The Vaselines, Leadmill

Have your say

“THIS is my first time in Sheffield – it’s so sexy, I might move here,” says Frances McKee, one half of indie duo The Vaselines.

Nearly 25 years after forming, the band are still finding time for firsts, having recently reunited following almost two decades apart.

The Vaselines - Frances and co-writer and guitarist Eugene Kelly - split shortly after releasing their first LP Dum-Dum in 1989.

Formed in Glasgow and originally largely unknown outside Scotland, they were exposed to a much wider fanbase when Kurt Cobain declared them his favourite band.

But The Vaselines’ sound is far removed from Nirvana’s heavy grunge.

Their fuzzy power pop owes more to the Velvet Underground, while titles such as The Day I Was A Horse wouldn’t look out of place on a Belle and Sebastian sleeve.

Backed by a band including Belles member Bobby Kildea on bass, they played most of their slim back catalogue, including numbers from new album Sex with an X.

Eugene and Frances didn’t hide the fact they were once a couple. “Thanks for coming to watch us argue,” Eugene remarked to the small but enthusiastic Leadmill crowd.

New songs, including warning from history I Hate The 80s, sat comfortably alongside old material such as the breezy Son of a Gun and Sex Sux (Amen), which benefited from a surprisingly raw three-guitar attack.

The Vaselines are still a cult concern, but when their bizarre cover of Divine’s You Think You’re A Man dissolves into giggles during the encore, you can tell they’re having fun.

Richard Blackledge