It’s a cold Sunday night and I’m in half a mind not to make the hour long trip across from Manchester, but, out of a sense of duty and a desire to see the Dears live for the first time in about twelve years, I hit the M62.

The Brudenell Social Club is a new venue for me too, though I’d heard great things about it and it certainly lives up to the hype with a an excellent lay out, and raised stage complete with mirror balls and semi-circle viewing area.

After a slow start with a couple of songs from average current album 'Times Infinity Volume One' (indeed singer Murray Lightburn even jokes later in the show that it is the ultimate punishment/reward set with classic older fans' favourites mixed in with the new material), things start to quite literally swing with 'Whites Only Party'.

There is no let up in quality as a the standout tracks from 'Degeneration Street' and 'Missiles' respectively in the shape of '5 Chords' and 'Disclaimer' quickly follow.
Then comes a trio of songs that are worth the trip alone; the beautiful 'Gang of Losers', 'Hate, Then Love' with Lightburn ending up walking amongst the audience singing the outro refrain of “I swear to you” (one of my favourite gig moments of the last twenty years) and the stunning 'Lost in the Plot', which is arguably the band’s best song.

The set finishes with two of the better songs from the current album, 'Face of Horrors' and 'Onward and Downward', the latter sung by keyboard player Natalia Yanchak.

The encore is pretty special with Lightburn playing acoustic versions of 'Lights Off' (from his favourite Dears album 'Missiles') and the wonderful 'There Goes My Outfit' (from mine 'Gang of Losers'). You can hear a pin drop amongst the enthralled audience.

He’s not finished yet though and begins 'The Second Part' acoustically before being joined midway through by the rest of the band, before they finish with a rousing '22:The Death of All the Romance'.

Home at gone midnight on a school night and worth every minute of lost sleep.

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Commenting On: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 26/2/2017 - Dears

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