The Sweet & Tender Hooligans were excellent in Manchester on Friday gone.
With only a couple of gigs left on their current UK tour, I'd recommend Smiths/Moz fans to come out in their droves (yes, I know we probably don't have droves) to see the band here.
Jose Maldonado is an excellent front-man, and (with the possible exception of Graham from The Smyths) turns in a better performance than other Smiths tribs also-rans, Other Smiths and Smiths Indeed. His 14 years of doing this shows and he's great to watch.
I felt disappointed for the band though, as the venue (downstairs at Dry Bar) was a red-hot cauldron of a basement more suited to a teenage garage-band knocking out crap in front of friends and family. If, as Jose said, the band are used to playing before 1,500 in the US, then this must have been an anti-climax for them. A couple of the band did look somewhat underwhelmed.
I don't know how it's gone down elsewhere in the UK (gigs in London, Leicester and Glasgow, i think) but I wonder if the promotion of the tour left anything to be desired. After all, I only learned of it myself a week before the gig - what chance of getting non-enthusiasts to the gig with that kind of marketing.
Or am i wrong here? Jose's passion for Smiths/Moz meant he simply had to be in Manchester on Friday 16/6, no matter what; but, playing before a bigger crowd would have been much more gratifying. And, if the Other Smiths can get 900 into the Manchester Academy (as I've been told), then I'm sure that SATH could have, with the appropriate PR.