The Long Blondes - 53 Degrees Preston - 16.2.07

Sheffield based band The Long Blondes have one vital ingredient that every other band associated with the city of steel sadly lacks and that's glamour. Reenie Delaney on bass and Emma Chaplin on guitar / keys are two attractive, sultry and sassy young women who certainly know how to rock but the main focus of the Long Blondes is the best female fronted singer since Debbie Harry and that's the sophisticated beauty Kate Jackson. Looking stunning and stylish and managing natural charisma while confidently performing a set which she enjoys immensely, Jackson looks and sounds fantastic with a deep resonating voice which puts Designer Magazine in mind of Justine Frischman from Elastica, but so much more versatile.

The Long Blondes have been compared to many bands including The Ramones (punky attitude) and Blondie (blinding tunes from a striking unforgettable vocalist), but a more contemporary influence would be Pulp. Their mix of slice of life lyrics and hook laden pop choruses are worthy of comparison to Jarvis Cockers merry men. Fans are more well behaved than normal tonight probably due to the sign that states that crowd surfing is prohibited so in fear of being ejected out of the venue there isn't a single sighting of hovering bodies flying overheard all night long.

When Jackson sings in a sweet, seductive way "I Just Want To Be A Sweetheart" Designer Magazine just wants to shout at the top of it's voice "me too". When she enquires about the ages of the audience being 16,17 or 18 were baffled until the band segue nicely into "19", a brazenly memorable tune featuring a wonderfully choppy guitar sound from Dorian Cox. The crowd are obviously as enamoured as Designer Magazine are. "Weekend Without Make-Up" also astounds and pleasures the senses but it's eclipses if such a thing is possible by new(ish) single ""Giddy Stratospheres" which is one of the finest cuts from their debut album.

The hour The Long Blondes play for whizzes by which is a always a good sign. Time does indeed fly when you're having fun and the sold out show was sick without being over-rehearsed and one well worth attending

Nicholas Paul Godkin
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest

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