Saturday, October 24, 2009

THE BROKEN FAMILY BAND O2 Academy Liverpool 23 Oct 2009

"Fuck This Band" wrote singer Steven Adams when signing the set-list at the end of tonight's gig, their fourth-to-last one before they split up. A sign of the angry resentment that fuelled that split? Or just the usual dark, cynical humour of The Broken Family Band? Who can tell.

Certainly tonight's gig, their first and also last in Liverpool, did not feel like a band imploding or running out of steam. Playing in the smaller room at the O2 Academy (Gary Moore was playing the larger one - more of him later), they delivered a typically powerful set that was as good as any I've seen in recent years. They opened with 'It's All Over' and finished the main set with 'Don't Change Your Mind' - subliminal messages about their demise? But once you start listening to their songs you realise that are FULL of allusions to leaving, separation and break-up.

As well as a set that took in early songs (lots from "Cold Water Songs" tonight) through to this year's "Please and Thank You", the band were also at their good-humoured best: "We've got nothing to prove, we've been paid". So we got digs at Gary Moore ('his people' were demanding exclusive use of the venue's toilet), put-downs of the The Wave Pictures and tales of a chance encounter with the lead singer of Editors ("Are you sneering at me?").

In fact the evening was full of Gary Moore moments: guitarist Jay sitting on the monitor for the solo in 'John Belushi', the crowd shouts for 'Parisian Walkways' and the band's response - see this video of 'Don't Change Your Mind'.

So then: great tunes, banter, commitment, and on-stage rum & cokes. A typical BFB performance. Except there won't be many more. In the words of the band 'Don't Bury Us Until We're Dead': they play Cardiff, Oxford and then their final gig at The Portland Arms in Cambridge next Saturday.

So it shouldn't be "Fuck This Band". It should read "Fuck. This band: too good to split".

The Set List (although 'Happy Day' may be in the wrong slot...)
It's All Over
The Booze and The Drugs
Living In Sin
Poor Little Thing
A Place You Deserve
At The Back of The Chapel
John Belushi
Happy Days Are Here Again
Hey Captain
Give And Take
Cinema vs House
Borrowed Time
The Mardi Gras Rescue Mission
St Albans Don't Change Your Mind
Devil In The Details
Dancing On The Fourth Floor

Support was from Chris T-T who was on fine form and his agit-prop indie-folk strum a perfect warm-up act. He started solo accapella then played lots of new songs on guitar ('Love Is Not Rescue') and at keyboards ('Nintendo') from next year's new album, his seventh. Finished with a stirring rendition of 'This English Earth' My dodgy photos make him appear much more stern that he was.

The Broken Family Band
Cold Water Songs [BUY]

The Broken Family Band
Hello Love [BUY]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Var der, herlig konsert.....
Was there, marvelous concert....