Oslo, Hackney, London, 09 September 2019
Never expecting to see Supergrass perform this soon after their last gig at 'La Cigalle' in Paris, June 11th 2010, we entered the surprisingly small, but very cosy 'Oslo' in Hackney, London for their second reunion gig. The first standalone gig since Paris. Spirits were good and the venue started to fill slowly but steadily with mainly people in their 40's. Which made us happy finally not being the oldest persons in the audience for once. And with the temperature, the impatience rose, as everybody was eager to see and hear them play again.
Shortly after 9pm the deejay stopped, the lights dimmed and the funky introsong started, singing about mircles that happen. This certainly hit the happy vibe that was already there. 'Hoo Ha' said Gaz, before the band started with Caught, the same song they ended with at 'la Cigalle' in 2010 and took off again at Pilton just three days before. Like Pilton, the song overall sounded a bit slower than I could remember from all other gigs I've seen. But forget it! Everybody cheered and started singing along, wearing big smiles. Us included!
They then continued playing almost the same set as Pilton, adding two songs inbetween: 'Mansize Rooster' and 'Lose It' from debut 'I Should Coco', followed by 'Moving' and 'Mary' from 1999 album 'Supergrass', which launch I attended at Maida Vale, just 11 days short of being 20 years ago.
Slightly overshadowed 'In It For The Money' sourced single 'Late In The Day' was followed by first setlist addition 'St Petersburg' off 'Road To Rouen'. Danny asked who had bought a ticket, reacting to the cheering with 'You were fast!' after which the set accelerated big time with a rocking version of 'Richard III' from 'In It...'. At this point the party has reached full steam already, with virtually everybody dancing, singing and smiling their jaws sore. Not everything ran smoothly after all these years; a lost note here and there, endings that sounded a bit different than we're used to and bigger (tuning) breaks than I can remember happening before, but hey: Supergrass were playing there in front of us, including notorious keyboard troubles, so why bother!
'Pumping On Your Stereo' had a newly arranged build-up intro, which sounded great, but didn't quite work, as the audience sang along, taking the effect off a bit. Next "album track" 'Alright' brought the venue to another boil, which simmered on during 'Sun Hits The Sky'. Then the band left the stage. To return for an encore that started with second setlist addition 'Lenny'. Gaz ad libbed "Thank you very much to come and see , it's good to see you" over the intro. The somewhat loose end merged perfectly with 'Going Out', which returned to the setlist after being absent for quite some time. Then it was all over. But incredible to see them again and to be part of such a joyfull event! Truly worth the impromptu trip from Holland.
At the afterparty Danny popped up and vanished in the blink of an eye, drummers alike, while Rob was nowhere to be seen. I was able to speak to Mick and Gaz, who were both happy with the gig, even though both acknowledged it wasn't perfect. But they really enjoyed it and are looking forward to next year's tour. Having an early flight to catch, we were the first to leave the party, tired, heads full, buzzing ears, but smiling from ear to ear!
Leo Hoek van Dijke - 10 September 2019