The Press Article
Arena, Brisbane, Australia - 24 February 2000
For many, Supergrass are just another "Britpop" band, but believe that and you're missing out.
In fact, believe that "Britpop" ever existed away from the narrow minds of some UK music press writers and you may be missing so much more. No matter where it comes from - and despite any attempts at pigeonholing - it's just good music, and that's exactly what tonight's about.
The Standing 8 Counts take the stage first, and for an instant I'm left wondering if Will from 8 Counts' side-burns will be the biggest this stage will see tonight? Momentarily distracted as to whether the main act's lead singer would be shamed into submission, the band brings me back to reality with their strong performance, exceedingly better each time and well worth a look.
Next up it's Eskimo Joe, and mid-performance I'm reassured the WA lads were even better than their last gig here at the Wonderbar, but then I'd never go there so I have to take their word for it. Very tight, and this is obviously a night for sweaters (pun intended), as the temperature inside the venue soars. But just as I muscle in on some of the cool action near the air-conditioning outlet, the lights dim, the expectant roar erupts, and as Gaz strums out the acoustic beginning to 'Moving' the waiting masses get ready to jump. And jump they do, as even the upper levels of the venue begins to tremble.
The Oxford lads obviously mean business tonight, and despite a somewhat disjointed start, they proceed to work their way through all the classics (well, they are now), even stopping off at the 'Odd' rarity.
But there's something not quite right.
As 'Strange Ones' rings out, a few strange ones run past hand in hand screaming out the words, and I'm reminded that five years on from the first album, 'I Should Coco', this is not so strange anymore. Things change, thrills become less cheap, and over-expectations can often be the ruin of actual events. Understandable, of course, but a shame nonetheless.
However, these are minor hurdles that this overall Supergrass performance leaps with sometimes graceful ease, and at other times with the exhilarating threat of collapse - both attributes of the better bands of our time.
The songs take on even more lives of their own - 'Richard III', 'Sun Hits The Sky', 'Mansize Rooster', 'Far Away' - but it's a lesser known tune, 'Going Out', which surprises with it's audience.
Potentially lost with it's original release between first and second albums, it brings the most pogoing of the night, confounding yet pleasing many.
And when a monolithic proportioned 'Caught By The Fuzz' fades out leaving the audience baying for more, a healthy good-natured boo greets the return of the house lights, and a distinct overall disappointment at having to face the real world again.
Someone once said they only needed cigarettes and alcohol in their life, but Supergrass go one better with just a cigarette - smoked to the end of course. Hey, it's not good for you, it's not even cool, but heck it's satisfying sometimes.
Clem, Scene - 01 March 2000