Music review: Supergrass, Barrowland, Glasgow

SUPERGRASS were always among the tightest and most talented of the Britpop bands who broke through in the mid-90s. If it wasn’t for the proverbial creative differences, they could have trucked along happily to this day but, after a ten-year absence, they have returned to the unbridled jubilation of the Barrowland masses, kicking off this exuberant comeback set with their punky calling card Caught by the Fuzz, one of the all time great debut singles.

Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes dedicated Richard III to Kurt Cobain on what would have been his 53rd birthday. Picture: Wittwoophoto/Shutterstock
Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes dedicated Richard III to Kurt Cobain on what would have been his 53rd birthday. Picture: Wittwoophoto/Shutterstock

Supergrass, Barrowland, Glasgow ****

Even as teenagers they could ace a Stonesy swagger like Time and this fickle mistress has been kind to the Oxford trio, whose facility for melody and momentum, not to mention audacious pillaging of the classic rock back catalogue, was on exhilarating display on the punky rampage Sitting Up Straight, glam knees-up of Mansize Rooster and turbo-charged Richard III – dedicated by frontman Gaz Coombes to Kurt Cobain on what would have been his 53rd birthday.

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In a set of wall-to-wall hits, there was audience appreciation for deeper cuts like St Petersburg and their more languid moments such as the wistful Late in the Day and the dreamy interludes of Moving as well as much to relish in the carefree dynamics of She’s So Loose, freewheeling glam rock’n’roll Grace and the youthful glories of Alright.

Even when it seemed they might have exhausted their catalogue of inventive pop nuggets, they unleashed the taut boogie of Lenny, gonzo punk pop of The Strange Ones and the Bowie strut of Pumping on Your Stereo. What a tonic for the times.

FIONA SHEPHERD