LIVE: Spiritualized - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Far Out was extremely fortunate to make it to a very special one-off from Jason Pierce and his current Spiritualized comrades at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds.

The 400-capaciaty venue is packed out long before the band take to the stage, but any murmours of discontent about a lack of support act are put straight to bed when news starts to spread that a two-hour extravaganza is set to follow courtesy of the headliners.

The show precede’s the band’s headline performance at the ever-popular Liverpool Psych Fest the night after – a playground for noise, distortion and mesmerising visuals.

However, those who have made it for the warm-up in West Yorkshire seem to arrive armed with a look of satisfaction that it is they who are getting to experience the most unique of the two shows.

The set kicks off in explosive fashion with an extended rendition of ‘Hey Jane’ – the epic lead single from the band’s most recent album release, Sweet Heart Sweet Light.

On this occasion, blues-tinged rock ‘n’ roll is injected with a healthy dose of motorik that has heads throughout the venue bouncing from the off. Married with a pulsating visual back drop that will no doubt also be the order of the day in Merseyside, the opener gets things off to a flyer.

What follows is a career-spanning marathon that excites at every twist and turn. There’s a trip back to what many consider to be Pierce’s finest masterpiece, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, with boneshaking versions of ‘Come Together’ and ‘Electricity’.

At a time when it looks as if many of the new ‘psych’ bands around in the UK are made up of failed former Stars in Their Eyes contestants, the evening is a stark reminder of how substance must match style when it comes the woozier side of the rock ‘n’ roll spectrum.

Pierce has surrounded himself with a group of musicians with which he works in perfect sonic harmony – not least Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster on guitar and harmonica who at times comes across as much a frontman as the former Spacemen 3 singer.

Then another reminder of just how long Pierce has been a visionary comes when he dips his toe into his old band’s back catalogue to treat the lucky few at Brudenell to a mind-blowing rendition of the ever-anthemic ‘Walkin’ With Jesus’.

By the time this bumper set comes to an end the crackling sense of anticipation that came earlier has been transformed into all out euphoria. The band leave the stage but there’s no way that such a monumental show can pass without one final burst of genius.

‘Take Your Time’ invites the audience back to a period a few of them may be too young to remember in the shape of 1992’s Lazer Guided Melodies. The track has not only stood the test of two decades, but also maintains a unique ability to enthrall and encapsulate in equal measure. It’s been the kind of night you will only ever have once.

Patrick Davies

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