Cambridge Corn Exchange – 11th March 2019

VIP Soundcheck

For the first soundcheck song, the band played Hank for the first time this tour, the song that had been the opener for so many of the shows last year but so far absent in this tour. Tim said that it was a statement on his life in America and that if he still lived in the UK, it would have probably have been about Brexit – and that would REALLY have divided the audience!

Jim has to speak into the mic which has been set up for the drum which causes some amusement, as does Dave’s request for a “stable light” (a light he can see by rather than flashing stage lights) causing Jim and Saul to make jokes about candles and horses.

Next up was another old favourite revisited, the beautiful duet with Sinead O’connor that Tim says should have been a single. Sinead was at the studio by coincidence and said that she loved the song so Tim asked her to sing it with him. He says now that in retrospect it should have been a major track and not a B- side but that the whole thing had happened so easily that sometimes, when things fall into your lap so simply, you can overlook their significance. The song had been tried back in 2013 with Andy Diagram on backing vocals, but with Chloe able to provide a female vocal, they wanted to try it again.

A question was asked as to what the band think of the Mo Salah rendition of Sit Down that Liverpool fans have been singing. Jim says that, as a Man City fan, it was particularly galling to have been at the match, recognised by City fans and blamed when the Liverpool fans sang it very loudly at the Etihad as Salah knocked City out of a cup competition!

The third of the soundcheck tracks is a song the band seem to be playing a lot on this tour, Moving Car, which Tim says should have been on the latest album but they weren’t able to have the double album they’d originally planned for. The song has appeared on the deluxe version as a demo, with the drum machine backing track that the band often use before recording in full. When Tim asks the soundcheckers what they think, someone calls out that it needs proper drums. Saul agrees, and says that they’ve tried it with Dave once and it sounded great – and lo and behold, when it’s played in the main set, they’ve decided to take notice of the feedback and Dave is playing in on the track, which adds a more rounded feel to the beat rather than the tinny drum machine backing track. So they do listen to fans’ feedback and take suggestions on board!

The final question asked about their relationship with The Charlatans and whether they’re friends off stage. Tim says that, whilst they get on really well with the Charlatans and also with other Manchester bands from the late 80s and early 90s, they tried not to get too involved and swept up in the Manchester “scene” as their view was that scenes tend to last a couple of years and they were aiming for more longevity than that.

Even The Stars Review of Cambridge by Dan Starr….

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