I normally like The Garage as a venue and not sure if it was the venue, but the sound tonight was dreadful. Overly loud drums meant I couldn’t hear Mark Yates guitar properly and all backing drowned out Tony Wright’s vocals. Poor Tony himself looked like he was getting a little tired too as his word delivery was sporadic at best. And yet, I had a superb time. How does that work?
This tour is in support of comeback album Super Delux which was released at the end of February. I’m pleased to say I’m liking it, especially as my thoughts on the last two albums are well documented as being not overly positive. The setlist tonight reflected this with a really good mix of tracks across the entire discography. Kicking off with ‘D’ya Wanna Go Faster’, I must confess I found myself cringing at the far from perfect execution. Perhaps it was the crappy sound, and continuing into ‘My House’ and ‘Discotheque Wreck’ I began to fear the worst, especially when the crowd enthusiasm waned a bit when new songs ‘All The Girls Wanna Dance’ and ‘Neighbourhood’ came along. I guess that’s what happens when you’re promoting new material.
Thankfully though, as the night continued the mix of new and old sounded a lot more natural – as did Tony’s vocals. Clearly getting into the swing of things he sounded better with each tune, or at least more capable like he just needed the first few tracks to warm up a bit first. The good old banter in between tracks was there too. Tony Wright is a showman, but not in a professional and practiced manner, just a cheeky chappie you’d love to share a few jars with down the local. He’s superb at getting the crowd going and when tracks like ‘Friends & Family’ come along with its audience participation chorus he gets everyone going with a silly little tale to introduce the song. It’s great and a warm friendly feeling.
A special mention needs to go out to new drummer Cameron Greenwood. As good as Shutty was he was never a showman or particularly amazing drummer, but the new boy is flamboyant, technically astounding, and threw in lots of little individual fills and breaks that gave lots of old songs a fresh coat of audio paint. In stark contrast to this is the useless waste of space on keyboard. Seriously Terrorvision, what is this guy for? Yes, there are random effects in some songs and very occasional keyboard parts in newer material, but for every piece of goodness that is added by the new drummer, this turd ruins two songs. Why was there suddenly harmonica on ‘Oblivion’ for example? The dude can’t sing, can’t play the harmonica, and worst of all, he can’t even play keyboard! Sack him now, dammit!
I digress though. The night itself was an absolute blast. Even when tracks like ‘If I Was You’ were so utterly poor they were barely recognisable, the glossy shine still managed to peek through the dirty coating. As I say, the setlist included a lot from the new album which sadly resulted in losing usual regular live staples like ‘Bad Actress’ and ‘American TV’, but I didn’t think it detracted. I didn’t leave disappointed that I didn’t hear particular songs. In fact, I wanted to go home and listen to Super Delux again.
Mission accomplished lads.