Manchester laundrettes can be quite dirty affairs; soiled dreams and underwear seem to inhibit its watermarked benches... An eternal wait occurs especially when in view, a tumble of studenty rag-tag, experiences its final hot spin. Most exit with filthy souls and if they're lucky a bag of garments to hide this mucky guilt. However when, for novelty value (or a misplaced sense of cool?) these places become adorned in stale lager and left-over karaoke lighting... well, you've at least got to make a few notes.
The concept commonly uncommon; an odd location to send local pockets of pretension fluttering for the late night bus schedules, guerrilla-gigs now trendy additions rather than passionate affairs for a dilettante youth. It now stands alongside owning horizontally striped t-shirts, procuring an unknowing palate for Jamaican Lager (Red Stripe) and watching foreign films that you don't enjoy. The Indie check-list is one of few surprises, and more of a receipt in the way it documents a decline in taste and finances.
London-based Real Fur are half way done with their SafariFunk Laundrette Tour, when they arrive in Manchester's official student preservation - The Northern Quarter to gig at The Laundrette. A few dodgy haircuts fill the crowd, but genuine interest prevails with many worn soles being ushered in by Real Fur's smiling front man, offering details of off-licenses, pints and piss-points (sanitation not S&M).
After a large interval, 11pm strikes and the band eventually slopes onto its designated patch of non-slip lino, greeted by a reception of cheerful drunken friends, wannabes and music-fans. Riff-raff, brick-brack derivative indie washes up against appreciative gig-goers as the crowd bask in a happiness induced from the now discarded cans and inhibitions. A set that lasts less than 35 minutes and containing the infectious 'Animal' descends into tunefully contained wails, catchy swirling harmonies and prosthetically exotic riffs. Real Fur manage to keep their cluster of neutral pop music likable through a precise ploy of time allocation - a notion to start late and to present only a fraction of it's unfinished self.
Less tropical storm, more rainforest cafe, Real Fur are harmless well-wishers, content to be quirky yet irrelevant in a genre of modern-crucifixion, but gimmick or no gimmick, this band know how to organise an enjoyable event.