Tuesday, 19 October 2010

326 SLEEPER, The Longpigs, Octopus, Lancaster Sugarhouse, Thursday 30 May 1996

My Northern-most gig wasn't as convoluted as it may sound, as I'd interrupted a dull Lake District sojourn to go. Got in after a bit of a ticket-mare, in time for opening band Octopus. A good and interesting set, with 2 loud and fast rockers book-ending a big strum-along and heart-felt pop set which was not unlike A House on first listen. Certainly a band I'd pay to see again!

Longpigs were next up, by which time the student union bar venue had filled up quite considerably. They played a committed set of moody angst-ridden numbers not unlike (in fact, very like indeed!) Radiohead. Their best, the plaintive "On And On", made the old neck-hairs perk up. Despite being derivative, this was another fine set.

After all that moodiness, Sleeper's energetic pop fizz was a perfect antidote. I abandoned my splendid vantage point (centre stage raised, on the mixing desk) to join the mosh during second number "Swallow". Sleeper's vocalist Louise Wener, an outspoken frontperson who has been getting a lot of press stick recently (backlash time?), tonight let the music do the talking, proving herself a fine girly pop star, and the band formidable and enjoyable "live". I even liked the knockabout but mundane "Sale Of The Century" "live"; that's a good trick! "Delicious" and the sizzling "Pyrotechnician" were my 2 faves of a sweaty and enjoyable pop gig!

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