Live Review: Secret Affair / Squire – The Leadmill, Sheffield 21.10.2023

A gathering of mods can never be a bad thing, and the chance to see a couple of the original mod revival protagonists still at it in Sheffield’s iconic Leadmill certainly drew them out. And, after witnessing the evening, no wonder.

Although Squire never got the success the headliners did, they certainly knew how to write a tune, and are still very much at it, with tracks from their most recent album September Gurls sitting nicely amongst classics such as Stop That Girl. The band were tight, driven from the drum kit and singer Anthony Meynell’s songwriting clearly in focus.

Secret Affair were a band that find themselves among the higher echelons of the charts, albeit some four decades ago now. There was hardly a week that went by when singer Ian Page wasn’t expounding his wisdom in the NME. But all to soon they were blindsided by changes in taste and fashion, and suddenly support dropped away and left their rather brilliant third album Business as Usual high and dry.

Fortunately, several reformations have resulted in the band being fairly regular on the live front, and I’d urge you if you haven’t already (you’re reading this after all, right?) to part with your hard earned and have a brilliant night in their company. The band are soulful, searing, and seriously brilliant – from the tight brass section through to songwriter Dave Cairns choppy guitar work. And if you need any more encouragement, the jazz flows that Sax and keys traded in the dark sheffield hue was worth the ticket price alone. Chuck in an arsenal or sing and dance along melodies and it makes, and made, for a great night.

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