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The Roadmender, Northampton, 2000-04-15
Written by Clark Summers.

Entering the stage to Miami Vice, Elastica look calm, relaxed and a little excited at the prospect of returning to the live arena. Northampton is certainly expectant of a quality showing from the new line up. Proceedings get off to a lively start with the Fall pastiche of "How He Wrote Elastica Man". Justine and co. then rip through a jagged version of "Annie" before going on to play a blinding set of both new and old material. Tracks such as "Human" with its icy desolateness point to a darker side of the Elastica personality but despite this they still retian the humour of Elastica circa 1995. This is particularly the case with "Your Arse My Place" which is both shambolic and endearing in equal measures with Justine purring the lyrics seductively and Mew bounding about enthusiastically behind her keyboard. "Operate" seems a particular band favourite and witnesses some coreographed jumping from all band members including Annie who blends into the back of the stage for most of the night. It's the old favourites that go down a storm however especially the gloriously poppy, angular new wave of "Line Up". The two song encore is simply divine "My Sex" the standout track from "The Menace" takes on another dimension live. Starting off with the spoken word piece by Justine and Mew it morphs into a wall of pounding guitars provided in the main by Paul Jones (former Linoleum guitarist) who looks like he was born to play in this band. They end the set with a fantastic version of "Connection" and the audience leaves the venue knowing that Elastica still possess the characteristics which made them one of the premier outfits when Britpop reigned supreme. Let's hope they take this form with them into the festival season.