Bush: London Brixton Academy

by Victoria Segal
July 2002

In the right set of circumstances, you might be tempted to feel sorry for Bush. Short of being reincarnated as Mother Teresa on a particularly self-abasing guilt trip, however, it’s hard to imagine just those circumstances would be.

The grunge goons might well feel maligned by hostile press, prejudged by unfair misconceptions dating back nearly a decade, but spend an evening with their efficiently dull rock bluster, eyes rolling back in your head at the sheer tedium of it all, you quickly decide that mocking is the very least they deserve.

It’s the way that Gavin Rossdale, peeling off his plaid shirt to reveal a blue-and-white T-shirt that makes him resemble a sailor in a Hollywood musical, instantly starts spinning around the stage as if he’s really feeling it, 0-irritating in 20 seconds. It’s the way that ‘The Chemicals Between Us’ and ‘Machinehead’ are inflated with nothing but their own ersatz passion, conveying genuine emotion in the same way crab sticks convey the real flavour of the sea. Rossdale pays lip service to London being his hometown and the audience cheers, but considering this is city proud of The Kray Twins and Jack The Ripper, that’s hardly something to be proud of.

If only Bush were that interesting. Yes, they have money, yes, they have fans – and maybe that’s success. As their half-life drags on, however, they increasingly look like a band whose moment hasn’t just passed, but never really happened in the first place.