Watford quartet the Spitfires are the latest band to grace the stage at the Bodega in Nottingham, a venue that over the last year or so has got better and better with its sound and lighting and to the extent that it is now one of the best venues in the city.

The Spitfires are fronted by Billy Sullivan who also plays guitars and writes the material for the songs, and also consists of Matt Johnson on drums, Sam Long on bass and vocals and Chris Chanell on keyboards and backing vocals. It's probably good to note at this point that if you are going to see them live they are loud. Very loud. In fact I've not heard the Bodega ringing out like that for a long time.

The Spitfires are two gigs into their tour which has them sporting their second album ‘A Thousand Times’ which was released on 26th August via Catch 22 Records, and follows on from their critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Response’. Of the tracks on the new album the first single to come from it, ‘So Long’, is really a taste of things to come, and has already reached number one in the UK vinyl chart.

I can't help drawing a likeness to the early Jam, especially as Sullivan up front energises and morphs into a Welleres-que type. The energy is the key to this band though. Even keyboardist Chanell moves around like he means it. Every now and then Sullivan pulls back and dips and weaves and uses more room on the small Bodega stage than there actually is. The Fred Perry clad crowd love it too. Halfway through Sullivan pipes up in one of the breaks, "We've got a new album out called ''A Thousand Times'. Has anyone bought it?'" Several hands go up and a few squeals of delight follow and Sullivan confidently shouts, "Yeah...it's fuckin good, innit?" He knows they are good. And as a live outfit they are very good. The crowd respond again with chants of "Spitfires, spitfires...." And Sullivan replies with arms held wide gesturing them to give him more and chant louder. Which they do. Full on attitude and excellent Mod-ish style sounds ensue and proper crowd dancing erupts until the final encore is finished. We all go home feeling like we've just had the best meal in centuries. Marvellous!

Photographs by Dave Goodwin

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