The Checks
@ Leeds Rios

Supported by local ubiquitous purveyors of Carter USM-isms, International Trust, The Checks then have to follow second support band, The Thirst, who manage to combine very tight danceable indie with MC5-type wigouts. Quite a tough act to follow; The Checks give it a go.

The Checks, although a young New Zealand band seem infused with the spirit of sixties blues-rock. Think of what the Small Faces were becoming in their later, heavier moments and other bands as we edged out of pop-rock but before the bombastic overload of Zep and co. Live, the voice is less razzled than on record, a bit less bluesy but still tracks like Tired And Sleepy work. The singer is a skinny white dude with floppy hair, all loose-limbed. His Johnny Borrell hips shake as he dances about to the beat. The guitarist is tied down and buttoned up, concentrating hard and letting rip on meaty solos. He hugs his guitar close and immobile for ringing solos. The bassist faces the drums and focuses on the beat. Itís carefully made. Everything is as carefully arranged as a cover band. They cop a lot of other peopleís riffs but they are good ones.

Iím really enjoying the blasts of energy and the style. See Me Peter, half way into the brief set, sees a guitar solo unleashed that has me doing air guitar. Itís the kind of music that makes you strut on the spot, pouting like a Jagger. The bassist feels it and is dancing, almost shagging his instrument. The set, a mere 35 minutes, passes in moments and on getting home Iím saddened I canít find the album to listen to it again.

Ross McGibbon