Space brought their Spiders and Tin Planet 25th Anniversary Tour to the O2 Academy in their home City of Liverpool and All Music Magazine UK’s Warren Millar took the train into the city centre to check the guys out.
Space a band formed in Liverpool in 1992, initially as a trio, rose to prominence with their massive hit singles such as “Female of The Species” , “Neighbourhood” , “Avenging Angels” and “The Ballard Of Tom Jones” with Cerys Matthews of Catatonia. They are one of quite a few much respected bands to come from Liverpool and if you ask any Liverpool music fan the possibility of either seeing them live or owning one of their albums is very high. Liverpool Love “Space”
The City of Liverpool is looking busy tonight as we make our way to tonight’s venue The O2 Academy. Its full of the usual stag and hen night party goers as well as the many people who make the trip into the City centre just for a great night out every weekend. Its also noticeable that at just before 7pm it’s still light due to British Summertime starting the weekend before and the clocks going forward 1 hour. Bring on the lighter nights.
Getting in early we are first treated to a young band “Visa Anxiety”. We are informed that this is only their second real gig together but boy they didn’t sound like it and pulled off a great support set. Some great poppy tunes very well put together and performed together with some nice interaction with the crowd. We expect to see these guys growing bigger and getting more gigs in the future.
Next up we have local singer songwriter making a bit of a name for himself locally, Jay Lewis, up on stage with his band. This guy can perform and his Hendrix influenced songs stand out with the paying punters enjoying every second of his set. Full of nicely executed guitar riffs the songs are tight and faultless. We loved this set and can’t wait to catch Jay again if you like Hendrix rock tunes your going to love this guy and we recommend you try and catch him live !
By the time the stage hands start on a quick stage reset The O2 Academy is full to bursting all pumped up and ready to see “Space” on the final hometown leg of their tour. The house lights go down to a great cheer and on stage walks a lone Piper in full Highland Dress and playing his bagpipes. Once finished and just before the guys come on stage the Piper turns with his back to the crowd bends over and lifts his kilt. We can now confirm that they wear absolutely nothing under their kilts as the whole venue is treated to a “Scottish Full Moon” …….. Brilliant Start to the proceedings.
On stage then come “Space” Tommy Scott looking very dapper in a bright red Jacket followed by Franny Griffiths who took his place behind his bank of synths, Alan Jones on drums, Phil Hartley on bass and a return for original founding member Jamie Murphy on guitar. Tonight we are getting two albums in full and live “Spiders” and “Tin Planet” but as Tommy points out to us they can’t be in time order as “The hits came first and you would all just fuck off” . So it’s strait into “A Little Biddy Help From Elvis” with Franny making the most of his synth sounds. Then it’s onto “No-One Understands” from the Spiders Album and even into the second song the band are well into it with Phil covering every inch of the stage with his bass and Jamie following suit.
It’s pure magic to see a band really enjoying themselves on stage and a crowd so engrossed in the live music and joining in the singing and dancing with bucket loads of enthusiasm and love. Tommy is just a great lead man he loves his fans and they love him back, this can be clearly seen when ever they play Liverpool but tonight it seems more intense. Tommy is the type of guy you just can’t help but like, very genuine and wears his heart on his sleeve a real nice guy.
As the set goes on it just gets better and better during “Drop Dead” the energy explodes as Tommy jumps the barrier to join the now mayhem in the mosh pit singing and dancing with the fans. The melody of “Fran In Japan/Growler/The Man we get a virtuoso performance from Franny and his bank of synths which is just simply sublime the man is a genius honestly ! All together a real top gig and one of the best so far this year. It’s lovely to see mutual respect from both fans and a band they follow flowing from each other and going back and forth.
Space live are a great band to see take it from us they just ooze quality and a love of what they do and what it means to their fans and people who go to see them live. I really do hope they do another tour soon and we can witness this sort of gig again …….. Its Infectious, it really is.
1/ A Liddle Biddy Help From Elvis
2/ No-One Understands
3/ Begin Again
5/ Kill Me
6/ Be There
7/ Avenging Angels
8/ Major Pager
9/ Charlie M
10/ The Unluckiest Man in the World
11/ Lovechild of the Queen
12/ Bad Day’s
13/ The Ballad of Tom Jones
(with Mike Badger)
15/ Dark Clouds
16/ Mister Psycho
17/ Fran in Japan / Growler / The Man
(Medley – Fran solo on synth )
18/ Voodoo Roller
19/ Drop Dead
20/ Female of the Species
21/ 1 O’Clock
23/ Disco Dolly
24/ Me & You Vs the World
FOLLOW JAY LEWIS
FOLLOW VISA ANXIETY
Warren is a live music and festival photographer based in Cheshire and covers gigs/festivals mostly in the North West of England. He has been photographing live music for over 10 years and has covered major artists and festivals