POP WILL EAT ITSELF + UTAH SAINTS – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON 21.12.18
Pop Will Eat Itself who are also known as PWEI and also the Poppies, formed in the West Midlands back in 1986 and enjoyed some great chart success in the following decade, with hits including ‘Def. Con. One’, ‘Can U Dig It’, ‘Wise Up! Sucker’ and a great cover of Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s ‘Love Missile F1-11’.
In 1996 they called it a day, only to briefly reform in 2005 and have been back together since 2010. They have gone down a storm at festivals and sold-out shows around the country including the Indie Daze Festival 2015 and 2016. Their Concorde 2 gig tonight was the final live date of this year.
The current Pop Will Eat Itself lineup are Graham Crabb (original drummer, later co-frontman/vocalist and main songwriter), Richard March (original member and later Bentley Rhythm Ace), original member Adam Mole (keyboards), vocalist Mary Byker (Gaye Bykers On Acid, Apollo 440), drummer Fuzz Townshend (Bentley Rhythm Ace, General Public) and bassist Davey Bennett (This Burning Age).
This evening we were treated to a high-octane performance as they powered through an energetic 18 track set which combined all the PWEI classics that had the crowd jumping around plus some newer material which went down equally well. This show proved that these boys still have what it takes to pull in an audience and get a crowd going ably orchestrated by charismatic frontman Graham Crabb.
Their sound has evolved throughout their career and is now a massive melting pot of styles and samples which includes hip-hop, indie rock, rave, punk, post punk and acid house to name but a few – it is essentially is an alternative mix of great music and completely defies categorisation. Unsurprisingly their unique sound remains very popular, we even spotted Punk royalty Jordan in amongst the mixed-age audience though sensibly avoiding the mosh pit.
The encore featured a couple of fantastic cover versions, the Prodigy’s ‘Their Law‘ and Pete Shelley’s ‘Homosapien‘ a brilliant tribute to the late Buzzcocks frontman who had died a few weeks previously on 6th December.
Setlist: ‘Ich Bin Ein Auslander’, ‘Wise Up! Sucker’, ‘Everything’s Cool’, ‘RSVP’, ‘Can U Dig It’, ‘Urban Futuristic’, ‘Watch the Bitch Blow’, ‘Dance of the Mad’, ‘Preaching’, ‘92 Degrees’, ‘Nosebleeder’, ‘Bulletproof’, ‘Get the Girl! – Kill the Baddies!’, ‘Def. Con. One’, ‘PWEIZATION’, ‘Not Now James’, (encore) ‘Their Law’, ‘Homosapien’.
Cherry Red Records have just released a 75 track 4CD set of PWEI career spanning work. It’s entitled ‘PWEI: Def Comms 86-18’ and you can grab yours HERE.
More on PWEI HERE.
Support tonight came in the form of an entertaining DJ set from Utah Saints.
The ‘Saints’ who had several hits in the early 90’s and have enjoyed stellar success in their own right expertly kicked-off the show with an eclectic hour-long playlist which included classics from Ian Brown, Public Enemy, Human League, Faith No More, Eurythmics, Orbital et al all served in a seamless techno mix. It was nice to hear their own top 10 smash ‘Something Good‘ make the cut too. You want the best – you got the best!