Wednesday 23rd September I attended The Bluetones 20th Anniversary Tour with support from The Lost Boys and The Standard Lamps at Pyramids Live, Portsmouth. It’s a school night and I’m part of a group of four Bluetones and Mark Morriss fans, all of us being huge fans from back in the 90’s. The London four piece – Mark Morriss, Adam Devlin, Scott Morriss and Eds Chesters – originally called it a day with a farewell UK tour in 2011. The band now return after their last tour four years ago.
The Lost Boys kicked off the beginning of the show, a retro indie pop band from Southampton. I hadn’t seen them before but was impressed with this six-piece, their array of vocals and their fresh sound. I was also very interested to hear that they did their recording in Paul Wellers’ studio and he was backing the band immensely, not a bad recommendation for starting out in the music industry. I particularly liked their song Flowers and I enjoyed them so much I bought their album Not ‘Arf It’s…The Lost Boys.
Next up were The Standard Lamps, playing to audiences since 2010 The Standard Lamps are a three piece band from East Sussex/Kent. They have a folk blues sound with a hint of southern rock and the lead singer sounded a little like singer of A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Gary Brooker of Procol Harum. The lead singer adorned a guitar painted with a day glow version of Pink Floyd legend Syd Barrett on it and began the show by accidentally belching on his first line, then blamed it on Pie and Vinyl’s marvellous pies that they had eaten during the day. I liked this band, despite them looking a little like council workers they are obviously excellent musicians and although I’m not a massive blues/rock or folk fan, my feet were a tapping and I enjoyed the character of their performance.
The Bluetones set was awesome, I always miss Mark Morriss on his regular appearances at the now closed Cellars at Eastney and loved the 1996 album Expecting to Fly. When talking about his performances in performances in Portsmouth, Mark explained “It’s my train set, I can break it when I want!”
The Bluetones played some of their most popular songs and to be honest a few I hadn’t heard before. It was a sensational performance and Mark Morriss has great stage presence, they sound just as good now as they did years ago. There were huge cheers from the audience when they played Slight Return, my favourite song of theirs. They have played more than 10,000 shows in 73 countries and it’s understandable why people want to still hear them perform.
Massive thanks to Pyramids Portsmouth, the staff and security are always very friendly but unintrusive and the sound quality was excellent on the night. You can check out future gigs which include Hot Chip, The Temperance Movement, Slaves and more by checking out their website.
Massive thank you to David Coombs for the photos.
The Bluetones 20th Anniversary Tour – Pyramids Live Portsmouth