The Bluetones Manchester O2 Ritz November 29th 2019

This was an early starter for a Friday night with the band coming on at 8pm, probably because singer Mark Morriss thinks all the fans are of a certain age and need to get to bed early. This was not the case as I also spotted many youngsters singing and dancing along with all the oldies like me.

The band walked onto the stage dressed in white coats and retro visor hats…. Why?? Well after the first song, Zorro, Mark explained that the set would be split into 2 halves, first they would be playing the entire Science And Nature album from 2000 followed by a short interval and then they would play ‘other stuff’.

The first half of the set was akin to watching a support band, only the die hard fans would know most of the tracks but there were afew songs such as Mudslide and Autophilia where more of the crowd perked up, singing along and chanting the choruses back at the band. By the time they hit ‘side 2’ of the album (one for the kids to question) the crowd were warmed up for the rest of the show.

Science And Nature setlist:

The Last Of The Great Navigators.
Tiger Lily.
One Speed Gearbox.
Blood Bubble.
Autophilia Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Car.
Keep The Home Fires Burning.
The Basement Song.
Slack Jaw.
Emily’s Pine.

The band came back on stage in normal attire, looking very dapper, and started the second half of single releases with 2002 song After Hours. The band were playing superbly and even jammed between tracks while Mark chatted with the crowd, which he does a lot, it’s like having 2 shows in 1 with great music and stand-up inbetween. ‘Anyway let’s get on with this shit, stick around, we’re gonna be playing all of the… both of our hits’ he joked. Marblehead Johnson and Slight Return sounded fantastic with Marks never changing voice just about being heard over the crowd, but one of the highlights tonight for me was Never Going Nowhere.

This is a song which for me has a hint of Squeeze about it, and tonight they mashed it up with Eurythmics hit Love Is A Stranger… genius!! My all time favourite song, If, is always a great choice to end the set with, the crowd really get into it and have a good sing-a-long which carries on as they disperse into the street. Always a pleasure to watch.

Singles set list:

After Hours.
Cut Some Rug.
Freeze Dried Pop.
Marblehead Johnson.
Solomon Bites The Worm.
Fast Boy.
Never Going Nowhere.
Slight Return.


Philip Goddard

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