Saturday, 9 October 2010

Delays, Sheffield University SU

It’s October, so it must be about time for another Delays gig.

We miss the tackily named ‘Scars on 45’ but catch the unusually named Ruberlaris from nearby Chesterfield, who seem to have a bit of a ska/reggae thing going on. Well, at least the lead singer/guitarist Chris Alsop does. Sometimes I think the rest of the four-piece band, who apparently are usually a five-piece with a saxophonist added, are playing something more conventional but it all blends together quite well. Lyrically he is strong too.

The band struggle at first to get much reaction, other than warm applause from the small crowd, because it’s still quite early in the evening but the crowd gradually warm to their high tempo music and energetic stage presence. They’re pleasant enough but really not my thing.



After a short delay (that’s nearly a pun), Greg Gilbert bounces onto the stage in typical Greg Gilbert fashion, wearing what I’m almost sure is the same shirt he always wears when we see the band live. I just hope he washes it occasionally.

‘Girls On Fire’. It's back. The Bodega in June was good but this is already better, they didn’t play it then. Well its better until I start getting picked on. That's all I need the lead singer having a go at me for not clapping to ‘Lost In A Melody’. It’s not even one of my favourites. Then he seems to keep his beady eye on me all night which, I think, makes my partner a touch jealous.



Greg introduces ‘One Night Away’ as just a song from ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’, their first album. I don’t recall them playing it before but I’m sure they must have, just not recently. I always like it when bands chuck in an obscure oldie. The song ends with a touch of feedback and morphs into the excellent ‘Friends Are False’.

Four tracks in and nothing new yet, nothing from their new album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’. Then ‘Find a Home’ appears but the only track we’ve not heard before is ‘May '45’ which appears mid-set. That apart there’s a lack of new stuff.



A chap in the crowd keeps yelling for his favourite song but he doesn’t actually know the name of the song he keeps yelling for. Aaron fights him off once but then Greg has a go when he requests ‘In Bittersweet Sunshine’ for the third time. ‘How can I play that when I aint f***ing written it yet?’ he protests before launching into ‘In Brilliant Sunshine’.

Tonight I think it's possibly the liveliest Delays crowd I've seen, the place had filled up considerably, adding to the small crowd who witnessed Ruberlaris. The band are as lively as ever, well Greg is, he even bounces his shoe laces undone during ‘Wanderlust’.

‘Panic Attacks’ is accompanied by an order to ‘get your arms up Sheffield’ and I’m sure he’s looking at me again. He hasn’t got much time to hassle me though; they seem to be in a rush now, up against another Saturday curfew. To coin a phrase or an album title, ‘Everything’s A Rush’. (Mental note: in future pick midweek gigs for longer sets).

‘Hideaway’, ‘Nearer Than Heaven’ and ‘Valentine’ end the set with the crowd continuing the latter even after the band have left the stage.



They return and Aaron protests about the curfew, ‘they’re trying to kick us out’. Yes but you were late coming on mate. They still run slightly over budget with ‘You And Me’ and ‘The Earth Gave Me You’ appropriately from the aforementioned ‘Everything’s A Rush’.

I’ll let my partner sum it all up. ‘Such nice boys’, she says. So there you have it.

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