O2 Academy, Leeds
Although the music industry appears to be getting to grips with the changing ways we listen to music and the whole concept of an album is being challenged, while music still moves us we will always love a collection of songs presented as a band would have us hear them. Dry Your Eyes by The Streets shifted millions of copies of the album, but the real intensity of the song hits you hardest not when you listen to it as a stand-alone, but when you take the journey through the album to it.
So it was with the closing number of The Saw Doctors’ If This Is Rock and Roll, I Want My Old Job Back, which the Irish folk rock band played in full to a massively appreciative audience in Leeds. I Hope You’ll Meet Again is a lyrical and poignant song, but hear it at the end of the storytelling-packed album and it will floor you. The recent phenomenon of bands playing albums in full gives fans a chance to hear their favourite songs, but judging by the Leeds audience, also to reminisce about a moment in time. If this is Rock and Roll... was released in 1991 and propelled the band to stardom. It was obvious it held as many good memories for the band as the audience as they barelled their way through it with the energy of men half their age and an angel Lindsey Cleary providing backing vocals.
Given this was a one-off, it was a seriously special night.