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The night they tried to destroy BritRock in Manchester

by Frank Ralph. Published Sat 05 May 2018 20:36, last updated: 05/05/18

The 90s were great. We had so much incredible home grown music and Freddos were only 10p. Of all the genres that were big back then Britrock was the greatest, and three of the best bands from then Terrorvision, The Wildhearts and Reef have joined forces for the BritRock Must Be Destroyed tour along with Dodgy.

That may be a bit unfair on Dodgy, but they did stick out like a sore thumb on the line-up posters, as they were probably more of a fit in the Britpop camp with the likes of Ocean Colour Scene. Anyway if anything was true about that time it’s that people liked good music and Dodgy have more than a handful of great tracks with which they warmed-up the crowd. Staying Out For The Summer and Good Enough are two of the best songs around and it was great to hear them.

With the headliners rotating each night the three main bands were given at least a 60-minute set each (75 for the headliners) it was likely we would get 3 show stopping sets and that’s exactly what happened.

The Wildhearts hit the stage with so much energy and aggression it felt like the last 25 years hadn’t happened – it had though and this band has been through so much in those 25 years that it led Ginger to say – it’s just great to be on the same stage with these people, still alive, still talking and still friends. Ginger… it was great to witness it too sir.

With an almost greatest hits set they were simply brilliant… ripping straight into I Wanna Go Where the People Go, TV Tan, My Baby is a Headf*@k and Suckerpunch they didn’t give the audience any time to catch their breaths before busting out Caffeine Bomb, incredible stuff - and when CJ and Ginger locked into a riff as they did on Everlone and Nita Nitro they were truly unstoppable.

On any normal night that would have been a great gig in and of itself, but we had two more headline sets still to go.

Next up was Reef who’s first album in 18 years, Revelation, was released on the day of the gig. With Gary Stringer’s powerful and versatile vocals at the forefront they began with new track Just Feel Love before bringing the hits out. I’ve Got Something to Say got the crowd going and the extremely emotional Consideration had them all singing in unison at the end of it before bona-fide barnstormer Place Your Hands On took everyone back to their early 20s.

Some of the new tracks had an extremely AC/DC feel to them – which is never a bad thing – and other tracks showed their Zeppelin-esque tendencies but what was blatant throughout the whole thing was the soulfulness of everything. Their hour long set left us feeling very uplifted and energised. Closing out with the track that launched them, Naked, and a stomping version of Yer Old they showed they could cut it with the rockier Brit Rockers and when they come back for their album tour we guarantee they will have convinced more people to come and see them with this show.

Yorkshire’s finest Terrorvision were the headliners for the Manchester show and they came prepared - fully suited and booted for the occasion. It looked like they’d been nicking letters from signs again with a giant T and V flanking either side of the stage – perhaps there was a production of Evita happening in Manchester that now just says E I A – anyway it added a touch of Total Vegas to the proceedings.

They set a blistering pace with Tequila, Discotheque Wreck and the singalong call and response of Friends and Family. Cameron Greenwood is an absolute beast on the drums and he beat them to a pulp all night long.

Some People Say is slightly mellower and was an opportunity for people to raise their smartphones in the air although most people opted for the 90s version - their lighters.

Closing the night with Perseverance, a trumpeter enhanced Pretend Best Friend and the Doo Wop of Oblivion they rounded out an absolutely fantastic night in style.

Tomorrow the order will change but the outcome will still be the same - everyone will leave energised, uplifted and knackered from all the bouncing.

If we could go all Bill Murray and choose a Groundhog Day – this would be it. Seeing this show every single night would be amazing. If you get a chance to catch any of the shows still to happen then make sure you do.

Nostalgia is nice and all that, but all of the bands showed that’s not all that this tour was about – although if they’d have been selling 10p Freddos on the merch stand we wouldn’t have minded a bit more nostalgia.

They may want to ‘Destroy’ Britrock but that should never EVER be allowed to happen – another instalment of this tour as an annual event would be sweet. Skunk Anansie or Therapy anyone? We’d love that too.

For a full set of photos from the show click here


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