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THE SPITFIRES – Under Surveillance Tour – Brighton


The Spitfires have been around for a couple of years now, and with two very well received albums under their belts, what would 2017 bring? First of all a new tour, with some sell out dates, finishing at 229 the Venue, London, on June 10th.


In August 2015 the Watford band release a first album ‘Response’, and it was clear to see that this band were different, clean cut smart young Modernists with attitude. Then with the melodic but punchy single ‘So Long’ they hit number one on the Official UK Vinyl Singles Chart. OK, it was time to sit up and take notice! 


Their second album, A Thousand Times, followed to more rave reviews. It was time for Suit Yourself Modernists to go see what all the fuss is about.  


Not sure what to expect from The Spitfires in person, having them firmly on the iTunes shuffle, we could only hope that the songs would be as good, if not better live. 


The band walked onto the stage with attitude and presence and they launch into ‘Escape Me’, front man Billy Sullivan (just 22) taking control of the stage and using every inch of it; It was immediately obvious that this was a band that were going to give it everything for the audience. Would they be as good or better live? Just a touch!!


The Spitfires had added a trumpet for the live set, it made the sound so much fuller than we expected from the albums. Guitar driven power pop, with organ and brass, and they were tight too. The set continued, mixing up songs from both albums, with a new song thrown in for good measure. Then the hit single ‘So long’ gets the 240 strong crowd jumping, only to be seamlessly followed by the outstanding ‘Stand Down’ with its political anthem like lyrics. It’s a crowd-pleasing favourite. 


Billy Sullivan is loving it, jumping and bouncing around with his Rickenbacker like a very young Paul Weller, with some equally good lyrics from one so young  - “Get a job and fight to keep it  - Get a degree but you’ll never need it.”. 

He looks good too, as do all the young band members, they are not shy to stand proud on their Mod image, or have some “cockney’ banter with the crowd


It just goes on, looking down at our notes we had scribbled ‘EPIC” next to many songs, though forget the notes, we are just fans now. We’re soon hit with the brilliant ‘I’m holding on’ , and before we can calm down the set is finishing  up with ‘Day to Day’. This is a favourite of ours on the record…. But live, it was akin to The Prisoners in their heyday; we’re impressed!


The crowd are by this stage loud and loving it too, and so follows the inevitable encore of 3 songs, with ‘4am’ being the highlight. Billy does this solo and it’s dedicated to a mate in hospital, he’s clearly not only got a pair and talent to go with it, but he’s a nice lad too; and then he nailed his solo.


What a great gig! The crowd thins out quickly; they’ve got what they came for. Then all the band members come out front, they all mingle with the remaining crowd for photos and a chat. Nice touch. We catch up with Billy and a couple of young kids (Maddie & Ben) who are starting to dip their toe into Mod, and how they look up to him.


In summary there is not much more to say, only that if you’ve not checked them out, then put it on the list. 

Suit Yourself – The Spitfires certainly do.!




Band Members

Billy Sullivan - Guitarist, Lead Singer and Songwriter,

Sam Long - Bassist, 

Matt Johnson - Drummer,

Chris Chanell – Keyboards

Facebook - The Spitfires.


© Suit Yourself Modernist Culture 2020

EST 2016