Smoking Popes At Metro

Somehow, the Smoking Popes missed the boat and it really wasn’t their fault. The release of their second album, Born to Quit, in 1995 saw them at the cusp of greatness. One of their songs, "Need You Around,” was featured on the soundtrack of hit movie Clueless and was also named NME Single of the Week, and they were even blessed with a recommendation by Morrissey, yet they still didn’t gain the popularity they seemed destined to have. Then in 1998, songwriter Josh Caterer decided to quit the band (which also featured his brothers Eli and Matt) and that was that. Except the band’s popularity grew despite the fact they were no longer together. Their name cropped up again and again in interviews with up and coming bands and it appeared they were a lot more influential than anybody might have expected. At Metro documents the band’s first concert in more than seven years, although they’ve since decided to make it more of a resurrection than a one-off reunion. What is immediately impressive is how good the band sound going from one fan favourite after another. Not surprisingly, the sold-out crowd lap it all up and isn’t hard to see why — the Popes are better than most bands who cite them. The CD is accompanied by a DVD, which only serves to show adoration of their fans, and that the band don’t really rely on any kind of onstage gimmick during a performance. Whether the band make it this time round will depend on the new material, which they are working on right now. Time will tell. (Victory)