Gig Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Frank Ralph

Queues snaked around the Manchester Apollo of both young and old ready for the treats that behold inside. A flurry of Lycra, leather and big hair it was pretty obvious which Californian Glam rock 4 piece they were ready to be ‘Community Property’ for… Welcome Steel Panther!

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As BBC favourite ‘Grandstand’ boomed through the PA loud chants and cheered called out eagerly as UK rock pioneers Inglorious graced the stage as second support act of the night.

“Manchester make some noise” boomed frontman Nathan James, dressed in a stylish sequin jacket and black trousers lighting up the stage as he belted through an array of hits and fan favourites.

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Opening with the catchy ‘Read All About It’ before powering though ‘Breakaway’ and ‘Warning’ it wasn’t long until the crowd were jumping up and down like Zebeddee from the Magic Roundabout.

Excitedly proclaiming news of announcements declared on Tuesday of being announced as the Sunday headliners at Download the crowd boiled over into a frenzy.

Heavy drum beats and fast and furious guitar rifts graced the venue, hair swaying and Nathan’s stage presence idolised by the audience. Inglorious showed how tight a band they had become in the four short years they had been on the scene with fan favourites ‘I Don’t Need Your Loving’ and ‘Holy Water’.

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As the short but sweet set came to a premature ending with ‘Until I die’ the crowd were left wanting more however promised a return gig very soon and to hopefully see them at Download.

As the PA system belted out pre recorded ‘In The Future’ the formally dark stage lit up Styx on his mean percussion kit, as he mimed the words and greeted by cheers for Lexi and Satchel as their stage presence flagged on each side of the Apollo.

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The heavy makeup and eyelined front row were eager to mirror their idols looks. Bassist Lexi Foxx pouted as he inspected each one with some as bitchy as the witty one liners he comes out with one stage as they desperately vied for the superstars attention.

The crowd erupted as the stage lights flashed as phenominal frontman Michael Starr rocked onto the stage immediately bursting into ‘Eye Of The Panther’ including actions prowling around the stage like a predator looking for prey.

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The bands brand of slapstick humour and tongue in cheek lyrics was right from the off, Satchel and Michael teasing each other playfully through the interludes telling Manchester they were the best crowd they have had all tour EVER!!! A saying I’d been told was said at the night’s previous Rock City gig by a lovely group of girls from Nottingham and Glasgow called Jodie and her friends who I’d met earlier in the evening.

The crowd were eating out of their hands and baying to their every move “show us your titties!” Exclaimed Michael as the his clergy obeyed him and girls lifted up their tops high on guy’s shoulders.

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Steel Panther is never your normal gig as you never know what to expect or what’s gonna be said next as shown in one of the evenings highlights.

As the crowd went wild to hits ‘Going In The Backdoor’, singing along to ‘Asian Hooker’ and ‘Tommorow Night’. Satchel spotted a young fan rocking away with their family on the balcony and pointed her out to Lexi and Michael.

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Michael quipped up “hey it’s Pheobe!!” and got the crowd to cheer her. Lowering the bar and forgetting his surroundings Satchel went to tell the adorable seven year old that this could be them when they grow up with all the “cats” they want if they work hard until Michael tells him Pheobe is a girl and he responds with her being legal in 8 more years keeping the audience in stitches.

Lexi playfully strutted around the stage pouting in the mirror and throwing his hair and shade from side to side in between tracks.

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Arms flew up on the air with crowd favourite ‘Poontang Boomerang’ waving from side to side and chanting along before Lexi, Michael and Stixx left the stage to Satchel with his epic guitar solo he plays on tour, playing the drums at one point too.

The fun didn’t stop there with the madness that came next, ‘Weenie Ride’ slowed things down with a girl picked out of the audience to come up stage after ‘That’s When You Came In’ leading the way for a rush of climbing and elbows for the epic ’17 Girls In A Row’. As the girls from the audience clambered on stage to gyrate a seventeen year old audience member took over lead guitar duties giving Satchel a break to an adoring crowd.

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“Thank you so much see you soon Manchester” called out Michael as he exited the stage to screaming fans wanting more after ‘Death To All But Metal’.

As usual Steel Panther didn’t disappoint, in a time where most things are taboo they break down the barriers with their humour and quirky lyrics as well as fantastic musicianship. Just when when you thought the night couldn’t get better along came a rip roaring encore of crowd favourites ‘Community Property’ and ‘Party All Day’.

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Steel Panther Seitlist: In the Future / Eyes of a Panther / 
Goin’ In The Backdoor / Asian Hooker / Tomorrow Night / Wasted Too Much Time / Poontang Boomerang / Guitar Solo / That’s When You Came In / 
Weenie Ride / 17 Girls in a Row / 
Gloryhole / Death to All but Metal 

Encore: Community Property / 
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

Inglorious setlist: Read All About It / Breakaway / Change Is Coming / Warning / Taking The Blame / I Don’t Need Your Loving / Holy Water / Until I die

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