REVIEW gig Beck Manchester Albert Halls

Beck Lifts Spirits With Schizophonic Soundscape

This gig was exactly what everybody needed after one of the worst weeks ever. Uplifting, celestial and a welcome distraction from the events of the last 7 days.

First up was Badly Drawn Boy looking resplendent in his 'Happy To Be European' t-shirt. This is one man who is pissed off about recent political events and used his platform to inspire a room full of people not to stay quiet and voice their frustrations as loudly as possible. The only problem with this is that he is more than likely, due to the emphatic response, preaching to the converted. More of his kind need to get together and do this on a bigger stage to truly get the message out there.

In between political statements he played a delicate set of classics, including a Beck cover for good measure. Paying tribute to the man he said showed him he could do this for a living. A great compliment for anyone coming from someone as talented as Badly Drawn Boy.

Beautiful versions of "Once Around the Block" and "Silent Sigh" had everyone feeling good, but the delicacy of his delivery when its just him and his guitar unfortunately succumbed on occasion to the most awful of gig-goers, the talkies.

Beck by comparison suffered no such injustice.

Storming out of the blocks with "Devils Haircut", "Black Tambourine" and a version of "Loser", the ultimate slackers anthem, that sung by the crowd visibly pleased Beck and he had everyone's attention.

He is a musical chameleon in the same way as Bowie was. One minute you’re shaking your hips, the next rapping with him before banging your head to the heavier stuff or swaying to the mellower stuff. The mark of a true genius like Beck is that he took us all on this journey where he channels the likes of Prince, Bowie, Adam Yauch or even in his more mercurial moments, Radiohead - and made it feel like one cohesive event.

Having seen different versions of Beck over the years I have to say he currently seems to have his mojo back. Nobody can do beautiful acoustic melancholy and fuck it lets dance as well as Beck and he effortlessly shifted between the two without ever missing a step. It's an acknowledgment from the man that some are here for 'Morning Phase', some for 'Odelay' or 'Midnite Vultures'. The truth though is that everyone is here for Beck and whichever one of him was on the stage at any given time he was everybody's favourite Beck.

Last years single "Dreams" sounded great but he finished his set with a closing triumvirate of "Girl, Sexx Laws" and "E-Pro". That was something incredible, but this is Beck, so when he came back out with "Where It’s At" and a medley jam featuring Chic, Bowie, Prince and Kraftwerk he took it that one step further and ensured every one left buzzing.

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