Bad Taste Barbies, Illustrators, The Salutation Manchester

The Salutation in Manchester’s student quarter is like an oasis in a desert..a proper brit pub with a proper pint and a real landlord who greets you at the bar as if you have been there every Wednesday for the last ten years.
The sign outside reads ‘free toasties with every pint 12 till 2‘… if that should be needed to tempt anyone into this gem.
The reason we are here on this spring Wednesday evening is to see travelling north east band ‘Illustrators’ who are on their debut E.P. launch tour.
The gig is postponed a bit to cater for the Man Utd v foreigner match on the telly, but everything is light hearted and the regulars promise to watch the bands if they wait a bit!
So as soon as Giggs and co wave goodbye to Europe, Illustrators get on with the job, and storm into a set of songs that hold the pub audience by the bollocks, everyone from the crazy drunk in the corner to the group of market trader Indian lads is transfixed.
The band are tighter than a fishes nether regions, and the singalong chorus’s have as much catch as a lucky angler, so its no surprise when the pub is in an uproar when the songs run out and the band step down.
The pub audience has a bit of a surprise to contend with though as The Bad Taste Barbies walk in, pushing past old gents and regulars to get to the tiny stage.
If you can imagine Sigue Sigue Sputnik with a real (and very alluring) girl as co singer, helped out by a 6ft bloke in a swimsuit and green wig, with enough make up between them to do a boots advert.
the guitarist is a greasy 50s rocker, complete with wedgers and quiff, and the bass player is well, individual…
Drum machine and backing tracks compete with distorted basslines and raking guitar, and the tunes remind me a bit of the B52s, but the overwhelming memory of this gig is the sheer enjoyment and fun being had by everyone ,band and audience..I haven’t had so much fun at a gig for ages.  I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth…..’Class!

I luv bands me…..wugaruga…

By Tony on April 13, 2010

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