The Long Blondes

Norwich Arts Centre

Norwich Arts Centre

The Sheffield media darlings kicked off one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of the year.

Having elegantly surfed a year-long wave of hype thanks to a clutch of singles and a neat line in retro chic clothing, the band finally release their debut album next month.

In spangly top and scarf, singer Kate Jackson prowls onstage to declare she just wants to be our sweetheart. By the end of Blondie-like second number Weekend Without Make-Up, she need have no worries on that score.

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Here is a band who consider it their first responsibility to be as glamorous, exciting and inventive as possible. Enlisting every influence from '60s girl groups to deranged punk via Ennio Morricone, they sing of small-town life where the only refuge from bored despair is romanticised melancholy.

Such is the case with forthcoming single Once and Never Again, which was rapturously received and as bouncy a slice of post-Strokes über-pop as you'll ever come across.

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Time will tell whether this band truly have the substance to match their undoubted style. For the moment, just salute The Long Blondes' dedication to their vision of the perfect pop group.

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