Review: Speedy, The Leadmill

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The music business is a cruel one. For every act who ‘makes it’ there are hundreds who get nowhere near and dozens who nearly do but don’t in the end, often due to reasons that have very little to do with their music.

Seventeen years ago Sheffield’s Speedy were on the cusp of fame when the carpet was cruelly pulled from under them, leaving an already-recorded album unreleased and forcing the band to return to civilian life - quite apt really because their songs were mostly everyday domestic dramas about those who may have tried to succeed but never quite made it. Not for nothing was the LP called News From Nowhere.

But now thanks to the wonders of the internet – and the efforts of some old-time fans - you can finally hear and purchase it, with part of the deal being that they play a couple of reunion concerts, the second of these being a home city return to the Leadmill, one of their regular haunts on the way up.

As Philip the singer points out, pop music is a young man’s game, and although they no longer fit into that category (especially small but scary drummer Bronwen, as she’s a woman) they still look much the same as before, with guitarist Sutty, bassist Moony and the only non-original member, keyboardist Joe, obviously relishing their brief return to live performances.

Some of the lyrical references - Fista, the Nine O’Clock Service – are a bit dated but the music is as bouncy and (Brit)poppy as it was in the mid-1990s. It’s not stunningly original, but then very little music is, and it did the job of getting an enthusiastic crowd up and moving.

After an encore reprise of their near-hit single Boy Wonder and an on-stage selfie, Speedy made their exit for the final time. They won’t be doing it again, so if you want to hear them now you’ll have to purchase the album.