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Tracer - O2 Academy, Manchester (UK) - 24th April 2012

"If these aren't any good, I'm out of here like a whippet on lino." Thus spake the delightful Debbie. Fair enough. Tracer produced a great first album, ‘Spaces In Between’, full of Bluesy sound and fury, presaging a long career. And now this tough-nut threesome are over here to hammer the point home.

And they do. Whirling hair, flying sweat, shouted vocals, they give the lot. They are incredibly tight and well drilled (fnarr), banging one song after another out. It's a brief period of attack, effective in its youthful exuberance and completely fearless. Ah yes, youth. The feeling that it's all in front of them. The feeling that makes them have fun with this. They've come so far, they want a laugh. Not that they try, their openness disarms the rather sparse crowd.

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Clearly delighted to be there, they lark about, drop self deprecating comments and make the crowd chuckle. They also favour us with a goodly portion of their debut, which shows less of the light and shade on disc but stakes a real claim for rough rock revisionism. And tonight, lots of raucous rockers blasted out is just what we want. There's not much room to move so they don't bother, but that doesn't mean it's moribund.

In fact, just to prove it, they come back for the encore and joke through a hammering version of ‘War Pigs’, even turning their back to play their instruments backwards, Michael and Lee Brown on guitar and bass, but Andrew Wise on drums too. Impressive and rather fun!

Tracer, a band really worth pinning some hopes on. No whippets. No lino. No worries.

Steve Swift

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