Be What You Wanna Be

Saturday night- A Certain Ratio, live at Academy 2 (I much preferred it when this great gig room was called The Student Union Main Debating Hall. I also preferred it when gigging didn’t require a bank loan at the bar. No draught beer in the venue. Four cans of lager, fourteen quid. Fourteen quid! Robbery!). This shot, nabbed from the band’s website, is towards the end. Drummer Donald Johnson has switched to bass and is doing backing vox with his sister Denise while guitarist Martin Moscrop is on drums. They swapped back mid-song.

The gig ran roughly in chronological order. Early stuff early on (Do The Du, still as funky as can be, and Flight). A cover of the Brian Eno song that they got their name from. The house sounds of their ’89-’91 back catalogue made up the bulk of the set and were top notch- a massive Good Together, the dancepop of Won’t Stop Loving You and a crowd pleasing Be What You Wanna Be, and the mainly middle aged audience dancing about at the front, grateful for babysitters on a wet and cold Saturday night. Off briefly and then back on for Shack Up, sung by Denise, who doesn’t look a day older than she did when she first sang with the band. ACR’s recorded songs are all very of their time- live they all fit together really well and make a coherent sounding set. On the tram home I met and spoke to Simon Wolstencroft (Funky Si), a former drummer of The Fall and a man in early versions of both the Stone Roses and The Smiths.

Be What You Wanna Be

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