Johnny Borrell brings a new line up and a renewed vigour to Razorlights self imposed Exile, with aperformane that tore back the years.

British Britpop/indie rockers Razorlight return from their long-imposed exile to play the sold-out Manchester Ritz, all the old hits where there mixed in amid their latest offering.

There are two support bands this evening first up is Fetiche, French rock band, unfortunately for me they where lost a little on this Manchester crowd, they really struggled engaging the audience, although they did try, some of their stuff was quite good, just the wrong crowd.

Next up was growing Sheffield favourites Red Faces, buoyant after support slots with DMA, s and festival slots at TRNSMT and The Isle of Wight. There is no doubt the band have potential and can write and craft a tune, however, it’s not a critique, more an observation, they need to open up, learn to connect with the audience, deliver a performance like tonight’s host. Make the most of the opportunity’s put before them.

Its been well documented that the original line-up of Razorlight has long gone and in many people’s eyes its always been the Jonny Borrell show. However, tonight’s ensemble are not here to make up the numbers. Tonight is a sold out gig, a great accomplishment taking into account the amount of time they have been out of the loop, taking to the stage, the band waste no time in hitting the throttle with “Rip it up” from the debut album Up all night, then charging headlong into “in the morning”, its clear the band have set out to grab the audience from the off.

New material “Brighton Pier” and “Midsummer Girl” taken from the latest EP,Olympus Sleeping, at the moment don’t have the recognition of some of the older classics, in time to come these will be sure crowd pleasers. Borrell’s vocals are on par looking relaxed and fresh, maybe a man on a mission.

“Golden touch”, has the audience in full singalong mode, “I can’t stop this feeling, I have got”, continues the singalong. “Vice” and “Before I fall to pieces”, ramps up the noise and the nostalgia, this sees the band in full flow and on top form, bringing the pace down the band finish the first part of the set with the lamentful “Wie to wire”.

Returning for the first of two encores, “Got to let the good times back into your life” has a certain poignancy. “carry yourself” and the ever so powerful “somewhere else” are delivered with a purpose to close this first encore segment, The second encore begins with the drum pounding “sorry” and followed by eclectic “hold on”, before ending with probably the most powerful track of the night “America”, is what Razorlight are about a tour de force, has the crowd in full flow and appreciation for a performance, that has been missed on the circuit.

One thing is for certain, the new album will gel, the performances will get better and nay festival stages beckon in the future. Let’s hope this momentum can bring the good times back.

We rate:
5.0 rating