The fact that the tannoy is playing the Happy Mondays just before the band comes out tells you that RTM is slightly off territory tonight. This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of those occasions when stick our heads a bit of above the parapet and go and have a look at something slightly hip…
Actually, that should be hip with a but. Macclesfield’s The Virginmarys first came to our attention a couple of years ago when we discovered that Little Angels frontman Toby Jepson produced their debut EP and Classic Rock had the track “Taking The Blame” on one of their CD’s a couple of months ago, which we liked a lot.
Actually that track is a neat starting point for the band. Singer/Guitarist Ally Dickaty sings it in his accent, which gives the song a somewhat more indie feel than maybe we are used to, but the music the band play is pure classic rock.
Opening with appears to be an ode to casual sex in “Just A Ride” before “Out Of Mind echoes the Rolling Stones. Indeed the bands influences are hard to pin down, one minute they are knocking out Bluesy riffs, the next they are into screeching rock – and in places they remind RTM of long forgotten Brit sleazers The Glitterati.
With Dickaty and bass man and bass man Matt Rose preferring to let the music do the talking, the three piece might suffer from a lack of a focal point, that is if they didn’t have drummer Danny Dolan. Equal parts Keith Moon and Animal from the Muppets he seems on a mission to kill his kit, breaking his drums at least twice thanks to his energetic style.
Appropriately for a band with such diverse references the songs have a scattergun approach, “Same as It Ever Was” explodes, “Looking For Love” offers a change of pace while album title track “King Of Conflict” rattles along while sounding like the White Stripes.
After explaining they aren’t doing their usual encore as the dressing rooms are too far away, they stay on stage for the acoustic “Stripped” and the single “Bang Bang Bang.”