Support: Dream Wife
When a mate asks ‘Do you want to go and see Garbage, it’s in your favourite venue, I’m paying and all I want is a bed for the night’. Hell…I ain’t gonna argue. The fact that he then bought Mrs Rock a ticket as well…well ok that was too much. I gave him money for that one…I mean our spare bed is actually only an old fold out sofa…not exactly luxury…I didn’t tell him that bit.
Shirley Manson is an impressive woman. Fronting Garbage for over two decades, she is still the real thing. Ok the rest of the band look like corporate bankers (in Butch Vig’s case a rather cool corporate banker) but they sound bloody great and that really is all that counts. Manson still prowls the stage and she still has a voice that is as good as ever…and yes she looks great as well (her love of Blade Runner is pretty obvious).
The evening is a celebration of the album; every track is played plus a selection of B-sides from that era. Playing a full album does not always work but in this case it helps that it is a cracker of a long player. They wisely don’t play it in order (which rarely works…except Springsteen’s, Born To Run…that was fab). Instead, the set is so well balanced. There are no feet shuffling moments, indeed the five singles from the Version 2.0 album, Push It, I Think I’m Paranoid, Special, When I Grow Up and the main set closer, You Look So Fine, show what a great album this is. The World Is Not Enough Bond theme from 1999 rounds off the travel back in time.
This is a band not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve, Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, Tired Of Waiting from The Kinks and Fleetwood Mac’s, Dreams all make fleeting appearances. They finish up by playing last year’s excellent, No Horses (Manson explains the lyrics…I’m none the wiser, except Trump is a bit of a prick), before the outstanding Cherry Lips closes the show. The house (the house being the always wonderful Brixton Academy) really is jumping.
No Horses would suggest that Garbage are not finished yet and have much more to come…but tonight was all about Version 2.0. Twenty years since the orange album was released it still sounds as vibrant today as it did on its debut in 1998. Magnificent.