Review: The Hoax at The Band On The Wall, Manchester – 22 December 2009

Posted on: Sunday, Dec 27, 2009

Hugh Coltman

It’s very hard to believe but it is twenty years since the phenomenon that is The Hoax was formed. The gig at The Band On The Wall was one of just three appearances by the temporarily reformed quintet in the UK as part of a mini tour to celebrate its birth that long time ago.

Nostalgia ruled as a sizeable crowd demonstrated a fervent delight at being reconnected with a host of happy memories, having been impressively determined not to let the icy road conditions prevent their attendance. All the band’s favourite numbers were given a rapturous reception, including “I Want To Be Loved”, “Feeding Time”, “Groove Breaker” and “Bones”. There was also a terrific version of John Lennon’s “Come Together” and a magical rendition of the slow blues, “Don’t Shake My Hand”, which was embellished by a fabulous guitar solo from Jon Amor, who was in particularly sparkling form.

Hugh Coltman fronted the performance with his customary warmth and eloquence and set the tone magnificently throughout the show with his superb vocal delivery and excellent harmonica playing. Bass guitarist Robin Davey and drummer Mark Barrett were as steadfast as ever and Amor and Jesse Davey swapped lead guitar pyrotechnics in a fully complementary manner.

The time simply flashed by and all too soon the band left the stage to a deafening roar of appreciation, which was followed by an equally loud demand for an encore. If anything, the bar was then raised even higher with a fantastic version of the Red Devils’ classic, “Automatic”, and, to round off a wonderful evening, an airing of the ever-popular “Superstition”.

For their very significant contribution to the success of the occasion, credit is also due to the young North West-based trio, Tantrum, who delivered a vibrant rocking set to open the proceedings.

Lionel Ross



December 27th, 2009 at 09:53
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Nice one Lionel, glad this got reviewed for the site! I love this band, and due to circumstances couldn’t make the gig, so hope their will be further opportunities to see them again. Saw them five times first time around and they were never less than brilliant!