Refused - Manchester Academy
Returning more than a decade after they infamously split up and swore never to reunite - "we will never play together again and we will never try to glorify or celebrate what was" - there's much anticipation in a muggy Manchester Academy for the return of hardcore punkers Refused.
Two songs into their set and the sweat is already dripping down frontman Dennis Lyxzén, a situation mirrored in the crowd, many of which were too young to have seen them perform these songs of revolution the first time round. While the venue isn't full, it's certainly a larger room than they were used to back then, and deservedly so. The heat doesn't dampen their energy - by the time 'Rather Be Dead' comes around, Lyxzen is climbing on a set of monitors he's rearranged at the front of the stage and scissor kicking at regular intervals - it's an energy they keep up all the way through to traditional set closer 'Tannhäuser/Derivè' which ends in a flurry of CO2 jets.
Their set unsurprisingly focuses mainly on their seminal 1998 album Shape Of Punk To Come, now a cult classic, but there's still time for cuts from Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent, including a powerful run through of 'Rather Be Dead'. 'New Noise' brings chaos to the front, with an enthusiastic call-and-response run through the chorus.
Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull / The Refused Party Program / Liberation Frequency / Rather Be Dead / Coup d'état / Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine / The Deadly Rhythm / Hook, Line and Sinker / Circle Pit / Refused Are Fucking Dead / Life Support Addiction / The Shape of Punk to Come // New Noise / Tannhäuser Derivè