Bluetones Expecting riot at Sheffield reunion show
Five years after a farewell tour to bring the curtain down on their 17-year career, Britpop heroes The Bluetones are back, for the second time.
Such was the success of a mini-reunion last year, the quartet, famous for hits such as Marblehead Johnson, If and After Hours, are back with a short tour, including a show in Sheffield.
Frontman Mark Morriss, who has enjoyed a solo career since the band’s demise, says: “We did eight gigs in September last year and they were just a riot.
“We thought we’d play some more.
“It’s the 20th anniversary of our debut album, which is as good an excuse as any.”
The debut album, Expecting to Fly, is a favourite of pop trivia fans, after knocking Oasis’ seminal ’90s album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? off the top spot after its release in February 1996, on the back of top-20 singles Bluetonic and Slight Return.
The Bluetones enjoyed success throughout the Nineties and early Noughties with catchy Britpop tunes and great live shows.
They continued to tour and release regularly until frustration got the better of them and they called it a day in 2011.
“I think our records were getting better and better,” says Mark, “but our audience was getting smaller and smaller.
“And rather than drag this thing we love down, we decided to call it a day.
“Also, in the last few years up to the decision, we had a few significant knocks behind the scenes.”
Drummer Eds Chesters now works full-time as an osteopath, guitarist Adam Devlin runs a fruit and veg import firm in London, while Mark’s brother Scott, the band’s bassist, works as an illustrator in Japan.
Mark, however, has continued to write and perform and is preparing to release his fourth solo album – as well as reuniting with the band for the tour.
“In 2014, I had a tour for my solo album and I wanted to go out with a bang,” he says
“Individually, all the others had approached me and said they’d be happy to play if I needed them, so I thought why not do a show with the full band, but a show playing my stuff.”
It was a success and sparked the mini reunion tour last year, from which sprung this anniversary tour which arrives at The Leadmill in Sheffield on Friday, April 29.
However, Mark says, there are no plans for the band to reunite permanently.
“I don’t think that would work,” he says. “I don’t think there’s a great deal of call for it.
“It’s a nice idea, but I can’t think of one example where it has really worked for a band.
“When bands have broken up then come come back they never really release new material that’s any good.”
Despite the time – and distance – apart, Mark believes the band will be as good as ever when they take to the stage in Sheffield.
“We formed in 1991, so 25 years we have been playing together,” he says. “And this is important for us.”
Tickets to see The Bluetones at The Leadmill on Friday, April 29, are priced from £21 from leadmill.co.uk