Spiritualized – Southampton University

This evening’s audience consisted mainly of extremely mature students who probably had finished their studies at least twenty years ago. I fear that today’s freshers have musical tastes which don’t include Spiritualized. But how happy all these gentlepersons were to discover beer at £1.60 a pint. “I’ll have a quadruple whisky”, said the guy next to me.
But why do I keep coming back for more Spiritualized? Judging by the size of the crowd, there’s a diminishing returns scenario in progress. And hell, I just know those horrible strobes are gonna give me a three-day headache.
The trouble is that the incomparable opener of “Electricity”, just gets you every time. What follows nowadays is a really pleasing sequence of the “new” Amazing Grace-era Spiritualized, which – whisper it – incorporates elements of folk, country and even blues, interspersed with selections from “Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space”, the album which is destined to remain this band’s meisterwerk. “I think I’m In Love” is a reliable heart-stopper.?
Any band which ploughs its own lonely furrow with such determination deserves support, but the current “clean living” Spiritualized (a contradiction in terms, but apparently true) is, with the help of Tim’s luxurious keyboards and Tom’s vibes, a hypnotically tuneful proposition, spiritual both by name and nature. And there’s something about those intermittent triple-pronged guitar whiteouts that other bands which attempt similar things just can’t match. As for Jason, well, he can’t really sing, he sits around boringly and he’s probably a bit of a grumpy sod, but you just can’t help but love him.
All great bands defy explanation, and Spiritualized is a great band.

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