from a McQueen gig. Secondly, halfway through, poor Cat's guitar decided to stop working. Apparently, the Marshall stack had a faulty kettle lead. Not to be defeated so easily, the indomitable Cat decided to rock out by clapping her hands wildly in the air and pretending to play. It certainly went down well with the crowd. On the plus side, it made it easier to hear the strong bass lines from Gina who has made a great addition to the McQueen lineup.
McQueen, as always, close out to "Bitch". The crowd hits critical mass, with crowd surfers and a full fledged circle pit. This is the best, most violent reaction I have seen to McQueen full-stop (with perhaps Frankfurt being an exception). The energy of the crowd is palpable and the rush can still be felt as McQueen stride confidently from the stage.
McQueen have always been a solid band, but tonight, despite the technical hiccups, their true form was recognised for what it always has been. Great, ass-kicking rock and roll.