The 90s was full of bands churning out catchy, memorable numbers, but
one stood out more than the others for their deliciously dark humour.

All the way from Liverpool to our neighbourhood comes Space, with
their twisted songs of Love, Serial Killers and Strange

Far from the decade of Indie Classics they remain one of the hardest
working/touring bands with a devout following, almost like a very
close family. Every gig you go to you always bump into familiar faces
who travel far and wide to come see them play, and for good reason,
the antics of frontman Tommy.

This isn’t my first outing to see space, Tommy & the lads give 110% at
every single show and tonight was no exception.

What makes tonight (well, the whole of this tour) different is the
usual current line-up of Tommy, Fran, Phil and Allan are joined, for
the first time in 13 years, by original guitarist Jamie for a 25th
Anniversary celebration of the first 2 albums, “Spiders” & “Tin
Planet”, which meant, of course, that all the firm fan favourites were
on the set list tonight along with some others not heard for a long

The background music fades, and we are treated to a new opening
package, a video plays on the projector as the soundtrack bellows
through the venue and as they grace the stage the room erupts with

The set started with a track from Tin Planet- “A Liddle Biddy Help
From Elvis”, the massive wall of sound hitting everyone with force.

Whoops and hollers are coming thick and fast as the number ends, Tommy
greeting the crowd like he always does, with a massive smile on his
face before breaking into “No One Understands”, one of their best
darker bouncy tunes, the crowd reacting by jumping up and down and
singing along in unison.

Throughout the evening there was plenty of banter between long-time
friends Tommy and Jamie, and you could tell that Jamie was loving
being up there with his guitar, in the spotlight once again, sharing
lead vocal duties with Tommy.  And I can’t fail to mention the rhythm
section of Drummer Allan and Bassist Phil, providing the deep, solid
groove that packs a proper punch.

 The songs kept coming thick and fast as there was a lot to get
through, 22 songs and a 2 song encore.

“Begin Again” was next, followed by “Money”, which is a regular on the
Space set list and sounded fantastic tonight. Then the one I have
waited for a long time to hear – “Kill Me”, and it was certainly worth
the wait to hear it live in all it’s glory, and from the crowd
reaction I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

There was the usual sing-alongs of Avenging Angels, Tom Jones (As
always with Tommy singing to Cerys of Catatonia via the beauty of
sampling) and Female Of The Species to which Tommy dedicated to Emily,
a long-time fan who had first seen them many years ago in

There were a few hiccups, trips and slips and forgotten lyrics (It has
been 13 years for Jamie in all fairness) but this is live music.

If you have ever been to see Space before you know how things go, when
Tommy is without guitar he loves getting deep in the crowd (his poor
stage manager following his every move making sure the microphone lead
doesn’t get tangled around anyone’s neck and to round up Tommy back to
the stage), giving the fans the up close and personal treatment – and
tonight was no exception.

The dynamics were different tonight though, it may have been the
venue, it may have been the fact that this was the first night of the
tour, but it wasn’t a bad different, just slightly unusual for the
regular Space fan.

After many more Space classics we were treated by a medley of some of
the more electronic based numbers as the band took a bit of a
breather.  Fran is a keyboard/technical wizard, The Rick Wakeman of,
well, it’s hard to put Space in a genre, their style is theirs, taking
inspiration from a lot of things, I’d go as far as saying they are
unique, quirky, unmistakably themselves and boy do the fans love them
for it.

I don’t want to ruin it for anyone by going too deep into the setlist
(even though if you know both albums you know what will be on it) but
there is still the element of surprise in how they mix things up but
the song of the night for me, which I thought would be the
aforementioned Kill Me, was Disco Dolly, one that hasn’t been on the
set for years, but boy was it a proper treat and the crowd absolutely
loved it.

They are one of the bands that always has time for their fans, popping
out to chat after the show, remembering faces, and thanking them for
their support, and I for one shall be continuing that support for as
long as they continue to provide us with fantastic music and, as this
gig has proved once again, fantastic fun filled nights.

The tour continues in Sheffield on 25th Feb, check the official Space
Facebook Page for further dates.

📸 Photo and Writing credit to Mark Allen