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Then Jerico + Ian Britt @ O2 Academy, Sheffield – 24 September 2012

Review and photos by Laura Patterson

The O2 Academy in Sheffield provided an intimate setting for the return of Then Jerico. The gig was one of a series of eight shows by the band at O2 Academy venues across the country, to mark the 25th anniversary and digital re-release of their debut album ‘First (The Sound of Music)’. All of the original band members have reunited for the first time since 1990 for this tour.

A local artist chosen to open on this date of the tour, Sheffield singer-songwriter Ian Britt entertained the crowd with his great voice and quirky acoustic songs. Along with an unexpected cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’, Britt kept the majority of the crowd attentive for his enjoyable set. An interesting act, you can check him out here.

Despite never having achieved the level of commercial success which some of their arguably less-talented ‘80s counterparts did, Then Jerico have maintained a strong and loyal fan base and the small venue was packed by the time they took to the stage. As they came on to rapturous applause, it was as if the clock had suddenly been wound back 25 years to when I first saw them play live. They may all have looked a little older (but so did we!) but the same energy and excitement was there.

The show was split into two parts, with the first half featuring six tracks from First (The Sound of Music), including the classic early tracks ‘Let Her Fall’, ‘Blessed Days’ and ‘Prairie Rose’. A favourite of most of the evening’s crowd, hearing these tracks live again, after all this time, was particularly special.

Lead singer Mark Shaw remains a charismatic showman and most of the interaction with the crowd – with few signs of the throat infection he was suffering from – was left to him. In engaging with the fans, he seemed thrilled to be back performing again in front of such an enthusiastic audience, spending much of the show balanced on the barrier, getting up close to the fans (which I rather enjoyed from my spot on the front row). With the whole band on top form and enjoying themselves as much as the audience were, you’d never have known they had only had a few weeks together to rehearse for the tour.

For the second part of the show, Then Jerico played the whole of The Big Area, launching with an enthusiastic rendition of ‘Helpless’. Succumbing to crowd demand, they even played the superb ‘Sugar Box’ twice. Closing the second part of the show with a fantastic performance of their biggest hit, ‘Big Area’, the whole crowd singing along, the night ended on a high, with an encore of ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘Reeling’.

Clearly a band delighted to be back, Then Jerico’s reunion tour continues to gain momentum and it’d be great to see them back on the road again soon and to hear some new material.

Visit Then Jerico’s website here

Set List: Let Her Fall, Blessed Days, Muscle Deep, The Hitcher, The Motive, Prairie Rose, Helpless, You Ought to Know, What Does it Take, Song for the Broken Hearted, Where You Lie, Sugar Box, Sugar Box again (due to popular demand!), Under Fire, Big Area, Darkest Hour, Reeling.

And you can see Laura’s shots from the show here:

 

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  1. vinny says:

    well said craig. I was there on that night and it was one of the greatest nights of my life, having not managed to see them first time around I must admit I thought my chance to see them live had gone. wasn’t sure if there would be much of a crowd or if they would sound any good. I was blown away, they were awesome, and mark shaw was, is, and always will be a rock legend.

  2. Carl says:

    I was at this show and i really cant agree with any of this. First of all the tour is not 25th anniversary.. more like the 23 or 22rd… also Marks so called throat infection was there for all to hear, only matching the size of his head as it swelled from song to song. Less talented counterparts? oh please!

    Ticket price wasnt worth it, some reunions should never happen.

    • Craig says:

      Carl – Laura says it was the 25th anniversary of their first album. That was released in 1987 so 2012 is about 25 years by my calculation. If you are talking about Big Area (Laura wasn’t) then that was released in 1989 so that is 23 year ago (not 22rd??). You are of course entitled to your opinion of the gig but I don’t think it was shared by many people on the night. What would you have liked Mark Shaw to do – retreat to the back of the stage and sing in the corner? He is a frontman – if you don’t like it fine but that is his job. Well worth the money – in my opinion. Not sure why you went, to be honest, as you obviously don’t like them.