REVIEW: Kate Jackson Band, Plug Neutral

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SHEFFIELD’S adopted first lady of indie pop made a long overdue and very welcome stage return at Tramlines festival in July, causing her Plug gig to again be postponed.

But she obviously enjoys being back in the city where she attended Uni and formed the wonderful Long Blondes in 2004 before an amicable split in 2008.

Audience numbers may have been slightly pegged by near gale force winds outside, but many local musos made the trip to see the excellent Miss Jackson.

Support came in the form dynamic duo Hot Soles whose 100mph, 25-minute set had pulses racing.

Dance music legend Steve Edward’s new project Mercury Rising were next up. With Joe Moskow, of Reverend & The Makers fame, creating a mesmeric electronic landscape for Steve’s peerless vocals, highlights were the frenetic Aliens and the easier paced but just as impressive Hallelujah Day.

When Kate entered the fray and opened with Date With Dawn, it was instantly evident her vocals were as good as ever and the tight quartet accompanying her stood back and let the crowd focus on her powerful performance.

Relaxed and chatty, she even found time to sing happy birthday to an audience member. Some songs like Wonder Feeling inevitably have a taste of Long Blondes but many tracks are more up tempo with Homeward Bound and The Rest Of Us showing a rockier raw edge.

Closer Metropolis had the crowd rocking and left a lasting impression of a first class set. Sadly no encore, but it was great to have Kate Jackson back on ‘home’ turf.