[sic] Magazine

The Uzual Suspectz @ The Witchwood, Ashton Underlyne

While being shamelessly passed off as an alternative music venue, reality remains explicit; the floors are sticky, the seats smell…and the bouncers have bad dress sense. So how is it that this under cleaned dive of a club somehow found itself packed wall to wall with excited (all be it, slightly drunk) music lovers on a Thursday night?

Anyone who’s anyone has (allegedly) played the Witchwood…or so “beer in the evening.com” would have you believe. Yet, on Thursday 9th April, Manchester’s own: The Uzual Suspectz succeeded in playing a sell-out gig to over a hundred and with a reception more enthusiastic than most signed bands can hope to receive. Admittedly, the group aren’t exactly what you’d call stereotypical in appearance. The fact, that only two members of the band have hair seems to reflect their anti-cliché stance, and this unparalleled trait is further aided by the band’s indefinable genre. Throughout the entire gig, amidst the dancing (and altogether raving) the ultimately unanswerable question was constantly reverberating: “What the hell is this music?”

“We don’t know, but it’s fucking good!”


Astonishingly The Uzual Suspectz have succeeded in birthing an entirely original style, disguised by their ordinary looks; even long time fans admit the group still come across as a few scruffy looking lads from Hyde. Still, this ‘element of surprise’ the group upholds is again, another key factor in the bewitching performance the Suspectz maintain. No one expects lead singer Lewis’ vocals to be incomprehensibly clear…but they are. No one expects guitarist Peter Hayes to have the agility and charisma of a confident eighteen year old…but he does. No one expects Rap duo Urban Knights to take over the stage half way through the set…
By inviting their friends from the alternative side of music to perform alongside them, the group effectively bridged the gap between rock and rap-thus ending Facebook’s war between the two musical cultures. And as if this wasn’t enough, the audience LOVED it!
Which brings us to the Suspectz next asset; their timeless ability to transcend age or culture. Bottom line: this band is for everyone.

Although Lewis is technically the group’s front man, the band is evidently lead by guitarist Peter, who’s excitement is conveyed by an authentic dance move of his own creation, loosely described as “jumping about”. In addition to this, he excites the already frenzied crowd by screaming into the microphone “Want some more? You’ll have to shout fucking louder than that you bunch of fuckers!”

As if the music alone didn’t hit the spot, the Uzual Suspectz’ lyrics add further layers of depth to the already textured sound. Lines like: “You can take the lot, but you can’t take what we’ve got” refer to the antics of October, in which, the quintet’s entire studio was robbed. With any luck the perpetrators were within earshot of the Witchwood sometime on April 9th, and hopefully interpreted the line as the “go fuck yourselves” it was intended as.

Listen and Learn

Photography courtesy of TUS myspace. (Link above). Artwork by Pascal. Images may be subject to copyright.