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"Uh-oh" murmurs Shayne Carter considering the neck of his guitar as the reunited Straitjacket Fits paused between songs mid-performance, "suppose this had to happen."

The frontman hasn't struck some technical hitch. It's just the part of the set which much of the folks who will be seeing the band on their reunion tour was most anticipating - She Speeds, the song which announced their arrival back in 1987 and which cast a long shadow until the band's demise seven years later. Carter, it seems, has a slight trepidation revisiting the anthem.

But soon he's off, picking his way through the spidery harmonic figure as his voice finds the clifftop opening line for the first time in public in 11 years.

Underneath, the rest of the band - drummer John Collie, bassist David Wood and guitarist Mark Peterson - blend their fractured parts into a sense of momentum. Thirty seconds later that chorus explodes once more and if you had any doubts about the dignity of the Straitjackets' reunion, they are being blown away in the headwind of sound.

As the song heads into its dramatic break-down, Peterson's guitar recreates the bowed cello part from the original recording. Carter briefly laughs at the return of the horror movie touch to the live version. It hits the ringing chorus for a final time and dies.

It's brilliant, all over again.

And that's a pattern much repeated throughout the evening in a loose-limbed performance marked by good-humour by Carter and audience alike, especially when there's the inevitable heckling about the absence of founder member and the band's other songwriter Andrew Brough.

Carter repeatedly introduces songs from the band's final LP Blow as being from "our much maligned third album". But apart from the hazy If I Were You played in the encore the Blow songs haven't aged well, though some seem to have provided some working drawings for Carter's subsequent project Dimmer.

No, the best moments are the earlier grand dramas of She Speeds, its bolshie brother Dialling a Prayer, and the still-menacing APS, Bad Note for A Heart and Cast Stone with its extended guitar meltdown.

They all leave the ears a little scorched but the memories revitalised.

Though not everybody present saw them first time round. Quips Andrew Wilson, the singer from support Die Die Die: "I was nine when the Straitjacket Fits broke up. Here's a song about that."

The trio prove a hyperactive skinny-legged fuzzball of jerky, yelping art-punk with the ever-agitated Wilson at constant risk of doing himself a mischief. Maximum friction but minimum songs.

* Straitjacket Fits were at The Studio on Thursday and play again on Saturday night