The Reader Review
Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 07 November 2005
While interviewing Mick for this site few hours before the gig, it became clear their 2005 European tour would be a bit different than fans are used to, after 11 years of 'Supergrass' live. Drummer Danny was absent due to the fact that he is about to become dad again and simply wouldn't miss the birth of his child. Bob had to sort out some personal things and was granted leave as well, leaving only Gaz and Mick carrying the banner.
As Danny in particular is considered irreplaceable, it was decided to create a whole new set, loosely based on the acoustic tour done in the UK in August. Drumming duties on this leg of the tour are being filled in by Loz Colburn, formerly of 'Ride', while Gaz' younger brother Charley Coombes filled the gap left by brother Bob. Topping things off, Satin Singh came along to do some percussion.
This whole situation made the band more nervous than on other tours and especially this performance, as it would be the very first! But confidence was certainly there and we were both very curious about this night.
While the sold-out venue was still filling up with audience, support-act 'Jack Stafford Foundation' played a short, acoustic set. While January-released album 'Exes' focussed on relationships gone by, this performance seemed to focus on tensions within relations, as seen from both male and female side. From were I was standing, the lyrics weren't entirely distinguishable, further 'enhanced' by the fact the audience wasn't too interested on the whole and chatted around a lot. But still the 20 minute set was a very nice one.
About 15 minutes later 'Supergrass' was on and Gaz stepped onto stage for great acoustic solo performances of 'St Petersburg' and 1995 B-side 'Wait For The Sun'. Then Mick joined in for more powerfull acoustic renditions of 'Caught By The Fuzz' and 'Sitting Up Straight'. Charley played his first bit on a fragile but great version of 'Late In The Day', after which Loz and Satin completed the line-up with a slightly 'Bossa Nova'-styled 'Kiss Of Life'.
At first the audience seemed a bit puzzled with the new aproach, but as it became apparent that this set was gonna be a different one, they started to get used to the idea and warmed and loosened up a little.
Funky 'Sad Girl' was followed by a completely revised, but very great sounding 'Mary', which was received very well by the audience, who turned favourite 'Sun Hits The Sky' into a modest, but nevertheless great party. Loz and Satin were left alone to end up this song with a drum and percussion-section, after which Gaz and Charley had a little family thing shared on stage with very good keyboard-duets on 'Fin' and what an at this point slightly confused me recognized as 'Funniest Thing'.
Then the complete band returned to the set for the electric part of the show. 'Tales Of Endurance Pt 4, 5 and 6' was followed by a spirited performance of 'Rush Hour Soul', which saw Satin succesfully collapsing one of his cymbals near the end. 'Road To Rouen' was on next, followed by current B-side 'Lady Day and John Coltrane', sounding exciting in electrified version. A very groovy 'Moving' was followed with the loudest track of this show, 'Richard III', immediately followed by a 'Who'-styled intro of a refurnished 'Grace', after which the band left.
To return few minutes later for the encore, performing another beautifull, stripped down version of 'Roxy', ending with 'Pumping On Your Stereo'. The band went off, the lights on and curtain was closed, leaving us with fond memories of a great, surprising gig. And exhausted, so we decided to skip the invitation for a 'backstage afterparty' and walked back to our hotel, slowly coming back to earth and reality in nightly Amsterdam.
During the performance it was very clear thet both Danny and Bob weren't present and the replacements made it necessary to (slightly) change the set. It was strange at first, but we ended up concluding that this was one of the very best 'Supergrass'-gigs we'd ever seen! It made again very clear, that 'Supergrass' is far more than 'just another band' on the scene.
Leo Hoek van Dijke - 09 November 2005