An ambition met. After many a teenage year looking at pictures of Susanna Hoffs and listening to the Bangles, I finally got to see them live. I wasn't sure what to expect as there are not many female bands around and i don't think I have ever seen one live before. Should it matter? No it shouldn't really but it was a novelty to be looking at three women on stage. I know, I know, I realise that makes me sound like an old sexist pig. I'm really not, it is just that I had only ever seen female solo artists / singer songwriters before. A group was going to be interesting.
The first thing I noticed was the crowd. There was a superb atmosphere in the build-up to the band coming onstage and it was noticeable that a good 80% of people there were female. This was going to be different...
The girls came on stage around 9pm and launched into a cracking version of Hazy Shade Of Winter which had the crowd on their side right from the beginning. Manic Monday was played early in the set and everyone sang along as you would expect. All the group seemed to be in good form with Vicki Peterson especially on form. Susannah was just gorgeous, she still looks great…oh and she can still sing and play guitar like the best of them.
The set was a stormer with standout tracks for me, Going Down To Liverpool, Eternal Flame, In Your Room and main set closer, Hero Takes A Fall. It wasn't all old hits though. Newer songs were played from their latest album, Doll Revolution (admittedly five years old) including the fabulous Single By Choice. The band encored with a cover of The Seeds, Pushin' Too Hard which has become an old live favourite and then that's it. Thank you's and goodnight.
Tonight was a great feel good gig with luscious pop music played with a guitar edge. It was great stuff from a great band, a band that has had its ups and downs but come through the other side. I hope they stay together for many years to come as they still have a lot to give. It’s sad that there seems to be few female bands to match them. Maybe I just haven’t found them yet.
Ticket: July 2nd 2008
Ticket Price: €31.50