Gaz Coombes - Bush Hall, London
Until their split two years ago, Gaz Coombes fronted the most surprisingly enduring band of the Britpop era. By their sixth and final album, Supergrass had naturally lost some of the teenage exuberance that defined their rise, but their distinctive songwriting style remained largely intact. His second show in London since the split focused purely on songs from his new solo album, Here Come The Bombs, but despite the absence of the greatest hits, the set felt more like a continuation than a new beginning.
Led onto the stage by his backing band (like Supergrass, a drummer, bassist and keyboardist), Coombes was greeted by a rapturous reception from a crowd mostly made up of fans old enough to have been teenage when the ‘Caught By The Fuzz’ cassette single descended on Woolworths shelves in ‘94. A similar freshness came through on ‘Hot Fruit’ and upcoming single ‘Whore’, whilst the acoustic ‘White Noise’ provided a laid-back interlude, calling to mind ‘Late in the Day’.
The hit rate dropped the further songs strayed from the tried and tested style; staid ballad ‘Sleeping Giant’ inspired a lull, whilst lengthy centrepiece ‘Universal Cinema’ almost lost the crowd altogether between its cool opening and indulgent second half. But these were the only real disappointments, and they were forgotten when the explosive choruses of the set’s closing song, ‘Break The Silence’, ensured that Coombes’ return ended on a high.