The Press Article
Spaceland, Los Angeles, USA - 15 February 2003
You had to sympathize a little with the sweaty lummox who rushed the stage at Spaceland to smother Supergrass lead singer-guitarist Gaz Coombes with kisses during an encore of "Moving." After all, Coombes fronts a band of cartoon-cute Englishmen whom NME recently called a "national treasure." With their new album, Life on Other Planets, released just last week in the States - and the guys playing an unusually intimate venue - the die-hards in the front row probably just couldn't resist the temptation to cop a feel.
The new album's reviews in Britain have been mixed - critics can't seem to agree on whether it's great or merely good - but it's reached the Top 10 there for reasons that Supergrass illustrated pretty well in their live show. Gaz's vocals were the perfect mix of punk scoff and operatic reach, and the rhythm section was all sweat. New tunes like "Seen the Light" and "Rush Hour Soul" held up between the best songs from their 1995 breakthrough, I Should Coco. And the Britpop-meets-Buzzcocks guitar work over the Nick Rhodes-arpeggiated keyboards in "Za" was perfect. Bass player Mick Quinn did seem uncomfortable when he first took the lead on the bantamweight rocker "La Song," but you couldn't resist his vocal take on "Never Done Nothing Like That Before"; with a punk verse/chorus worthy of the Clash and a Syd Barrett acid-casualty bridge, the tune was irresistible. And you know, it's hard to debut new material when you're three multiplatinum albums into your career - old fans now have old favorites - but Supergrass totally pulled it off.
Looking and sounding like a young James Taylor, Patrick Park seemed an odd choice for an opening act. Then he sank his teeth into "Silver Girl"'s acoustic-with-attitude crunch, and you just said, "Right on."
LA Weekly - 27 February 2003