Garbage – Concert April 2002

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Concert Review by EDF

Live at the Brixton Academy, London – 7 April 2002

Attacking the music scene in the mid nineties with a fresh sound and attention that most groups these days would only wish to emulate, Garbage are touring their latest album, BEAUTIFULGARBAGE, with a regenerated, enthusiastic live show that leaves any thoughts of their last gruelling world tour far behind as a bad memory.

Shirley Manson has the sort of persona to try out different guises and her attitude is basically to hell with what anyone thinks of her. This is evident at tonight’s show which is also the last night of their UK dates. With her new blonde hair look, she is more reminiscent of an early Eurythmics Annie Lennox. PUSH IT kicks the show off with a wild and captivating Manson prowling from one side of the stage to the other like a tiger marking her territory. Standing with a domineering stance, no one would dare question Manson’s authority on stage and the audience just loves it.

As for the other members of the band, they are as tight as they could possibly be, producing a pulsating, reproductive sound that is truly quite amazing. Following on with a host of tunes from their latest album, Manson dedicates TIL THE DAY I DIE to her long-suffering road crew. What follows next is something that is both unusual and probably a one off. Choosing to ask the audience at the front of the stage to shout out requests for “her band”, ignoring Bond requests, someone shouts out SUBMISSIVE ME, a song from Manson’s days with her old group, Angelfish. Butch Vig leads the beat which the others follow. Unfortunately, not only is Manson surprised that they can play the song, Manson herself just cannot seem to remember what the lyrics are. Then they attempt SUBHUMAN, which is abandoned after one verse. Other requests which do not fit the bill of “Garbage songs that we can play”, they thankfully go to one they do know, BREAKING UP THE GIRL.

There are the odd slow tunes such as SO LIKE A ROSE and CUP OF COFFEE but it is really NOT MY IDEA, STUPID GIRL and other tracks from the first album that really gets the crowd going. They finish off with CHERRY LIPS, which gets an enthusiastic response from the audience during the “Go Baby Go Go” chorus.

On returning for the encore, Garbage launch into SUPERVIXEN where Manson gives the crowd the finger and they give it back to her. Then it’s obscure B-side time with BUSY WITH THE FIZZY during which Manson jumps on Steve Marker’s back for a piggyback ride. After a preview of a new ballad WILD HORSES, Garbage finishes up with ONLY HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS. Going by the audience’s overall reaction, it would be difficult to believe that anyone would leave unsatisfied.