Toni Butler-Williamson 19/02/2008
Getting a crowd of more than a few old drunk men to listen to blues is no easy challenge in Manchester, but last Tuesday, Blind Atlas proved they are more than capable of taking it on.
The bad weather prevented them from pulling as large a crowd as these eager young things deserve, but they still managed to perform with as much passion and skill as their fans have become accustomed to. Older tunes like 'The Ethereal Song' and 'Lilith' have developed a tight, professional finish to them, whilst new song 'Highway' has an irresistible edge to it, and left many in the audience wishing they had stayed on stage to keep the music going for just a bit longer.
With time only for 7 songs, the set didn't feel nearly long enough to give the beautiful melancholy of Blind Atlas long enough to properly take hold over the crowd. They are a band who are definitely made for the headline slot, as their music seems to take on the atmosphere of each individual performance and make it something unique for that evening. This apparent spontaneous innovation of songs in their live sets demonstrates the genuine musical ability of each of the band members, and proves that they are more than capable of making it as a successful group.
The relentless rhythm section provided by bass player Cameron Baxter and drummer Chris Jacobs form a strong backbone for Blind Atlas' irresistible blend of contemporary rock and blues, and sets them well apart from their guitar-music-by-number peers. Growling vocals from singer Ross Thompson complement the music perfectly, as his Colorado upbringing provide the band with that inimitable infusion of cool that only an American accent can provide.
With a sound that suggests experience far beyond their years, and an obvious love for what they do, Blind Atlas are definitely a band worth watching out for, as their music is truly something special.