REVIEW: Lightning Seeds @ Leadmill

Indie-pop stalwarts Lightning Seeds were in Sheffield on Saturday 26th November, the latest line-up of the band playing to a sold-out Leadmill crowd.

Following top-notch support acts Trudy and the Romance and Badly Drawn Boy, the Liverpudlian band opened with Sunshine from latest album ‘See You In The Stars’ before launching into nineties hits Ready or Not and Change to the delight of the mostly Gen X audience. Bathed in strobe lighting and nostalgia, the set continued with a carefully curated mix of new tracks, old favourites and covers including Wreckless Eric’s Whole Wide World and Ellie Greenwich’s Be My Baby.

As a songwriter frontman Ian Broudie is often overshadowed by edgier contemporaries, yet the timeless quality of the Lightning Seeds’ back catalogue more than holds its own. Jaunty tunes (Life of Riley) and lovestruck lyrics (Pure, Sense) reverberated around the Leadmill’s famous main room but, unsurprisingly, the loudest roar of the night came during a rousing rendition of England anthem Three Lions. Never mind that Broudie missed out the first verse; the well-lubricated crowd couldn’t have cared less.

Those singing along at the top of their lungs were left feeling wistful as the lights came up, bringing them harshly back from the carefree days of their youth to a post-Brexit, pandemic world facing a cost-of-living crisis.

The hope and optimism that filled the venue during the ninety-minute gig proved that whatever iteration of the band is on stage, Lightning Seeds provide the ultimate in uplifting entertainment. If the audience were looking for escapism, it’s safe to say Broudie and Co. delivered.

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