Repeat to Fade
There's a good crowd in tonight for 3 Colours Red and deservedly so. It all seems a long time ago that 3CR were throwing single after single into the top 40 and let's not forget two top twenty albums! The fact that they never really capitalised on their chart success of the late 90s is well documented but many have turned out tonight to bid farewell to a band once dubbed by the music press as 'the best band in Britain!'.
Kicking things off with 'Paralyse' instantly reminds you just how good 3CR really are. Great shouty choruses and bucketloads of riffs to die for were always their trademarks. The whole band are instantly into their stride, working the stage like they own it and tonight they do! Being a farewell tour you'd expect them to play all the classics and so it proves as they follow with 'Pure' and 'Age of Madness' (dedicated to Malcolm Glazer no less!), during which the crowd is left to sing the chorus and they duly belt it out one last time.
'This Is My Hollywood' is delivered with all the passion and rawness that it had on it's release and is a definite early highlight. Pete Vuckovic has the crowd in the palm of his hand tonight, stripped to the waste and sporting a very unfashionable beard he constantly encourages the crowd and tries to set a world record for the most times anybody's said the word 'Manchester' in just over an hour! The collective energy is intoxicating and it's great to watch.
Songs from the last album, most notably 'Counterfeit Jesus', demonstrate how they matured as songwriters and yet still managed to retain the energy of earlier work. Surely one of the best choruses anybody ever wrote comes in 'Sunny in England', I'd forgotten how good this is and were it not for the truly awesome version of 'Nerve Gas' that followed it would have stolen the set. 'Fit Boy and Faint Girl' slows things down and gives everybody a well deserved breather, it doesn't last long though because two songs later comes the rampaging 'Mental Blocks'. The crowd are lapping it up and the band are feeding off them. Chris McCormack stands on the monitors or thrusts his guitar out towards the crowd at every given opportunity and there are plenty of opportunities!
Last song of the initial set is old favourite 'Nuclear Holiday' and this perhaps better than any other song aired tonight reminds everyone here why this band made such an impact when they first appeared on the scene. The middle section is extended tonight in order to give the crowd one last chance to sing a long and so they do. Returning after a short break for an encore of their biggest hit 'Beautiful Day' (which got to number 11 in 1999) and the rousing 'Hateslick', they finish to a sea of clapping hands from a crowd that knows this is probably the last time they'll get the chance to show their appreciation.
Tonight 3 Colours Red were something special, a great performance from a great band and to hear that they are splitting up is nothing less than a fucking tragedy.