As part of The Charlatans North By Northwich Festival, the Friday night show was broadcast live to a number of venues across the country, many of which had a live band as support. At Jimmy's in Manchester that band was Average Sex, one of the most exciting new bands around. They ignored the small numbers that had turned up early to deliver a set that was every bit as thrilling as if the room was full and bouncing.
It's a growing trend for people to not bother turning up for support bands, which is effectively what this set is, but it's one that will mean people missing out on so many great acts because every band starts from this place. As they kick into opening track Ice Cream, there's as many of us in the front part of the venue as there is on stage, and you know what, Average Sex don't care. In fact it seems to spur them on to play an even wilder set than the one we witnessed at Sound City the week before, although Laetitia's too busy flirting with one of the other two guys to introduce the band this time round, so Sam says deadpan "We are The Charlatans" and off they go.
The brilliant thing about Average Sex is just how they toy with the preconceptions of a band with such a provocative name. Lyrics deal with subjects of unrequited love and sitting in the park watching a guy with his girlfriend when he should be with Laetitia, a guy who shagged her best friend (You Suck), drinking and snogging strangers (Ugly Strangers) and slightly psychopathic behaviour at the end of a relationship (We're Gone), but it's delivered with tongue firmly in cheek, a knowing wink and a beaming grin. Whilst Laetitia rolls around the floor, jumps off the stage and dances with the guy she's been flirting with, the rest of the band stand with studied cool delivering these awkward angular songs that deserve a much bigger audience than the one they've got.
There's a block of new songs in the set too, Sociopath, the aforementioned You Suck and We All Die Young, that presumably will form the base of their second EP due out in July. Each of them has a personality of their own, often schizophrenic in their nature, one minute threatening to rip your guts out, the next nudging you playfully in the ribs but they're all fun, something that's often missing in music these days.
There's more, but not many, people here by the time they've finished, but we're shocked at how few bothered to get down early to check out a band that's been championed so actively by Tim Burgess. But it's their loss. Average Sex are fucking brilliant. That's all you need to know.
Average Sex are on Facebook and Twitter.