Nostalgia is big business these days and The Bluetones are the latest in a long line of bands from the 90s to hit the road again. With some bands who’ve reformed, the Roses in particular spring to mind, we’ve witnessed a new age of fan which came along to the shows. That’s not the case with the Bluetones however, with a male dominated crowd of 40 somethings turning out. And turning out in force I must add, with the sold out signs going up on the 2,300 capacity venue well in advance of the event.
Although slightly disappointed by the lack of the classic “Arsenal T Shirts” on the merch stall, Mark Morriss and co did not disappoint any further. The Hounslow four piece take to the stage just after 9pm walking on to Rainbow’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ before kicking off with the up tempo fan favourite ‘Are You Blue or Are You Blind?’. A brilliant stripped back version of ‘Cut Some Rug’, the third single to be released from their 1996 big hitting debut album ‘Expecting to Fly’, followed which was a perfect showcase for frontman Morriss to show his vocals are as good as ever.
‘A New Athens’, taken from the 2010 album of the same name was a welcome inclusion in the set. The band split after the release of this album in 2010 and it never gained the acknowledgment it should have done and it was great to hear it.
The band were on fine form with Mark Morriss’ vocals sounding as good as ever, brother Scott’s bass playing weaving in and out nicely and Adam Devlin twee licks hitting all the right notes. Mark was keeping the crowd entertained in between songs too interacting and cracking some funnies.
‘Bluetonic’ hasn’t aged one bit and this was probably the highlight of the set, drawing the biggest sing along of the night. Other classics ‘Marblehead Johnson’, ‘The Fountainhead’, ‘Tiger Lily’, ‘Solomon Bites The Worm’ and set closer ‘Slight Return’ were also included in the greatest hits set which reminded anyone who may have forgot that The Bluetones were more than the Britpop also-rans they have sometimes wrongly been labelled.
With not a note out of tune and a stunning back catalogue to fall back on, The Bluetones showed they have plenty left in the tank as far as a live band are concerned. With nothing but good vibes from the crowd let’s hope to see another tour announced soon.
The Bluetones continue their tour in Birmingham on Saturday and Bristol on Sunday whilst Mark Morriss performs solo at the inaugural Shiiine On Weekender on Friday 6th November. Lets hope he brings the classics there too !