REVIEW: Belly, Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

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Belly

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‘I see you there, for a moment, partying like it’s 1993,’ say bassist Gail Greenwood.

Belly have just played their fourth song of the night, Gepetto, one of the band’s biggest hits, and the sold-out crowd at The Wedge has gone appropriately crazy.

Belly at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, on June 9, 2018. Picture by Paul Windsor.

Belly at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, on June 9, 2018. Picture by Paul Windsor.

The New England, US, four-piece have reforned after more than 20 years apart. And new album album Dove, which the night draws heavily from, is far better than it has any right to be.

The band were at their commercial peak back in the mid-1990s. Part of the Rhode Island/Boston scene that birthed Throwing Muses, Pixies and The Breeders, frontwoman Tanya Donelly is indie-rock royalty.

They kick off with a couple of old songs, an in-your-face Low Red Moon from their 1993 debut Star, and Seal My Fate from 1995’s King, before unleashing Army of Clay, one of their new numbers, and it sits perfectly well alongside the older material, its soaring chorus ready to be chanted along to by the eager crowd,

Seeing as this billed as ‘a night with’ there’s no support act - Belly play for 45 minutes before coming back to play another more lengthy second half.

Prior to this comeback, the band only had two albums under their belts, but there’s no shortage of material.

Their biggest hit, Feed The Tree is knocked off halfway though the second set.

And they announce new song Quicksand as ‘the first time we’ve played this.’ The crowd goes wild.

They finish off their encores with rarity Thief, before closing out with new track Starry Eyed, the final track on Dove.

They could have played for another hour and no-one would have minded.

It’s good to have them back.