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Real Gone: Sleeper – Kentish Town Forum, London, 5/8/2017

posted Aug 8, 2017, 9:05 PM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated Feb 18, 2018, 7:55 AM ]

O2 Forum Kentish Town, London, UK (05 Aug 2017)
Star Shaped Festival

The theme from Cheers pours from the speakers whilst Jon Stewart (guitar) and Andy Maclure (drums) take their positions on the stage. Louise Wener emerges from stage left to take her place at the microphone. Turning to face a London crowd for the first time in almost two decades, she stands still and says nothing; she just looks at the crowd and smiles a gloriously toothy grin and the audience, in turn, explodes with delight. Just her appearance back on a stage gets a much bigger response than any of the afternoon’s other acts have received for anything. It’s lovely…the heightened mood makes it almost a picture perfect moment. She stretches out the opening bars of ‘Pyrotechnician’ in an almost playful fashion and everyone seems fit to burst. With the thrashing opening bars of the main melody, it’s literally only a second before the crowd erupts into a mass of bouncing and lurching bodies and the tune itself comes across with an angular style and confidence. Wener is in great voice and it’s great to watch Jon adding various guitar textures to this great tune. As one of the more overlooked tracks from the debut album (1995’s ‘Smart’), it makes a perfect set opener. Moving through a ferociously taut ‘Dress Like Your Mother’ and ‘Delicious’ without missing a step, the band falls into a hugely confident stride, almost as if they’ve never been away. From a great vantage point from near the back of the ground floor, it’s entertaining to see an audience that’s not only swept along with the moment, but truly unified.


While the future of the band remains uncertain, this gig has been amazing. It’s great to have Sleeper back, even if only for a while.