McAlmont & Butler : London W2 Royal Oak Cherry Jam

Convincing the people here it was worth the wait wasn't difficult...

David McAlmont and Bernard Butler have realised that the grass isn’t always greener: nearly seven years after one of the most acrimonious splits in recent memory they’re back together and working on a new album. So what’s in it for them? Well, neither’s solo output exactly set the world on fire. Maybe Bernard’s realised that his stodgy guitar ramblings could do with a little theatrical sparkle.

If they’re doing it for the cash, though, neither of them are showing it. Joking about their past, they breeze through an hour of old and new songs with the kind of tenderness that’s usually reserved for pairings who met in the womb.

The tunes aren’t altogether bad either. Future single ‘Falling’ has the same lush feel as career high ‘Yes’, while the self-referential ‘Bring It Back’ is shamelessly glitzy pop.

So McAlmont and Butler have lightened up, and, more importantly, rediscovered a sense of fun. Convincing the people here it was worth the wait wasn’t difficult. It’ll be convincing the outside world this is something other than a career-salvaging marriage of convenience that’s going to win them the war.

Julian Marshall