Review by Joanne Marsland.
BLUETONES / SLEEPER
02 RITZ MANCHESTER
Friday the 13th of August was anything but unlucky for me… My first gig since the return of live music and 2 of my favourite 90s bands in one night. SLEEPER kicked off the night playing their 1995 album ‘SMART‘ in full which includes INBETWEENER, DELICIOUS, VEGAS and my favourite ALICE IN VAIN.
The band sounded great and singer Louise, who was looking better than ever in her sparkly dress and black boots, belted out every track in her unmistakable sultry brit pop voice. After a short interlude they returned with a greatest hit setlist including tracks NICE GUY EDDIE, STATUESQUE, WHAT DO I DO NOW and SALE OF THE CENTURY and the crowd all had a good singalong when they played a mash up of Blondies ATOMIC and Joy divisions LOVE WILL TEAR US APART.
Fingers crossed they return soon to play THE IT GIRL in full because that’s one of my favourite albums of all time. Also give the new album THIS TIME TOMORROW a listen, it’s really chilled.
The 2nd band to hit the stage, THE BLUETONES, are a big favourite of mine. The first half of the set was their 1996 album ‘EXPECTING TO FLY‘ in full which includes BLUETONIC, CUT SOME RUG and SLIGHT RETURN, which I’m just guessing is their most frequently played song on the radio.
Singer Mark, who was sporting his 70s tache, always has banter with the crowd and is just a generally hilarious and nice guy, I watched all of his lockdown live sets on social media which kept a lot of people going throughout the gig drought. The greatest hits set followed a short interlude and included MARBLEHEAD JOHNSON, SOLOMON BITES THE WORM, NEVER GOING NOWHERE ( absolutely love this one and I apologise to everyone who heard me singing this really loud ) and the night ended with a cover of EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE by The Police and the fans favourite singalong track IF.
They also have a new album out this year, A NEW ATHENS, which has some great tracks like FIREFLY and THE DAY THAT NEVER WAS. Give it a listen.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the aftershow party which Mark Morris was doing a spot of DJ ing but I had a great time at the gig and the atmosphere was incredible, everyone so glad to be back singing, dancing, drinking and sweating with other humans. This was more than a slight return to normality, it was delicious!!!