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Sheffield Boardwalk - 12th February 1999

When I first saw Gay Dad last October, back in the days when they supported Mansun, I immediately wanted to hear more. I wanted to know their names and where they were from. I searched despatately for a promo copy of "To Earth With Love" and I'll never forget that rush of excitement that overtook me when I first played it.

Gay Dad have certainly come a long way since then...all the way to the top 10 and, err, The Boardwalk in Sheffield...

"Let's get it on" Let's go and see Gay Dad.

After what seemed like a long wait, Cliff walked over to the microphone and said "you're now with Gay Dad", where I'd wanted to be for the last 4 months. The opener, "Dateline" rocked my socks off, it was great to hear the songs again. Then "Dimstar", the kind of song that makes you feel sick because you didn't write it.

I think Cliff spent more time exchanging comments with the audience rather than singing - always having to have to last word - and suceeding, you can't beat him when it comes to talking in punchlines.

Despite Cliff's stirring of the audience, things remained quite calm throughout "Oh Jim" (my absolute favourite), "Black Ghost" and "My Friends And I". Here comes "Desire". Without his guitar, Cliff can start to get to know his audience a little better - by jumping straight into them from a great height. He has found a way to push the gig into first gear, and just when you thought things couldn't get any better, Gay Dad play "To Earth With Love".

Pint glasses were crushed beneath my feet, speakers fell over, the bar which was stopping us from piling into the 2 foot high stage, was having a good wobble. One guy came flying over it and landed at Nigel's feet, it was going to happen. Then, they announced their last song, "Different Kind Of Blue", just as it was getting going. But, the song is very beautiful, and very good to finish off with, calmed you down a bit.

Gay Dad didn't do an encore, but still, not bad for a fiver!

Natalie Stubbs

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