Back in the nineties Manchester was a melting pot of different styles, straight after the fallout of Grunge and the Madchester scene. There were bands like The Dust Junkys and Black Grape ripping it up with their twang of hip hop and funk, layered with Manc humour and craziness. Audioweb were around at the time bubbling under the surface with their unique fusion of sound. They just had that presence. A backbone of Robin File (guitar), Sean McCann (bass) and Rob ‘Maxi’ Maxfield on drums, all fronted by the multi-talented vocals of Martin ‘Sugar’ Merchant. A band of working class brothers who had a mental way of fusing reggae, hip hop, rock, soul and funk. Well written songs that stand out from your normal. Take heed all you people who turn up at gigs after the support bands. They were Manchester’s hidden gem and stand head and shoulders over many bands with their energised sets. Support slots with U2, Madness, Cast and The Stone Roses, and eventually signed to U2’s Mother Records to release two outstanding albums that still sound rich today. Maxi and Sean went on to become part of Ian Brown’s backing band on his solo tours with Maxi getting writing credits on Solarized. Robin meanwhile went on to work with Finlay Quaye and Congo Natty, while Martin went on with his SuperJamma project laden with reggae vibes. Not bad yeah? The only problem was back in 1999 they were lumped into a non-scene. Too rock for the ravers and too rave for the rockers. This is the rebirth of a band that truly matter and are welcomed back with open arms.
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