Rob reviews “Space” a talented band that performed at The Leopard last week.

Words: Rob Johnson

 

Britpop was a musical movement that was at once instantly recognisable and yet impossible to define.The idea that Space can be lumped in with say, Suede is patently absurd. But then Space always were outsiders. Where Oasis and Blur looked backwards for inspiration, Space and their spiritual sonic cousins Pulp were much more weird and out there in terms of their influences. ‘Psychadelic’ is not a term you would use to describe Shed Seven or the Bluetones but with Space, the word definitely fits.

It is a coup for the Leopard, Doncaster’s most iconic music venue, to host a band that boasted seven top20 hits back in the ’90s and that is reflected in a packed and rowdy room. The band squeeze onto the tiny stage with Franny Griffiths’s massive keyboard taking up most of the room. As they burst into an energetic run through of Charlie M, Space don’t sound like a band approaching their 30th year together.Front man Tommy Scott is still as energetic and buoyant as ever as he swigs from a bottle of wine and declares that the crowd are ‘fuckin’ boss!’

A hypnotic and well received Money precedes a pounding rendition of Avenging Angels, a song that was written about Scott’s father passing away and is dedicated tonight to anyone that has lost somebody. In a crowd made up of ’90s survivors, that’ll be pretty much all of us then.

Begin Again paves the way for a spirited run through of The Ballad of Tom Jones, complete with Cerys Matthews on the big screen, before Female of the Species brings the house down. Space have many good songs and were far from a one hit wonder but the latter track transcends both Britpop and the ’90s to become a timeless classic. It sounds wonderful reverberating off the beer soaked Leopard walls as the crowd sways along.

A rendition of Mister Psycho does indeed blow us away but Neighbourhood is probably the highlight of the set. With the right kind of eyes it could be the spring of ’98 again as Scott runs through his bizarre list of neighbours including, but not limited to, the murderous local vicar and a petty criminal. It’s a great track and a great set closer.

Space are not finished there though as Scott bounces back on stage for one last swansong. Me And You vs The World is just as irresistible as it was back in 1996 when their debut album Spiders gatecrashed the album charts despite containing thousands of different genres and being inspired by violent movies and old cartoons.

And just like that. The Liverpool band go howling into the balmy Doncaster night. Space are still as weird and wonderful as they always have been. Long live the freaks!

Follow The Leopard HERE.

Follow the band Space HERE.