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– ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER –

Over the past few years, we have seen an abundance of bands reforming. Some have worked and some have not. So there is always an air of anticipation when heading to one of these gigs, and tonight is no exception to this.

Slightly later than expected, Peter Perrett and Co take to the stage in this intimate venue.

Perrett is now looking rather frail and his choice of past time for the last 30 or so years has certainly taken its toll.

Dressed all in black and sporting a large pair of sunglasses on his gaunt face, he looks like he may crumble under the weight of his guitar.

As soon as they have gathered themselves, they begin their set with the track ‘The Immortal Story’ from their first album.

Straight away this does not feel like four old men trying to recapture their youth. It is also clear to see why they have such a cult following, as they still have a sound that no other act could recreate.

The third song they give us, ‘Black Operations’ is to be on the new album expected out later in the year.

This is where the line is drawn on whether reforming was a good idea or not. Thankfully if this is track is anything to go by, they have done the right thing. As it has all the hallmarks of The Only Ones of yesteryear.

After 20 minutes or so, it is time for a five song acoustic set and stools are brought onto the stage for this.

Perrett explains they are needed as they are not as young as they used to be. The sit down may have been necessary, as he does not seem to be at full strength.

In this set is a version of their most popular hit ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ and it still sounds great unplugged. As does ‘Special View’ and ‘It’s The Truth’.

Back on with the electrics and they give us a few more new songs mixed in with old favourites like ‘The Big Sleep’ and ‘Me and My Shadow’. During which, all band members show there prowess and mastery of their music abilities.

On returning to the stage for the encore, the worn out looking front man apologises for not giving a very good performance, which I don’t think anyone there would agree with. To see us on our way, we are given the original version of ‘Another Girl’ and ‘The Beast’.

By the end of the night, this does not seem like a reformation, but more like unfinished business. And for this reason, I for one shall be at the local record shop on the day the new album hits the shelves!

Simon Zaccagni

‘Accidental Editor’ None of this was planned; I’ve never been in a band, never been part of the ‘music scene’ and never expected to be the gaffer of a music website with loads of dedicated music loving writers. I bought my first record when I was 8 and haven’t stopped buying since. I love crate digging for bizarre and weird stuff, but equally happy ploughing through press releases looking/listening for something I’ve never heard before.