I read a review complaining about the omission of the band’s more obscure tracks and I don’t understand that. The band flew to the other side of the world to essentially watch a few rugby games and play some gigs while they were here, so I think it made sense their set was composed of crowd-pleasing “hits” - if only because it complemented the excitable nature of the trip.
Having said that, nothing was lost in the celebratory atmosphere as the show never lost the kind-hearted sincerity that comes with Bradfield’s charismatic grace. Even the front man’s comical anecdotes lent themselves to touching sentiment. A tale of a terrible accommodation experience culminated in Bradfield mimicking the rhythmic knocking of love-making by thudding his hand against the side of his mic for comedic affect. Explaining the annoyance of the noise, he quickly added: “It wasn’t me!”
The audience laughed, and again when Nicky Wire chimed in with a smile, “It wasn’t me either!”
Bradfield motioned to Sean Moore, “Wasn’t Sean!”
The laughter wore off and suddenly there was a slight awkwardness clouding the atmosphere, through which an inevitable shout from the audience penetrated with clarity, “Richey!”
Here Bradfield’s tone softened as he shook his head, “Nawh, not Richey either.”
Taking a break from prancing around the stage with gaiety and an infectious grin of glee plastered to his face as permanently as the sparkling silver decoration across his cheeks, Nicky Wire stood at his feather-boa-adorned mic and joined Bradfield in addressing the audience seriously.
“I wrote these lyrics when I wanted to top myself,” he informed the crowd before the band played ‘Australia’.
Briefly explaining the song’s themes of escapism, Wire spoke with a candidness that made the crowd “awh”, but no sooner had the mood darkened when a grin flashed back onto his face as he revealed : “In the end I went to fucking Torquay.”
These few minutes of banter between Bradfield and Wire were the non-musical highlight of the show for me.
[Much of this post is taken from a review I did of the show which you can read here. I just wanted to add somewhat of a more personal reflection given the sweet intimacy of these moments.]