THURSDAY. Zodiac, Oxford. 26.05.06

It’s been nearly two years since Thursday were last in the UK and even longer since any new material. So after a lengthy wait the New Jersey sextet (now featuring keyboardist Andrew Everding full-time) return for a flying seven-stop run with cracking new album ‘A City By The Light Divided’ in tow.

With all that time off, new songs to learn and this being the first night of the tour, the band could be forgiven for sounding a little rusty but apparently Thursday have a point to prove. The gunshot drumming, buzzsaw guitars, layered vocals and Everding’s added dimensions mean the set sounds huge. Geoff Rickly looks healthier than he has in years and throws himself into tunes like crowd favourite ‘For The Workforce, Drowning’ and new single ‘Counting 5-4-3-2-1’ with equal reckless abandon. Quality levels don’t drop an inch throughout but it’s not until they play flawless renditions of ‘Cross Out The Eyes’ and ‘Jet Black New Year’ you realise how essential this band remain and just how much their passion and honesty is missed. And nobody here would swap this show for front row tickets to the next Aiden gig, not for anything in the world.

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