Not many bands can, or should, get away with ignoring their most successful records in concert. But, last night, the Cardigans did exactly that. The set list for their gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire was comprised almost entirely from their last two albums, neither of which have so much as tickled the UK Charts.
For the legions of fans, however, it didn't really seem to matter. In fact, it was the album tracks that became sing-a-longs. And, to be fair, the earlier material would have sounded incongruous. The Cardigans are a much more mature band than the kitsch retro-poppers who scored hits with Lovefool and Carnival.
Singer Nina Persson claims most of her songs are about 'love and how it messes you up', and bittersweet ballads like "For What It's Worth" and "You're The Storm" certainly suggest a turbulent love-life for the Swedish chanteuse.
But the band also has some serious rock muscle. On Hanging Around and My Favourite Game, guitarist Peter Svensson let rip with some blistering solos - and the bands penchant for metal (their first two albums contain Black Sabbath covers) allows them to give their more saccharine songs a sinister edge.
The only downside to the gig was the lack of keyboardist Lasse Johansson, who'd come down with a nasty bug. He was replaced by what appeared to be a roadie, and while I was impressed that they could draft in someone who could play all the songs, the harmonies were often unsubtle and off-key.
All in all, though, a great gig from a band at the top of their (favourite) game. As Nina said at the end of the night, "Now thats real music".
Drip Drop Teardrop
You’re The Storm
Little Black Cloud
Don’t Blame Your Daughter
For What Its Worth
Live And Learn
A Good Horse
And Then You Kissed Me I
And Then You Kissed Me II
I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer
Good Morning Joan
Losing A Friend
My Favourite Game