The Press Article
Town & Country Club, Leeds

Check out the set-list. It says a lot about Supergrass' supertastic progression over the past five years. Start with the first album's "Lenny" and all that that name implies: familiar, silly, mindful of Lenny Bennett perhaps, a bit of a card, bit of a joke. Now move on to the last album's "Richard III": twisted, ugly, unnecessarily pretentious. Well did you hear "In It For The Money"?
So where are Supergrass Mk III at, then? Well, they're hanging in pop heaven with Jesus, aren't they? You know, Jesus: that beardy bloke who came from outer space. Obviously. So far so good, but, quickly skipping over the saviours of rock'n'roll cul-de-sac, ask yourself this: is Jesus really any less pretentious than "Richard III"?
Hmmm. oh dear.
Nah, only kidding! Take a look at "Mary". Mary? Sounds a bit like "Lenny", don't it? Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking , "No way! Are you really telling me that Supergrass have finally managed to couple their adorably zippity early pop smashingness with the gargantuan musical scope they possibly overdid last time round?" Here's a hint: the answer's not "no". You now have a minute to dance around your bedroom/office/padded-cell/rain forest/space station with glee, kids, cos the perfect idea for a band just became a perfect reality. It just got a scout badge for perfection, a Nobel Prize for utter brilliance, a big, celestial slap on the back for being f***ing fantastic. And it all starts here in Leeds...
They're not much to look at. Just four blokes being pop stars: Gaz every inch the bestest cuddly, fuzzy supermodel the catwalk never claimed; Danny every yard the maddest octopussing drummer ever, a blur of slim limbs and crim grins, yer actual star; Gaz' brother Bob and Micky Quinn every mile the unassuming, confused-looking extras (the only way keyboard players and bassists should come across, considering). Stick 'em all together and they're tip-top to look at, tip-top to listen to. Because the songs, the songs rip your head off, tear your shoulders off, lick your nipples stiff and slide on down to... oooooh, they're good!
The old ones you know and, truth be told, they're just like listening to the records tonight. Only hotter. Much hotter. And louder. And faster. And better, "Late In The Day" arrogantly flicking from that classically indolent opening into its dangerously rampant chorus; the revolving fireworks of "Going Out" matching Supergrass' sky-high ambition note for note; "Caught By The Fuzz" and "Alright" in turns as fierce as Manics' "Revol" and as effortlessly instinctive as breathing, Gaz playing the latter's solo one-handed, as his other hand wipes away near rivers of sweat from his beaming face.
But the new songs? They're astonishing - "Mary" and "Out Of The Blue" piano-led and playfully dark, twisting in directions that suggest maturity, yes, but maturity of a sprightly, wide-eyed type. Tighter, braver, wilder. "Pumping On Your Stereo", meanwhile, is cocky beyond words, that "Yes it's true" line coming on like 1,000 infantile sneers, completely loveable, utterly alive and fresh as a cherry on the icing.
OK, "Jesus Came From Outer Space" disappoints a smidge (kinda like Robbie Williams' "Jesus In A Camper Van" only even more like World Party), but "Moving" more than compensates. It's actually... well, moving, possibly the first ever Supergrass song to dazzle your heart as vehemently as your ears. From the second Gaz begins wailing the intro, shrapnel chords flying off in all manner of Elvis Costello directions, you know something new is happening. Think American Music Club for it's abandoned howl. Think Mansun for its crisply frozen altitude sickness. Think big, bigger, biggest... then double it. Yeah, should change a life or two. You see, where Supergrass once made us laugh, they've finally learned to make us cry, too. All at the same time. Maybe they learned the trick from their new space-age pal, Jesus, but this water's suddenly tasting like wine. Magic.
Robin Bresnark

Gaz Coombes' Verdict
Singer Supergrass

"It was all right! Nah, I think it went OK - except that my e-bow (Whiny guitar gadget - Tech Ed) didn't work on one song. But, you know, f*** it, eh? It was wicked and I had a really good time.
"The crowd were definitely mental, but it felt more like a back-on-the-road, doing-gigs-again thing for us. I dunno whether the audience liked the new songs, though - they seemed to be just listening because, obviously, they hadn't heard them before. Actually, we're still getting used to playing them. They probably didn't go as smooth as the old stuff, but it'll happen. By the end of the tour - Sod's Law - it'll be really working well.
"What am I hoping for this year? I think what'd really make me happy is if I could look out into the crowd and see all kinds of people out there. Old grandparents and tuff, really getting into it, dancing and grooving. And little six-year-old kids up on the balconies, with dummies in their mouths! I'd love to see that."

Show & Tell
Pumping or dumping?

Marie E (24) and Marie H (22), both from Doncaster
Super or arse?
Marie E: "Super!"
Marie H: "Really, really good."
How were the new songs?
ME: "Just as good."
MH: "Incredible!"
Would you let them pump on your stereo?
ME: "Yeah! Any time!"
MH: "Mine too!"

Zac (16), from Leeds, Mal (28), from London, and Andy (16), from Great Preston.
Super or arse?
Zac: "Best gig I've ever been to!"
Mal: "Total f***ing genius."
Andy: "Pretty goddamn cool." How were the new songs?
Z: "They're keeping going smooth."
M: "They're gonna do it again."
A: "I like whatever they bring out."
Would you let them pump on your stereo?
Z: "He can pump on my leg if he wants to"

Dale (24) and Faye (22), both from Leeds
Super or arse?
Dale: "Excellent! Best I've seen 'em.""
Faye: "They're fantastic live."
How were the new songs?
F: "Brilliant."
D: "I like the old stuff best."
Would you let them pump on your stereo?
F: "Ooooh, yes."
D: "Hmmm, they'd better not!"

Melody Maker - 29 May 1999