The Computers – Aldershot West End Centre, 1 June 2013

Exeter’s The Computers returned to the West End Centre in Aldershot to round off their ‘Love Triangles Hate Squares’ in triumphant style. After the inspired booking of the town’s very own Elvis, Rock & Roll Steve, as the opening act unfortunately the main tour support the Dead Formats had to pull out. However, nothing was going to spoil this party and when The Computers walked on stage, looking resplendent in their burgundy suits, there was a real atmosphere around the venue.

Last time The Computers played the Westy (in October last year) they played a selection of punk anthems at breakneck speed and the set was over in 25 minutes, complete with various band members ending the show in the crowd and even playing guitar outside in the foyer. ‘Love Triangles Hate Squares’ has brought a new more rounded sound that mixes old-fashioned good-time rock & roll with elements of soul, motown and pop but still manages to retain that punk spirit of before. With the Elvis-style light-up sign hanging above them, it wasn’t long before the five-piece got Aldershot’s crowd moving once again. In fact, it took all of two songs for enigmatic frontman Screaming Al Kershaw to join them on the dancefloor.

Shouting in a gospel style that demanded your attention between songs, Kershaw told the crowd how the band had travelled a long way, were delighted to be in town and how ‘We didn’t get dressed up like this for nothing’ before demanding everyone acknowledged that this was his church. Bursting into new single ‘Mr Saturday Night’ the crowd were dancing, singing along and knew that this was the perfect way to spend the ‘most important night of the week’. Kershaw continued to walk into the crowd, one time hailing a bandmate to play the tambourine in the centre of the venue and describing to the audience how to play a tambourine well: ‘You have to handle it like a good woman, or man, gently’. Taking many members of the crowd for a whirl during a jubilant ‘Call On You’, the main set finished with an intense ‘Music is Dead’. I’m not sure this kind of statement has been sung with as much gusto since The Cooper Temple Clause decided ‘Let’s Kill Music’.

After the briefest of breaks, The Computers walked back on stage, played a short burst of ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ that effortlessly evolved into the latest album closer ‘Single Beds’ before delivering a rousing cover of The Clash’s ‘Train in Vain’ (which also included a quick blast of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’) and then closed their set with the piano-led ‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’, a song that quite brilliantly sounds like Jerry Lee Lewis having a temper tantrum. The Computers now head off to wow audiences at festivals both in Europe and at home and it’s fair to say this set was made for just those occasions. I’m off to buy a suit just like theirs…

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