Review: The Lightning Seeds at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Published on February 20th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Hit after hit after hit; and that was just the opening acoustic set courtesy of Starsailor front man James Walsh. It’s testament to how highly regarded Ian Broudie is within music circles that he was able to call upon such eminent support, and it’s testament to his songwriting ability that his Lightning Seeds body of work that it still sounds fantastic some fifteen to twenty years down the line.
Backed by a band containing his son Riley on guitar – and if you don’t already know, yes, “Life of Riley” was indeed written for him – Broudie went for the jugular with a set that was the very definition of ‘crowd-pleasing’, rendering whoever’s decision it was to fill the stalls with seating largely in vain. Yep, folk were dancing merrily in the makeshift aisles, and the air of revelry and reverence was acknowledged by Broudie after each song with a typically unassuming utterance of “ta”.
“Ready or Not”
Obvious shouts aside, Dizzy Heights album track “You Bet Your Life” reasserted itself as a blissful slice of Beach Boys-y psych-pop, while a cover of David Bowie’s “The Prettiest Star” sat well in a set that tellingly did not draw upon Broudie solo records Tales Told and Four Winds (the latter was released under the name The Lightning Seeds but, as Broudie recently told us, is effectively a solo outing). Only “Cigarettes and Lies” was aired from 1999 curio Tilt, but it would be churlish to profess any misgivings with a set that included all the most well remembered hits, of which there are many.
Rocksucker went home with a strawberry-clad Jollification T-shirt, and would like to commend Broudie and his cohorts for a splendid night’s work. It seems as if this tour is intended to draw a line under the material featured, so if you happen to live within close range of one of the two remaining shows – namely Buxton Opera House Festival on 20th February and Ashford St Mary’s Church on 21st February – we recommend that you get yourself down there and catch the return of a true pop juggernaut while you can.
Set list: “Ready or Not”, “Imaginary Friends”, “What If…”, “Sense”, “All I Wanna Do”, “You Bet Your Life”, “Change”, “Perfect”, “The Life of Riley”, “The Prettiest Star”, “Cigarettes and Lies”, “You Showed Me”, “Pure”, “Sugar Coated Iceberg”, “Lucky You”, “Marvellous”