WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN?: Thursday 2 September 2021, tour runs until 21 December 2021
SETLIST: Don’t Diss The Disco; Gaslight; The Red Dots; The Ballad Of Remedy Nilsson; Age Of The Train; Prince; The Tower; Another Brick In The The Wall; After Dark; Flood The Club; Plimsolls; Feminenergy
‘We took a taxi to Poundland in Dalston to buy these glow sticks,’ says singer Leonore Wheatley as she rifles through a shopping bag she has brought on stage.
- Read on for reasons including what else came out of Wheatley’s shopping bag to delight the crowd
Sometimes you listen intently without luck to a band’s between-song banter for a quote which sums up their live experience and other times it’s so obvious like this Coldplay on a budget example that it could be blinking light at you and tied around your neck.
This is our 1st gig since Madonna at the Palladium in February 2020 after 2 previous attempts failed when Covid scuppered our visit to Gorillaz at The 02 and weather postponed Culture Club‘s Kenwood House gig in north London.
East London’s Moth Club may be an intimate venue but this is a bold set concentrating on the band’s 2nd album Pop Gossip while touching briefly on some highlights from their self-titled debut.
Appropriately the 1st song the band play after 18 months for us without gigs is Don’t Diss The Disco, a song of the month for us last year, which evokes Confessions-era Madonna yet through an ultra-pop lens that’s also very rooted in northern England and specifically Sheffield where the band hail from.
We’re reminded of a grown-up Shampoo by the pairing of female vocalists Wheatley and Katie Mason and on the evening where ABBA release their 1st new music for decades it feels appropriate that this pairing are fronting the show. ITOP also boast Adrian Flanagan (Moonlandingz) and Dean Honer (All Seeing I) within the ranks but it’s the women who do much of the talking.
Wheatley’s Poundland visit has been productive and she also pulls can shakers from her bag which are distributed into the audience as the glow sticks were for a frenetic Flood The Club as this triumphant gig comes to a close.
It’s a set brimming with fun, gigantic killer pop hooks and formation dancing reminding of other Sheffield stars like the Human League and others including Younger Younger 28s. Depth isn’t the 1st quality we’d think of but after Covid-19 and going without live music for so long that’s not the 1st quality we’re looking for tonight.
This wasn’t the 1st gig we thought we’d see after so many lockdowns but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.