Saturday 5th December 2009
Just like the iconic indie front-men of the 1980’s, Harry McVeigh didn’t give away much tonight. Even during their big moments - Farewell to the Fairground and To Lose My Life - he seemed unmoved and stood on stage like a modern messiah - your own personal Jesus - legs apart, shoulders set wide and one fist clenched behind his back.
All this confidence made it easy to see how this would work in a stadium. During A Place To Hide Killers comparisons came easily - and maybe this makes it a might middle of the road. Then again, all clad in black they looked like musical mercenaries, guitars for hire, and, at times, it didn’t seem like they were playing instruments so much as brandishing weapons.
Aptly the last song of the encore - and the whole tour it emerged - was Death. For the first time all night a huge grin cracked across McVeigh’s face as he beat a fist against his chest and implored the throng, ‘you sing it!’ A completely unnecessary appeal; they were already echoing his every utterance with full voice, rapt and adoring. In this peak, this petit mort, all the earlier swagger was vindicated and, when it had finished, the crowd lay back, sweaty and exhausted but completely satisfied…