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Live Review: East 17 - The Hi-Fi

15 June 2012 | 11:53 am | Helen Lear

The choice to sing along to a backing track made the whole performance seem a little flat, but no-one seemed to care as they got straight into big hitter House Of Love to screams of excitement.

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A wet and windy Sunday night may have been the reason for a mediocre turnout, or maybe the band that sold 20 million albums and had 18 top 20 singles in the '90s just don't have the same clout as they used to.

Local DJs Teen Spirit kept the soggy crowd bopping along to old favourites while waiting for the main act, playing indie greats from the likes of Blur through to Britney Spears and dancefloor fillers while a random shirtless guy jumped around the stage like Bez from the Happy Mondays.

After an awkward change over, the three remaining members of East 17 – Tony Mortimer, John Hendy and Terry Coldwell – took to the stage, all looking a little older and a little chubbier, but still with the same cheeky demeanour, despite the absence of lead singer Brian Harvey. The choice to sing along to a backing track made the whole performance seem a little flat, but no-one seemed to care as they got straight into big hitter House Of Love to screams of excitement.

The banter with the crowd in between songs was great and Mortimer's strong cockney accent hadn't lost any of its charm, even when he joked that they now popped off stage in between songs for a toilet break, rather than to “powder their noses”. Hits Let It Rain, Deep and Steam all made an appearance as well as a few tracks from new album Dark Light, which were tested out on the crowd to a mixed reception.

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After what seemed like a short set, the band left the stage, only to reappear a minute later for an apparent encore, creating another awkward moment. Classics Stay Another Day and It's Alright finished the set before Mortimer thanked everyone again for coming, clearly surprised that anyone had turned out to see them. Any major fans were given the offer of a 'meet and great' backstage for just $20 extra, which came as a sad reminder that maybe it's time to call it a day.