REVIEW – Little Angels 02 Academy, Oxford

Article and Photographs by Nick Bartlett

Never in a million years did I think I’d be writing a review of the Little Angels Live. I never dared dream it!

When they played their final show at the Hammersmith Apollo, i was 18 and left absolutely gutted. Through all the rumours and other projects, here we are, 18 long years later and they are finally doing what they do best, playing the songs that we all love so much.

The crowd inside the O2 Academy in Oxford is electric with anticipation as we wait for the guys to hit the stage and then, with the first bars of ‘She’s a Little Angel’ it erupts.

Its a mix of euphoria and genuine emotion as Mark, Toby, Bruce Jimmy and Rich walk out, and it doesn’t stop for the whole night.

In all my years of seeing bands live, i don’t think i have experienced an atmosphere like it, and the band seem taken aback by the response. A number of times during the night when Toby tries to address the crowd, he simply cannot be heard over the cheering and chanting for the Angels.

The band do not disappoint, it was like they have never been away, they were on top of their game, and very, very loud!! Smiles were present on every one of their faces, and they looked to be enjoying it as much as we were. At one point, Bruce looked across the stage to his mates, and said that his heart was pounding. It was a sentiment echoed by every single person in the crowd I’m sure..

Don’t ask me for the setlist, I couldn’t tell you, i was no different from anyone else in the crowd, I was completely in the moment and loving every minute of it. The set was like a Greatest Hits, and did include an off the scale version of ‘Do You Wanna Riot’ and a very moving version of ‘Don’t Pray For Me’, dedicated to former Drummer Michael Lee.

Towards the start of the show, Toby commented “Welcome to the rebirth”, I’m sure that I’m not alone in hoping that rings true, as on this form, The Little Angels have proved that they can still rock with the best of them!

-Nick Bartlett   

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