21st Sep, 2020

Trio of stars roll back the years in a glorious gig of Britpop and banter

Ross Crawford 16th Mar, 2020

Legends of Britpop – Artrix

TWO fingers were well and truly stuck up to coronavirus in true Britpop fashion in this occasionally ramshackle but always entertaining gig.

A close to capacity house enjoyed nearly four hours of banter, jokes and great songs as Chris Helme of The Seahorses, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and Redditch’s own Nigel Clark of Dodgy rolled back the years acoustic-style to the joy of fans.

A rather rueful Chris Helme got things going, showcasing some tasty guitar work with the odd burst of squeaker – yes, it’s true – from his dog’s chewed out toy.

He’s got a great voice too and immediately built a rapport with the crowd playing, by popular demand, a standout version off The Seahorses’s 1997 hit ‘Blinded by the Sun’ among a host of great songs.

Mark Morriss took a different approach, occasionally baiting the fans, starting songs then re-starting them, glaring at people nipping out for a pint, and having a go after a section of the crowd started echoing the choruses.

As an act it was all brilliantly done, the hits speaking for themselves with Morriss master of ceremonies, conducting at times chiding, but always delighting the fans.

Last up was Redditch’s Nigel Clark, who as well reminiscing about his early day gigs in Bromsgrove, gave those classic Dodgy hits a real blast – and who would have thought ‘Staying out for the Summer’ was written in Winyates East?

And with no solo album to push bar the ‘current’ 2016 Dodgy release, it freed him to play other material, including a bit of Frankie Valli (without the falsetto) and Tom Waits.

The three reunited on stage for what appeared to be an unrehearsed finale, singing a bit of Crosby Stills and Nash, ‘Old Man’ by Neil Young before closing with an old Elton John number with Morriss reading the lyrics off his phone and Helme squinting at Clark’s iPad to see them.

It was a rather fitting way to end a rather glorious evening.

Ross Crawford

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