Photo Credit: The Piece Hall/Cuffe and Taylor

LIVE: Blondie / The K’s – Piece Hall, Halifax, 09/06/2024

Every summer, the Piece Hall’s magnificent courtyard serves as a stunning backdrop for a variety of live events, ranging from music concerts to circus spectacles. This year’s entertainment season kicked off with global music trailblazers Blondie, who travelled to Halifax for two outstanding performances. We were fortunate enough to attend their second set on a rainy Sunday evening, which saw them supported by up and coming indie rockers, The K’s.

Basking in the triumph of their recent debut album release, I Wonder If The World Knows, The K’s delivered a captivating performance. Beginning with the lively ‘Chancer’, the band effortlessly moved through a range of catchy tracks from their chart-topping album, including the melodic ‘Light Go Down’ and the anthemic ‘Hometown’. Much to the audience’s delight, the band cleverly intertwined some of their own songs with beloved classics. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ seamlessly transitioned into ‘Hoping May’, while ‘Dirty Old Town’ smoothly led into ‘Sarajevo’, the band’s spirited first single, culminating in an idyllic conclusion to their set.



Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icons, Blondie have sold 40 million albums worldwide and have no shortage of content for a setlist. Led by a thunderous beat from drummer Clem Burke, the band kicked off their performance with the blistering ‘One Way or Another’, followed by their famous cover of The Nerves’ Hanging On The Telephone’. The sweet melodies of ‘Sunday Girl’ came next, slowing the tempo and showcasing the enduring strength of Debbie Harry’s vocals, even decades after the band’s formation in New York City. Though the tempo didn’t stay slow for long before the band launched into ‘Call Me’ – a fan favourite that’s been given a new lease of life live in recent years by keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen.

While your favourite band having an extensive back catalogue might mean you won’t always hear your top picks, it also opens the door to delightful surprises with rarely performed gems. Such was the case when the band played ‘Living In The Real World’ and ‘Will Anything Ever Happen’ back to back. The B-side to ‘Dreaming’, ‘Living In The Real World’ in particular was a special treat as until Friday’s show at the Piece Hall, the punk-infused track hadn’t been played since 1998. Blondie are masters at knowing what their fans want from their shows. After surprising the audience with two lesser-played tracks, they launched into one of their biggest hits, ‘Atomic’. Igniting an unparalleled sing-along, the explosive track featured an electrifying solo from guitarist Tommy Kessler. Due to its minimal lyrics, ‘Atomic’ also provided a heartwarming moment where Debbie stepped back to watch and appreciate the sheer talent of her bandmates.

The band took things back to the beginning with ‘X Offender’, one of the finest examples of early new wave and their first major hit on the local scene. With Debbie’s rapid-fire delivery of lyrics and Clem’s powerhouse drumming, it still sounds fantastic all these years later and elicited an incredible reaction from the crowd. Continuing to pay homage to their roots, Debbie introduced ‘In The Flesh’ as a track to which the band owe much of their success. A tribute to the early-60s girl group sound, the gentle song was the band’s first hit in Australia. In stark contrast to the rawness of ‘X Offender’, it provided another opportunity for the crowd to step back and not only appreciate the strength of Debbie’s vocals, but also the range. Things took an intense turn as the lights bathed the stage in red for ‘Rapture’ and once again, the spotlight illuminated Debbie’s impressive range. Transitioning harmoniously from a ballad to flawlessly delivering a rap, she captivated the audience with her versatility and skill.



Blondie have a remarkable history of selecting fantastic tracks to cover, each reflecting their exquisite taste and musical diversity; few bands can effortlessly blend punk, reggae, disco, rock, and pop quite like them. ‘The Tide is High’ stands as one of their strongest and most beloved covers to date. In its current live arrangement, the band’s creativity shines as its ska-infused rhythm is interwoven with scuzzy riffs and a rock-infected beat courtesy of Tommy, Clem, and Glen Matlock. A legend in his own right, former Sex Pistol Glen has been an integral part of Blondie since 2022, when he seamlessly took over bass duties from Leigh Francis, proving to be a perfect fit for the band. Glen isn’t the only recent addition to the band and over the past couple of years, Andee Blacksugar has stepped in to fill the shoes of Chris Stein.

Judging by the radiant smiles adorning the band’s faces and Debbie’s playful dance moves that lit up the stage from start to finish, it’s clear that Blondie relish performing their older material just as much as their newer tracks. As the main set drew to a close, they unleashed three of their most energetic offerings; ‘Long Time’ from their 2017 album Pollinator, ‘Maria’, and ‘Heart of Glass’. Each song was accompanied by vibrant visuals from Rob Roth, projected on a screen behind the band. Particularly striking was the anatomically correct heart made of glass that accompanied the delirious rendition of the latter, which seamlessly transitioned into Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’.



After a swift return to the stage, Debbie visibly expressed concern about the downpour, reassuring the crowd that she didn’t want to keep them in the cold for much longer, before surprising everyone with ‘Dog Star Girl’ from her 1993 solo album, Debravation. Driven by a tribal beat from Clem, the brooding track perfectly complemented the rain-soaked atmosphere and served as a refreshing addition to the setlist. The night concluded with the dazzling performance of ‘Dreaming‘, and it was truly breath-taking to witness the level of adoration the crowd held for the band. As they took their well-deserved bows, it was evident that Blondie had left an indelible mark on yet another unforgettable evening.

There’s no doubt about it that everybody in the crowd thought that they were dreaming whilst watching Blondie bring their iconic sound to one of the UK’s most unique outdoor venues and with reports of an album slated for release in 2025, we eagerly anticipate many more shows to come. Despite the persistent rain, it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd and if Friday’s show was anything like Sunday’s, TK Maxx Presents Live at the Piece Hall couldn’t have asked for a better act to inaugurate their summer of events.

Photo Credit: The Piece Hall/Cuffe and Taylor

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.