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Reviews Lancaster University - June 2002 - Lose Control

Trish Roberts

With Space missing, presumed propping up a job centre somewhere on Merseyside, for some time, there's a strong sense of anticipation tonight as Liverpool's finest purveyors of insubstantial but incredibly contagious pop witterings take to the outdoor stage at Lancaster University.
Lead singer, Tommy Scott, looks to have aged considerably, his once mop-like mane of hair cut into a short back 'n' sides while the rest of the band appear dishevelled and convict-like as ever. With only the minimum amount of interaction with the audience, the band launch into Mister Psycho. It's a tight, accurate version and Scott's voice is as comically psychotic as it was back in the Spiders LP hey-day of 1996.

Tonight's set is a routine greatest hits compilation in preparation of the release of the band's Best Of album due later this year. The crowd doesn't seem to mind though, especially when a near perfect rendition of Neighbourhood is as close to the pop ideal as you can possibly get. But, without warning, the relaxed atmosphere is suddenly dispelled as a can of lager hurtles its way stagewards narrowly missing Scott's head but covering him in a shower of alcohol. The smile disappearing from his face in the middle of Money, Scott halts the band and glowers at the crowd. "Who was that?" he growls. He's met with a lone shout of "It's only rock 'n' roll, mate!" which displeases him even more. "Oi, yer fooking shithouse!" bellows a now furious Scott. "You come up here and have a fight or we're not playing any more!" And with that, the band put down their instruments and walk silently from the stage.

Some ten minutes later, following the forceful removal of the can-thrower from the audience, Space return, understandably lacking enthusiasm, to finish their set. It's too late, however, to save the atmosphere and not even crowd-pleaser You & Me Vs. The World can prevent tonight from feeling like a total embarrassment for both the band and the bewildered audience.

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