American rockers Eels took to the Albert Hall stage on Monday night and treated Manchester to some classic nineties rock….and some new rock to boot! The tour has been postponed numerous times and is aptly titled ‘Lockdown Hurricane Tour’, which has been sold out for weeks with fans eager to see this four-piece again as it is their first UK tour since 2019.
The band originally formed in the nineties consists of frontman ‘E’ Mark Oliver Everett, and his backing band whose shifting line-up is hard to keep up with! E is quite possibly one of the coolest frontmen around. Sporting a green velvet jacket and bowtie and joining the rest of the band in wearing dark shades and brandishing maracas, it is an odd combination of accessories, but it works!
Support came from DIY blues-rock duo The Inspector Cluzo who warmed up the audience with their unique take on rockabilly blues and a very energetic stage show. The due hailing from Mont de Marsan in France played a number of tracks from their numerous albums including tracks from their latest album ‘Horizon’ released last year.
Songs such as ‘ACT LOCAL THINK GLOBAL’ and ‘Put Your Hands Up’ were well received by the audience and I for one will be checking more of their stuff out this week as I am now officially a fan! The duo compliments each other perfectly with an electrifying stage presence and a sense of fun which was lapped up but the audience. Their 9th studio album has been receiving rave reviews and it was a privilege to see it played out in such a raucous fashion.
Swagger and charm greeted us next, the main event, and after the excellent support act the audience was ecstatic as E and co sauntered onto the stage to the theme from ‘Rocky’. The band launched into their first track ‘Steam Engine’ from their 2021 album ‘Extreme Witchcraft’ and it was the perfect opener, swiftly followed by an impressive set list of their immense back catalog and TWO encores! Highlights included some of their most notable tracks including ‘Novocaine For the Soul’ and ‘I Need Some Sleep’.
Warmly received by the crowd, most of whom were dancing away, including the seated balcony area, which from the barrier was a beautiful sight of happy gig-goers, and served as a reminder of what we lost for those covid years, I for one will never take live music for granted again!