This was a hotly anticipated outing that didn’t disappoint. Belly were back for all the right reasons, including a bucket of cash the merch stall was obviously raking in.
It all kicked off on the full-on assault of “Dusted”. That gut-quaking bass, those weevil guitar curves all thrown in thunderous unison. Tanya‘s and Gail‘s vocals blasting the human flower. A beaming rainbow that had you shouting back the weirded-out lyrics about dead babies in cellars and the like. That chorus refrain carouseling your head in “Grass stains, back burns”, gyroscoped on the coloured wash of the lighting.Last time I saw this lot was back in ’95 at Shepherds Bush Empire, touring their solid follow up to the strange glisten of their début Star. The album King certainly pumped things up back then, and honestly Belly are still a giant ball of energy some twenty years later, especially when hitting out tracks like “Gepetto” and “Feed the Tree”; they even got me losing my shit in swaying reverie to “Slow Dog”. encouraging our inner divas to sing along to every chorus, joking that we all had to get back to our babysitters.
Now, I’m more than a little hazy about the actual setlist, but a lot of top-notch balladry filled the room, the acrobatic “Judas My Heart”, “Spaceman”, the gorgeous “Untogether”, the dimmer switch that was “Seal My Fate” — a burning bewitchment that was probably responsible for a mid-nineties baby boom. Contrasting nicely to the more sedate songs were the adrenlalised delights of “Puberty”, the band eating into the heady energies in golden gleams of guitar and yah-yah-Lazarus, an infectious vibe that bled into the show’s fitting finality, the showering glass of “Super-Connected”.the chain-reaction that was flame-flickering throughout the whole room.
I remember Nick Cave once saying the only satisfying music was the miserable kind; I’m so glad Belly were on hand to prove otherwise.