bush - liveThose of you old enough to, may remember the exciting mid-90’s when a little rock band from Shepherds Bush got to Number 1 – the band was Bush and the song was Swallowed. After playing some decent sized venues around the country the band then went over to America to conquer arenas and didn’t really bother to come back, which is just as well because pretty much everything they’ve released since has been rubbish.

It would seem our cousins across the pond agreed and the band split up in 2002, leaving singer Gavin Rossdale to concentrate on being Mr Gwen Stefani whilst dabbling in acting from time to time, but then the band reformed back in 2010 – or rather Gavin got Robin Goodridge back behind the drums, the line up being completed by a new bass player and a guitarist who was in the band for 5 mintues before the split – and released a new album in 2011 called The Sea of Memories.

What we have here is a show from the Roseland Theater in Portland filmed during the promo tour for the new album (don’t worry I haven’t heard of it either), which is the band’s first ever live concert performance they have released. A shame then, that they didn’t decide to do this back in their arena bothering heyday when people cared instead of now when they just about manage to sell out this medium sized venue (and that’s only coz it’s got a balcony).

Opening with ‘Little Things’ from their debut album Sixteen Stone the band manage a good balance of old and new songs, but it is really the material from the first two albums that go down the best – who can argue with tracks like ‘Greedy Fly’, ‘Everything Zen’, ‘Alien’ and final number ‘Comedown’?

Gavin is a likeable enough frontman, keeping the big rock star moves down to no more than any other band would and the between song banter contains enough thanks and babble to seem genuine and modest, which can’t be easy when at 47 years old you look better than most 27 year olds.

Although his grungy, scratchy vocal style seems more forced than it used to, it certainly holds up all night, even when making his way from one end of the U-shaped balcony to the other for ‘The Afterlife’, much to the delight of several ladies and the extension of ‘Glycerine’ with the rest of the band joining in is an enjoyable version.

The disc also includes the official music videos for ‘The Sound of Winter’ (lead single from “The Sea of Memories”) and ‘Baby Come Home’, as well as, a 5 song acoustic set for German television, but the main electric set is the best feature even with the crappy new material.

“Bush – Live!” is available on Blu-Ray and DVD now with no fluffy leopard print guitar straps in sight.

Ah the nineties….

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