Back in the country for a small bout of dates, the reformed brit-rockers live is always something special. The Academy venue in the student’s union is remarkably spacious, and as the band took to the stage, remained sporadically full.
A down tuned drum beat ushers in the Red. It seems as though things are back to normal. Pete Vuckovic (vocals/bass) is once again donning a suit and tie. Chris McCormack (guitar) remains forever black-clad, with a few more tattoos to show.
Opening with upcoming single Repeat/Fade two years on hiatus has left the Vuckovic/McCormack music machine hungry to rock. It is quite simply, one of the band’s heaviest songs, with a riff that Angus Young of ACDC would happily give a thumbs up to. It ain’t gonna reach the top ten, but it sure as hell rocks.
Songs such as Nerve Gas, Paranoid People, Pure and a barnstorming This Is My Hollywood reminds one why this band was on the brink of stardom for a while. The set is enlivened by McCormack’s OTT rock star poses that it looks like he’s been practising in the mirror since aged 10.
Vuckovic has admitted that his songwriting has been influenced recently by the post-9/11 world, and new song Land Of Debris was the proof of this. A quick rant at Bush and Blair preceded the song, which is a cruel take on the so-called ‘Land Of The Free’. Beginning with a calmed singover, before getting heavy and bursting into a spleen-endangering chorus, Vuckovic was right when he told me to “expect the unexpected” before the show.
Pirouette and crowd favourite Fit Boy And Faint Girl followed before another newie was slipped in. Made In Indonesia showcases Vuckovic’s new found appetite for socio-economics. This was the most promising of the new songs tonight, with a gorgeous guitar/drum interlude reminiscent of The Stone Roses‘ I Wanna Be Adored.
After a quick deviation from the planned set when a large, well endowed female was invited to join the band for a spot of dancing to Mental Blocks, we were treated to another political song The World Is Yours, which was a raw heavy belter of a song. After the greatest hits had whizzed by, Vuckovic performed an acoustic rendition of B-side Everything.
“I’m not fucking Kelly Jones,” Vuckovic joked before the band rejoined him for the luscious Beautiful Day and an extended closer Nuclear Holiday which was undoubtedly the set highlight.
They came to the stage as returning heroes and departed having conquered the northern ground, with sweat and smiles strewn across their faces. The most important thing about being back together was “just being happy man,” Pete had said.
It’s good to see them back and enjoying it, which is what it’s all about in the end.