I have seen some great gigs over the years – Cud in Blackpool, Morrissey in Leeds, the Veils in Manchester, Allo Darlin' in Derby and the Experimental Pop Band in Summerseat all quickly spring to mind, but when it comes down to it my Gig of a Llifetime has to be a Brilliant Corners one.

When I received an e-mail from Davey Woodward, the Brilliant Corners’ charismatic frontman, back in early 2013 to say he was considering putting the band back together for a year of gigs (their first since 1993!) to coincide with the singles and rarities collection that Cherry Red were releasing, I was both delighted and a little bit sceptical. Delighted that I would get the chance to see my favourite band play many of the songs that had formed much of the soundtrack of my life over the last twenty odd years, but sceptical that it wouldn’t match up to expectations in keeping with so many ill-conceived reunions.

How wrong I was! From the moment they took to the stage at the 'Sacred To Get Happy' indie-pop all-dayer in London on 22 June 2013 their live shows have been nothing short of superb. Indeed I could pretty much have chosen any of the half a dozen gigs they have done over the last ten months. London was emotional, Indietracks was a belter in a packed old engine shed with the rain teaming down outside, Berlin the highlight of a great weekend away, Bristol a triumphant home coming and the recent Birmingham Popfest performance was a throw-back to the celebratory gigs of the band’s 80’s heyday. However Madrid was just incredible.

The band had never previously played in Spain, but the audience’s reaction, which the band totally fed off, was something else, something I wasn’t really expecting. The fact that the venue was perfect, the fact that Alex Bummer and the rest the organisers had put together a wonderful Popfest and the fact the sun had been shining all day and the beer had been especially cold all certainly helped, but ultimately it was te Brilliant Corners playing their ‘greatest hits’ and playing them with a passion driven on by a crowd that clearly wanted to party that made this so special.

The set was lifted almost exclusively from their most popular 1985-88 period, with only 'You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are' taken from 1989’s darker 'Joyride' album.

Opening track 'Your Feet Never Touch the Ground' was particularly apt as from that moment on practically no-one was able to stand still. Barely a few songs in and the double whammy of the driving 'Growing Up Absurd' and ‘ba ba ba’ fuelled pop gem 'Delilah Sands' and it was utter chaos in the crowd. On stage Woodward, guitarists Winston Forbes and Phil Elvins, bassist Falk Bennett (admirably replacing the sadly deceived Chris Galvin), drummer Bob Morris and youngster James White on trumpet (replacing the awol Dan Pacini) were also breathlessly enjoying themselves.

There was a slight respite from the frantic dancing as the slower but utterly ace 'Rambling Rose' signalled the mid-point in the set. Limbs were soon out of control again as 'Meet Me On Tuesdays' in all its punk rock glory raced by in barely two and a half minutes. It has rightly been my favourite song since I first heard it all those years ago, and live it was even more thrilling.

Classic singles 'Why Do You Have To Go Out With Him, When You Could Go Out With Me?' and 'Teenage' ensured no let up in the tempo, before a swirling 'With a Kiss' drew the set to a close.

The encore was equally enjoyable as 'Delirious', 'Brian Rix' and the title track from the band’s best known LP 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' got those tired feet moving once more.

You realise just how unfit you are when a gig is this good.


The Brilliant Corners will be headlining the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night at the Ruby Lounge on Saturday July 5th. More information can be found at http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Article.aspx?id=7352. Tickets can be bought in advance at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/267706.











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