The atmosphere at the Manchester Academy 2 was a seemingly impossible mixture of laid back and excited right before BUSH took to the stage. The night’s support act, Bluebell, had set the evening up nicely with their mix of glistening pop and reverberating percussion and synth. If you check them out, expect super catchy melodies as they are fronted by the daughter of the late Davy Jones – the man behind the Monkees’ great songs.
As the opening notes of “Machinehead” rang out, Manchester came to life. BUSH’s live sound set-up isn’t as loud as other rock gigs I’ve been to, you can hear every voice in the room alongside their music – and I am glad to tell you that the vast majority of voices were singing along to every last song. Most in attendance were aged around 30 and above, a lot of whom had seen the band in its last incarnation before the split in 2002, and there are quite a few people who make comparisons between now and then. Naturally so, but the band is much more tight and focused now and every song is delivered with a metaphorical punch – besides the slower numbers. The set included a good number of fan favourites, from “Greedy Fly” to “Glycerine”, “Comedown” to “The Chemicals Between Us” – the band kept true to the originals, much to the relief of many long time fans in attendance that night.
Alongside the fan favourites, the set included a few songs from the latest album “The Sea of Memories” such as “All My Life” and “The Afterlife”. Adding to the mix, the band began their encore with two covers, “Breathe” (Pink Floyd) and perhaps one of the highlights of the night, “Come Together” (The Beatles). With its famous groove and with Rossdale really “feeling” the song, on his knees with his eyes closed, you’d be hard pressed to find someone in the room who didn’t enjoy Bush’s version of The Beatles’ classic. Even if you don’t really like The Beatles, you should look up this cover online somewhere at your nearest convenience.
Although the gig had quite a relaxed feeling to it, the audience really livened up when Rossdale stepped over to the barrier to play a few guitar solos to the crowd. People were clamouring to get closer, to put their hands on his guitar – one person touched the wrong place on the strings and reduced a guitar solo to an embarrassed silence. But mistakes make every show unique!
After the show at Manchester I can only hope that Bush do not leave it so long before playing more dates here, and when they do…make sure you do not miss the opportunity to see this band live.