Descending the stairs into a compact, leery pit of expectation that is awaiting the first hometown gig from the rugged rock/garage/indie and psychedelic mixing Warrington troupe The 66, is reminiscent to that of The Roadhouse in Manchester several years back. Back then it was some rising southern misfits who went by the name of The Libertines causing the air of anticipation. Tonight, it is The 66 stirring things up even before their entrance. The fulcrum of the outfit builds around an intriguing front pairing, featuring The Ever Mercurial Mike Bee (ex The Bridge and Zen Cohen) and the raw strutting young early Bobby Gillespie mirroring vocalist, Daniel Rimmer.
Every sinew is strained early on by a mixture of excitable, intrigued and “too-cool-for-school” gatherers, attempting to see if both a new band and potential gig venue holds up to expectation. One song, ‘Rise’ confirms all optimism on both counts, as the full potent impact of a raw and ripping sound akin to an early Stone Roses when they were under the influence of Slaughter And The Dogs, envelopes the surroundings. The rugged sound is well concealed in the tinned basement and a bolshie, high spirited atmosphere descends upon the venue.
The indie kids who are slowly starting to wander back upstairs, do a U-turn to rival Blair and Brown put together, when a rough n’ ready The Cribs moulded tune, ‘Instant Europe’ finds its way into the set. Mike Bee’s guitar prowess is rarely doubted from anyone who witnessed one of his performances, but tonight he shows he has taken a step forward by providing a rugged backing vocal thrust, beefing up the lofty and slightly nasal push of Rimmer.
The 66 are far from a two person band, as percussionist Ian ‘Ghandi’ Wilson and bassist Craig Harman demonstrates through a Sound Garden intro and The Ramones strutting free bass rumble of ‘Bordello’. Uncovering sleazy life with 70’s rock sordidness and it is just what this Saturday night crowd needs. Harman continues his prominence throughout the rhythm bustling bass kicked and Nine Black Alps skirting, ‘Gypsy Queen’.
Atmospheric instrumental implants give extra mystique to the songs that are kicked along by a light rock vocal style, turning material towards the catchy range that Free used to blistering impact. There has been some recent criticism of the people of Warrington for failing to support a mediocre football team. Surely the people of this town will be able to find the time and energy, needed to give a little shove in the right direction to a band with the potential to expand into a traditional, but forward gazing band to be proud of? Unless you’re an indie bore that is!
Catch The 66 live;
8 Dec 2007 20:00 The Lounge Warrington
23 Dec 2007 20:00 Cairo – Christmas Licks with the 66 Warrington