Sleeper are back! That’s right… Sleeper. Not only that but they’re doing a national tour in support of their latest Top 5 album The Modern Age. Yes… really.
You’re surprised? You’re not the only one… Singer Louise Wener (her hair styled back to its Britpop best) greets the crowd with a deliriously chirpy: “We’ve got a new album out – how the fuck did that happen?!” to a huge cheer from her party faithful.
Oh and what a party this is. What’s been fascinating about the rebirth of Sleeper since 2017 is that they’ve returned as the all-time-greatest-Britpop-party-band. No one here is allowed to have a bad time and, even when they rip apart Atomic by Blondie (surely a Sleeper song by now, really) with a misguided bit of Joy Division, or make a heart-warming tribute to the sadly lost Keith Flint, they’re on bombastic form.
Deriders may state that they’re second tier Britpop… but what an incredible tier to be in! With enough greatest hits from their original three albums to mean some big hitters have to be jettisoned to make room for new album songs, it’s telling that the new material not only cuts the mustard live but that their 80’s style synth sounds actually add an element of glue that holds the set hold together.
At the end – as they bring their children on stage to join them in a final ticker tape bow – you can’t help but think that the world is a slightly better place with Sleeper back in it. Let’s hope they keep taking new steps in to the modern age.
Review by Peter Richard Adams