Sheffield has been renowned for its musical offerings across the years; success has stretched the city’s boundaries through the likes of the obvious names such as Arctic Monkeys and Richard Hawley, Reverend And The Makers and The Human League all boosting the city’s prowess. Milburn are no different.
Following an eight year absence, the country went into chaotic celebration when the band announced their return; a handful of homecoming shows reinforced their presence in the scene like they had never been gone.
The Manchester Ritz was buzzing as always, perhaps even more so than usual as the crowd anticipate the return of Milburn to another great musical city. First up however, came support act The Shimmer Band, a hugely prosperous band with an incredible amount of potential surrounding them. Their sound is huge, tracks such as ‘Freedom’ and ‘Shoot Me Baby’ boast an atmospheric sound that suits the live environment in such a fashion that would make all the “big-league” players turn their head and take notice.
The room goes dark and the crowd go into a frenzy, the band enter stage with their close friend Ed Cosens of Reverend And The Makers and dive head first into the beloved ‘Well Well Well’. Instantly the crowd are with Milburn, chanting every word straight back towards the stage. ‘Send In The Boys’ follows, keeping the momentum flowing before the introduction of the bands first offering since their return; ‘Midnight Control’ is generally well-received, with cheers of approval as the song finishes showing the fans are as excited as they ever have been.
Milburn show us just how strong their arsenal of tracks truly are as the likes of ‘Lucy Lovemenot’, ‘What About Next Time’ and ‘Lo And Behold’ all grace the Ritz. ‘Chesire Cat Smile’ of course makes an appearance, creating one of the most passionate moments of the evening. As more tracks roll out, it truly is like we are back in the heat of the band’s emergence back in 2006; the room is chaotic, and the energy shows no intention to settle down. The crowd continued to be treated as ‘What Will You Do (When The Money Goes)?’ and ‘Lipstick Licking’ make an appearance.
Not a single member of the crowd moves an inch towards the door when the band exit the stage, the anticipation is far from the over. Chants of the band’s name bounce of the walls, floor and ceiling and another monumental cheer bellows out when the band return to the stage for a well-earned encore. ‘Roll Out The Barrel’ and ‘17’ ensure the celebration continues before ‘What You Could’ve Won’ brings an end to proceedings, resulting in smiles all-round as everyone makes their way to the exit. Milburn are back, and a Friday night in Manchester is the perfect accompaniment to remind us just how exciting they are.