Live Reviews

Lightning Seeds, Liverpool Olympia, Saturday 12th November.

Lightning Seeds – Liverpool Olympia – 12th November 2022

They’re coming home. The Lightning Seeds make their triumphant homecoming in Liverpool.

With a football World Cup on the horizon, there is no better time to see indie pop-rock legends, The Lightning Seeds. Though a one-song novelty act they are absolutely not! Ian Broudie and his band have been touring the U.K. and their setlists are littered with some of the greatest, and not to mention catchiest, pop songs of the 90s.

First up, it is worth mentioning the calibre of the support acts. Both of whom are in fine form, and ideal in warming up the crowd. The night is opened with local band, Casino – who are off the back of supporting fellow Scouser Jamie Webster – whose soulful set lays the groundwork for main support act Badly Drawn Boy. If you get the chance, check them out.

Being in the photo pit for Badly Drawn Boy was pretty emotional for me, as not only does his music hold a very special place for me, but he was also my very first concert back in Manchester in 1999. Badly Drawn Boy AKA Damon Gough is slightly late to the stage, owing to some technical difficulties which sound technicians scramble to resolve, and makes his apologies for the delay. In between his songs, which include early noughties classics like Something To Talk About, Once Around The Block and a rare outing of Pissing In The Wind, Damon opens up to talk about his attachment to the city of Liverpool, namely through his late brother, which clearly has Damon (and others) feeling emotional. He also takes a couple of opportunities to emphasise his political views, with the quote “F*** the Tories,” which seems to be fast becoming a scouse catchphrase and chant. After moving from his acoustic guitar to his electric, the set is closed on the keyboards with a typically lovely version of Silent Sigh.

With it being a Saturday night in Liverpool, the crowd is unsurprisingly ready, beers aloft, by the time The Lightning Seeds Рmade up of Ian Broudie (obviously, the only original member), Martyn Campbell on bass, Adele Emmas on keyboards, Jim Sharrock on drums and Riley Broudie on guitar) Рtake to the stage.

Opening with Sunshine, from new album See You In The Stars, Ian and the band work through a well-balanced set, which features songs old and new. The newer songs sound great and hold up really well. However, it is when the 90s classics get an airing that the venue truly comes to life; which is understandable when songs in this category include pop masterpieces Change, Lucky You, Perfect, Sugar Coated Iceberg, Pure and The Life Of Riley'(inspired by namesake, son, and now band-member, Riley Broudie).

The encore is as good as I’ve ever seen. Returning to the stage, Broudie unexpectedly (to me at least) plays a beautiful version of Ronettes classic, Be My Baby before bringing out his biggest hits, starting out with Marvellous and the iconic, and timely, Three Lions. The former sounds as energetic and upbeat as ever, and it’s difficult to describe the atmosphere for the latter, with a local hero playing one of the most successful and iconic British singles only a week before the next football World Cup. Special doesn’t quite do it justice

The stage is now set for the football World Cup: let’s hope that the men’s football team can replicate the success of the women’s team earlier this year, and our now 56 years of hurt – not 30 as originally sang back in 1996 – will never stop us dreaming.

Lightning Seeds: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Badly Drawn Boy: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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