With the release of their first album in a decade ‘Olympus Sleeping’, indie rock four-piece Razorlight reunited with an energetic set at Sheffield’s O2 Academy.
The band were greeted by an eclectic crowd of all ages. From teens to adults who had clearly grown with the band in the mid 2000’s. The punchy sound of the acoustic guitar and the sunburst of synths on the opening track, ‘City of Women’, showed fans who hadn’t yet heard their new material the scope and potential of the band’s later work.
Appearing at complete comfort on-stage, front man Johnny thanked the crowd, mentioning how it had been a while since they last played Sheffield; remembering one of their gigs at the iconic Leadmill. It’s no doubt Razorlight are a band a lot of people love to hate, but that hasn’t changed the minds of their fanbase. A few songs into the set and the sound of ‘Somewhere Else’ and ‘Who Needs Love’ stirred a bittersweet sentiment of mid-noughties nostalgia; taking you back to the days of listening to NOW 61 on your CD player or watching the 2008 coming of age film Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
As well as this, the setlist included the age-defying hits ‘Golden Touch’ and ‘In The Morning’. People got on each other’s shoulders, singing every lyric in unison back to the band. It was as if they’d never been away.
The set slowed down as they played ‘Wire to Wire’ as Borrell placed down his guitar. The dimming of the lights and laid back atmosphere showed a more personal and vulnerable side to the lead singer as he executed the vocals on the 2008 classic.
Borrell may be known for his ‘big mouth reputation’, but the few words he spoke on the night had a meaningful weight. Before playing the final, most eagerly-anticipated song of the night, Borrell wanted to give a fitting introduction, confidently stating: ‘fuck Fox News, fuck Donald Trump and fuck Rupert Murdoch’, jumping straight into 2006 hit ‘America’. The simplicity of Johnny’s politics went a long way.
The release of their fourth album back in late October proves that the band still have the ability to write hits; evidently having gone down a storm with fans at the show. The promising reception of new singles ‘Sorry?’, ‘Got To Let The Good Times Back Into Your Life’ and the anthemic ‘Carry Yourself’ confirmed that despite not changing their classic sound, it seems they’ve been injected with a fresh feel, sounding even better live.
Infectious new music and iconic indie classics, matched with their great live presence has reawakened the Razorlight so many people had once wrote off.
Catch them on their headline tour in February, you won’t be disappointed.