Senseless Things - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
With a career spanning from 1986 to 1995 Senseless Things built a loyal fanbase the hard way, playing countless intimate shows around the UK at the tail end of the 80's, releasing several Pop Punk 7 inches and EP's along the way. The group gained even more momentum in the early 90's with larger tours, a deal with Sony, harder edged singles, and even a Top Of The Pops appearance, with 'Easy To Smile' in 1992, just part of their story.
The band consisted of Mark Keds on vocals and guitar, Morgan Nicholls on bass, Cass Browne on drums and Ben Harding on guitar and vocals. Each member has kept busy musically in the years that have followed, with Morgan currently a member of Muse, Mark and Cass performing with Deadcuts, and Ben playing guitar for Thee Faction, so it was a real surprise when they announced they were getting together again for a one off show (or three gigs if you count the two warm ups!)
The Empire was rammed downstairs for their appearance, with many fans sporting Things T shirts, old and new, barely believing that the band they had embraced for years were going to be playing again, roaring they approval, when they took to the stage.
The band kicked off their set with 'Everybody's Gone', pulling songs from their whole back catalogue including early single's 'Girlfriend' and 'Is It Too Late', tracks from Empire Of The Senseless, like 'Keepsake' and 'Runaways', "Business" faves - '16.18.21' and 'Touch Me On The Heath', and Postcard C.V songs, including a re-started 'Shoplifting', 'Come Together' and 'Back To Nowhere'.
It was fun hearing the Postcard C.V era tracks live again, but they were a little bit throwaway compared to what else was on offer, with phenomenal versions of singles 'Hold It Down' (featuring an appearance from Deadcuts Jerome Alexandre on guitar), 'Easy To Smile' and 'Homophobic Asshole' blowing the roof off the place, and showing what the band were really about.
That being said, the aforementioned album's 'Too Much Kissing' was the perfect way to end the evening, especially after one of the band's impressive "B sides" 'Tangled Lines' also popping up during their encore, with the crowd going bat shit crazy, giving the lovely security folk at Shepherd's Bush a real run for their money, as they chased down welcomed stage invaders, and battled against stage divers and crowd surfers!
As exquisite as their SBE show was, in a way, I hope it's not The First Of Too Many, as I'd hate to see the band end up playing to 100 people down Islington Garage on a wet Wednesday in 2018, or 2nd band from the top at a Butlin's Weekender, just after The Family Cat, if the novelty slightly wears off.
If the band are up for it, and ready for extensive touring, fair play to them, but I think fans would be happy enough with a handful of headline shows each year, especially North of the Border next time round, with the group scratching that Senseless itch and gaining new fans for their current musical ventures.