The Spitfires

The Spitfires: Chinnerys, Southend

It's been just under a year since the Watford band ventured to the Essex coast. Their previous visit witnessed a solid outing, this time, an evolution to something far greater emerged.

Maybe performing on national TV (The Andrew Marr Show) and chiding against the middle of the road has been a huge confidence boost. Whatever it is, their playing was tighter and harder and lead to some jaw dropping moments.

The pre-fame fire of The Ordinary Boys was all over this performance. However, with The Spitfires, it feels more earnest and pure. The stripped back version of '4am' heightened this wonderfully. The lyrical desperation collided with jagged Bragg-esque guitar licks to deliver a sense of togetherness few can deliver. Too rare are fists raised aloft and strangers hugged in moments of sheer joy today.

They should be buoyed by their new songs in the set. There was no clear piss break tonight. 'Move On' and 'Something Worth Fighting For' have embraced their love of Ska and Dub. Whilst the lyrical intensity remains, there is a brevity to them which injects a skanking euphoria to the room.

The Spitfires have gone from a band that only music obsessed fans know about to, the one those fans will beg their friends to come see. They have hit that level where what they do is undeniable.

The Spitfires - Chinnerys, Southend

All too often, The Spitfires are written off as just another Jam revivalist band. Anyone in Southend last Friday surely has to dispute this, loudly!

They are band steeped in the English greats such as The Jam, Specials, Billy Bragg, and Madness. Sometimes, The Jam comparisons shine a little too bright but, with this much melody and passion, they seem destined to outrun this tag. 

This is particularly pertinent on ‘4am’. This earnest tale of abusive landlords stops Chinnerys dead in its tracks. Social comment is always a plus point in the alternative music community but, this poetic, and with this much integrity, a rare thing indeed.

Former singles ‘So Long’ and ‘Move On’ go down well. The Clash via The Beat inspired ‘Move On’ has the Southend faithful skanking whilst ‘So Long’, reminds us all of when The Ordinary Boys first emerged and were not fame hungry whores.

Whilst we have all be lauding Liam Gallagher’s new found confessional song writing style (and rightly so), The Spitfires, Sullivan in particular, nail this one epic song. ‘Spoke To Soon’ recounts a tale of degradation and personal failure towards a loved one whilst all around it, is a swirling Who via Arcade Fire epic.

With new material on the horizon, watch out as this has to be their breakthrough year.