Lucky Me: The Lightning Seeds Are Still As Sharp And Infectious As Ever
The Lightning Seeds are a band which reside in a slightly anonymous dimension of indie obscurity. Despite their catalogue of intensely likeable tracks filled with catchy hooks which had me enamoured at eight years old, they still remain something of a niche in the 1990s, with their main success coming on the eve of the invasion of Oasis and Blur. Put it this way: everyone knows “3 Lions” and the track they use on Match of Day every week, but could people name the band? Whilst most people couldn’t, the 1000 people present at the O2 Oxford certainly were rewarded for their loyalty.
Ian Broudie and his current entourage, including his infamously-named son Riley on rhythm guitar, have certainly not lost it. With razor-sharp cohesion, the layers of sound Broudie constructed in his studio over thirty years ago still maintain the same zip and fizz that I imagine they ever had. Sonically, the Lightning Seeds are again somewhat outliers, with some aspects sounding like modern pop tracks, whilst other moments are embedded in the New Wave movement. Yet, it is always the sentimentality of the lyrics (amplified by Broudie’s raw delivery) that makes their music so special. From the dreamy mystery of being “lost in the Milky Way” (“Life of Riley”) or lost in the “oooh” of “Lucky You”, their tracks always feel free from any kind of cringe bravado or toxicity. Instead, even when Broudie is pissed off (technical term) there is a sense of warmth in his frustration.
Of course, it must be said that Lightning Seeds gigs are powered by nostalgia. Whether this is nostalgia remembering one’s youth hearing the Scouse outfit in clubs during the 90s or having it played by your dad to you as a kid (showing my youth here), Broudie certainly has a helping hand in his shows. He is not quite at the Liam Gallagher level, where his microphone may as well be off and rely on the crowd to sing every word for him, but the crowd was definitely high on memories of the past- arguably making it very hard for him to play (or at least be perceived to have played) a bad gig.
Walking out of the gig onto the Cowley Road, a young girl in front of me said to her dad “I want to do that again!”. Whilst I can write and write about band cohesion, sonic landscapes and other pseudy things, the beauty of the Lightning Seeds is much more simple than that. There seems to be an infectious sense of fun embedded in what Broudie and his band do. Once you feel it or hear it once, it’s very hard to shake off.
The Lightning Seeds remaining tour dates:
Thu 17 Brighton Chalk
Fri 18 Cardiff Tramshed
Sat 19 Manchester Albert Hall
Sat 26 Sheffield Leadmill