Frontman Richard Butler and his bassist brother Tim remain the only constants in the band since their formation in London in 1977, but their setlist hasn’t seen anything like as much upheaval as their line-up.
Only two tracks in a 16-song lasting just short of an hour and a half postdated their last show in the city back in 1990, There’s a World from their seventh and most recent album, 1991’s World Outside, and a new one, The Boy That Invented Rock’n’Roll, set to feature on a long-overdue follow-up lined up for release next year.
All the rest of their set will have been reassuringly familiar to anyone in the third-full venue also there to see them at Newcastle City Hall last time round, one of four shows they played there prior to splitting up in 1992 and one of only five in this neck of the woods before last night, the other being at the old Mayfair Ballroom in 1981.
Old favourite followed old favourite from their opener, Dumb Waiters, to set closer Heartbreak Beat and single encore India, all being welcomed like the classics they are.
Pretty in Pink, their biggest hit, having reached No 18 in re-recorded form in 1986, inevitably featured along the way, and although the band themselves could never be described as pretty, they remain very much in the pink on the evidence of last night’s show.
Their tour continues to Nottingham tomorrow, October 11, before wrapping up at London’s Roundhouse on Saturday, October 12.