Grandaddy @ O2 ABC, 30 August
Six years ago, Grandaddy were collapsed and futureless. By the time final album Just Like the Fambly Cat appeared, the members had already parted company, leaving the record un-toured. But as My Bloody Valentine, Pavement and dozens of others have proven in recent years, nothing’s final in rock n roll; a split is but a stepping stone on the road to reunion. Grandaddy didn’t shut down; they hibernated, and now they’ve been rebooted in a future that appreciates them all the more for their absence.
From logo typeface (squiggly) to attire (Jason Lytle’s trademark cap), the band seem unchanged by the hiatus, launching into a muscular El Caminos in the West with nary a cobweb in sight. It introduces an all-but-faultless set, dominated by Sumday and The Sophtware Slump but interspersed with fan-pleasing B-sides and debut album cuts (tellingly, …Fambly Cat is ignored).
Lytle’s T-shirt reads ‘over the hill’ but the sounds filling the room say otherwise, from the fuzzy beauty of Jed’s Other Poem to a playful Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake, with the majestic He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot raising goosebumps at the close. To quote from the John Sebastian ditty that ushered them onstage at the start of the night: welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.