The Bluetones at Plug, Sheffield, UK – 11th May 2018

Posted by Bianca on Friday May 11, 2018 Under Britpop, Indie rock

Gig Review + Photography by Mark Loraine

The Bluetones are one of those bands that seem to have been around forever. I remember first seeing them in the 90’s and I have had sporadic dalliances with them ever since. Tonight I am not alone in my admiration for this group of west of London musicians as the Plug in Sheffield is full and bouncing.

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To say a band has been around forever can often mean they have outstayed their welcome, but that certainly isn’t the case with The Bluetones. Mark Morriss arrives on stage and procalims that on this tour they would be concentrating on the first 10 years of the band. As this was their most commercially significant period – 13 Top 40 singles and an accompanying trio of Top 10 albums – you just know this is going to be the promised land of a ‘Greatest Hits’ set! Excellent :)

And do they deliver – oh yes. From early stuff like Bluetonic, through Marblehead Johnson and, the “one your mother will know” (sic), Slight Return, they deliver a polished and fabulously fresh set of takes on their classics. The crowd are lapping all of this up with a fervour that only fans can muster and the atmosphere is amazing.

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Mark Morriss thanks everyone for coming, pointing out that last time they played in Sheffield, no-one came. Tonight it couldn’t be different and by the end of the night the crowd spill out into the Sheffield Spring night (it was snowing the last time The Bluetones played here) singing the praises of this perennial band.

To say The Bluetones are enduring paints them in a light that is inadequate as, for me, they are as good now as the first time I saw them back in the dim and dark Britpop era of their birth. It is great to see a band touring for the sake of playing music and of making a living from that music and especially as they don’t have an album to push.

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For, as Mark Morriss says during an inter song conversation, they haven’t released anything new in a long time because they “can’t be bothered”. When you have a back catalogue like these guys have, it’s not a case of not being bothered, more it’s a case of not needing to!

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