Belly performing at Rock City Nottingham on Tuesday 19th July 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Tanya Donelly, a key member of Throwing Muses and The Breeders, formed Belly in 1991 and after they released their 1993 debut album Star, and King in 1995, they broke up the following year.

After a twenty year break, they are back for a reunion tour and they stopped off at Rock City last night to remind this crowd what they had been missing. Unlike so many bands that reform and look as though they are doing it for the money, Belly are the absolute opposite. They have tremendous fun on stage with bassist Gail Greenwood being in charge of the banter department and Donelly looking like she stood still in 1995.

Promising songs from both albums, they did not disappoint. Sharing songs from Star and King as well as a selection of their wonderful array of B sides, they treated this nostalgic audience to a delightful version of The Bees and a gleeful rendition of Feed The Tree. Other delights included Angel, Seal My Fate and Low Red Moon.

In a set that came in two halves, after a short interval they were back on stage to continue with their sugar sweet pop tunes and choruses with the likes of Gepetto and Red and because they have been writing new material, there were also a couple of new numbers yet to be titled, which are sure to make an appearance on their album due out later in the year.

With Greenwood never staying still, a huge contribution from the Gorman brothers and the delightful voice of Donelly, it is hard to see why they have stayed away so long. As they closed with the sublime Stay which had the audience waving their arms aloft, Belly’s performance felt utterly perfect and a great celebration of the past.

With this tour being self-funded and self-promoted, it was hard to tell who was smiling hardest at the end, audience or band. But whoever it was, let’s hope that it is not another twenty years before they come back to Nottingham again.