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Bernard Butler 'shocked' fans at his London solo gig last night by playing a 'plugged' set with his new band...

Bernard Butler, star of this week’s free cover-mounted NME tape, surprised fans at his London Highbury Garage gig last night (right) by playing the first ‘electric’ set of his solo career.

After finishing a solo acoustic set with a version of ‘I’m Tired’, Butler told the crowd not to leave, promising the rest of the evening would be “really folk rock”. He returned ten minutes later with the band – Dodgy’s Andy Miller on guitar, Hopper’s Chris Bowers on bass, Denim keyboardist Terry Miles and drummer Mako Sakamoto. Sakamoto drummed with Butler during his time with McAlmont as well as on his solo LP.

Songs played during the five-song, half-hour electric set were: ‘Woman I Know’, ‘You Just Know’, ‘Stay’, ‘Autograph’ and ‘Change of Heart’. Butler appeared agitated with hecklers at one point during the set. Responding to cries of, “Show us your love, show us your arse” he replied: “Yeah yeah, get it over with.”

A spokesperson from his label Creation Records says there are no concrete plans for further full-band gigs. There were rumours that Butler’s April 19 gig at London’s Albury Theatre may be an electric set, but according to Creation, the concert will be fully acoustic.

Last night’s gig had originally been scheduled to take place upstairs at the Garage, but had been upgraded to the larger downstairs venue last week because of demand for tickets. Butler unveiled two new songs during his earlier, acoustic performance. They have the working titles of ‘Has Your Mind’ and ‘Desert Song’.