Review by Paul White
MARCH 25, 2002: TONIGHT was a special night. Organised by London's alternative radio station, Xfm, to record The Bluetones live in session at Sound in Leicester Square, the proceedings got under way when the compere, who works for the radio station, by the way, came out and duely introduced the band on to the stage.
Mark Morrison, lead vocals, swaggered on stage, like only a cheeky chappy from Hounslow could. Despite being out of the limelight, if you like, Mark, his brother and the group have still got the stage presence to pull it off with style.
Solomon Bites The Worm was first up, a track which can only be described as a snatch of brilliance. It was so refreshing to hear live, having previously only heard it on vinyl single, which is also wicked. The band were into the evening and the track big time, moving and bumping along to the cheeky b-line.
By now the front of the crowd was getting into it and the night began to flow nicely. The band were clearly having a good time, playing their tunes and seeing people get off on it.
"Can't be trusted," exclaimed Morrison as the band then fired up one the best tunes from their first long player. A classic and one of the most poignant tracks on the album, boasting swinging melody lines and sweet vocals.
The band played a few new tracks on the night, all of which sparkled.
Freeze Dried Pop was another which stood out, a tune which I have
always imagined is about poking fun at all the manufactured bands of today.
It seems to me nowadays that, in the time time it takes you to go to the lav and back, there is a fistfull of new manufactured groups, shining, rather disturbingly, at the No.1 slot in the charts. Then, just as quickly, they are gone and forgotten in a single breathe.
Mudslide, a track that I have to confess I have never heard before, was another classic but equally indicative of the current music-buying publics' inability to recognise genuine quality. As Morrison put it himself: "This was a single, but didn't really chart, too much good value for money."
The tune was impressive and had some excellent changes of some damn fine hammond breaks.
The new single, After Hours, was also played and went down well. The video depicts a spoof of the film Bugsy Malone, splurge guns and all, and is something of a classic. But having heard some of the new tracks from the boys tonight, I have to say that this was not one of the strongest ones to choose as a single - but hey, they know better than me, I guess.
Other classics played tonight included Bluetonic, Cut Some Rug, Marblehead Johnson and Slight Return, which all helped to bring back the realization that The Bluetones can still kick it live in 2002.
The Bluetones release their new album, The Singles, on April 8. Click here to order it.