New York City Bowery Ballroom

We are young, we went out, we felt more than alright...

There’s a mint to be made outside the Bowery Ballroom, where [a]Supergrass[/a] are playing back-to-back, sold-out shows. The club’s capacity of only 900 means that the crowd consists of two types: privileged industry folk and the die-hard fans that were smart enough to get advance tickets. The rest are left to mill outside, waiting for the scalper in the sky to show them some love.

For those lucky enough to get in on Friday night – including bassist Mickey Quinn, who reportedly got into an argument with an overzealous security guard who didn’t know he was in the band – the show is indeed a piece of heaven. Clocking in at just over an hour, the band’s set is tight, spirited and, most of all, fun. Shaggy moptops are in constant motion throughout the gig, with a few fans appearing to have learned their dance moves from Austin Powers.

Actually, the Americans’ attempt to get in touch with their inner Brit begins before the band takes to the stage. As the lights dim, the crowd launch into a soccer chant, which picks up again later in the set. But [a]Supergrass[/a] need no such coaxing to come forth. A freshly shorn Gaz Coombes, in a Smiths T-shirt, and his bandmates step out to wild whooping and open with “Moving,” which effortlessly gets the crowd doing just that.

[a]Supergrass[/a] then hop from song to song (including “Mary”, “I’d Like to Know”, “Late In the Day” and “Pumping On Your Stereo”) with little more than the odd staccato “thank you” in between. A slight mistake at the beginning of “Jesus Came From Outer Space” leads Gaz to explain that their last gig had been four weeks previously, but the crowd is too in love with the music to care. Coombes could have turned over his mike to the audience for “Sun Hits the Sky” and “Alright”, and the closing song, “Caught By the Fuzz”, leads to mayhem in an already-riotous moshpit.

We are young, we went out, we felt more than alright.