Gaz Coombes is one cool dude. It’s official. He entered the packed Birmingham Academy Friday night donning a Panamanian Farmers hat and a waistcoat that Steve Davies would be proud of – attire that would leave rest of us looking like we’ve been dressed by a charity shop – and carried it off with aplomb.
But first the support act, and this came in the form of Scottish crooners Sergeant. They jingle-jangled their way through their set to a sparse yet appreciative audience, climaxing in their new single K-OK, which impressively is described by NME as the ‘perfect pop anthem’. Time will tell.
And so it was that the main event took to the stage and the venue instantly became ten times busier. The inspirational Oxford-born Supergrass front man kicked off the Birmingham show, their first on this year’s tour, alongside his 3 (and sometimes 4) buddies with ‘Diamond Hoo Ha Man’ – a belter of a tune with the catchiest of riffs and one that appears on their new album of the same name (minus the “man”!). Oh yes, and it just so happens to be their new single. Simply splendid and the perfect opening gambit.
The boys then ploughed their way through an hour’s worth of material including such gems as ‘Richard III ‘ and the new, and terribly addictive ‘Bad Blood’ – their next single. The set went down well amongst the majority of the crowd which was made up of what evidently were Supergrass stalwarts.
What was a little surprising was that they saved the big guns till last. A clever ploy to keep ‘Supergrassians’ hooked until the last minute or a set list cock up whilst selecting the running order? Who knows? What is evident however is that the place didn’t really start rocking until the opening chords of their aptly named classic tune ‘Moving’ kicked in. This led seamlessly into ‘Sun Hits the Sky’ and ‘Pumping on your Stereo’. Brilliant.
So all in all, it’s simple. Suprgrass are back. No doubt the further they get into their UK and Stateside tour, the more they’ll rock, but based on Friday night’s performance I’m sure there won’t be many of their fans that are left disappointed.
Review – Zak Edwards
Photos – Bianca Barrett