Friday, January 14, 2011

Killing Cancer Concert - Thursday 13th January - Hammersmith Apollo

When tickets went on sale for this, my immediate thoughts were:
  1. Got to go to that. 2 of my all-time favourite artists (The Who & Bryan Adams) plus 2 others I like (Debbie Harry and Jeff Beck).
  2. It's at the best venue in London - yippie
  3. It's on a Thursday night and I'm free
  4. It's for a good cause
  5. And .... it's how much !!!?
The last issue was likely to cause concern as Richard and I thought we couldn't justify £132 for a ticket. This was luckily resolved by Rich managing to acquire a pair of "bargain" £49.50 standing tickets (back of the stalls) the nano-second they went on sale.

So we got in quite early to nab a standing sopt and were quite please with the view, standing about 4 feet from people who had paid considerably more for the luxury of a seat. The early entry to the venue managed to confuse me enough that I knocked a substantial amount of beer out of the hand of a fellow punter as I swung 'round to talk to someone. Cue a trip to the bar to buy him a replacement!

Anyway - the show. Due to start at 7:30, it kicks off at 7:45 with an intro from Harvey Goldsmith. After that and a few videos it's time for some music. I've never been a fan of Richard Ashcroft and the 4 acoustic numbers he performed here were never likely to change my mind. Competent, but forgettable.

Roger Daltrey and band then appeared for a couple of obscure Blues numbers. Now I would happily watch Roger perform any stuff he wanted, but a full set of this style would be a bit challenging. Still, 2 songs worth was fine and a bit different.

We'd speculated on the acoustic numbers Bryan Adams would play on the back of his recent "Bare Bones" tour and he opted for a few old favourites like Cuts Like A Knife and Straight From The Heart as opposed to maybe more obvious hits. Still, after a quiet start, the audience seemed to like him. He also invited a beneficiary of the charity (who's name he mixed up with the Teenage Cancer Trust (!)) to come and duet on "When You're Gone" which was a nice touch.

Then an interval followed by Jeff Beck. Mr Beck was on fine form. Backed by the rest of the Who's band (ie no Daltry or Townshend), the highlight for me was an excellent "A Day In The Life". Then Debbie Harry pops up for Heart of Glass and Call Me which I bet Mr Beck has never played before. Still, this was excellent and Debbie was in good voice. After another Blondie number it was time for the main event - The Who.

This is who nearly everyone had come to see and a storming trio of numbers kicked things off - Townshend on great form and Daltrey's voice strong.

Sadly as Won't Get Fooled again ended, off went Townshend and we got some more blues from Daltrey and Beck.

The Ensemble all re-appeared (minus Ashcroft) for a lengthy "Join Together" with Daltrey and Adams swapping lead vocals. And then off they went. H'mm wait a minute - it's only 10:25 (ticket said 11pm curfew). As the crowd yelled for more, Harvey came back, said goodnight and the house lights came up. Now don't get me wrong, the show was really good, but if you are paying £130 as many did, is it not reasonable to expect more than 21 songs over 2.5 hrs? Or at least more than 4 from the Headliners?

If I'm being unfair there and Townshend's hearing problems were shortening things, then 1 or 2 more songs from each of Ashcroft, Adams, Harry & Beck would have spun things out to an acceptable degree. So, despite a feeling of being sold slightly short, the excellence of what we did see outweighed the negatives.

Let's hope for a full Who show sometime soon.

Richard Ashcroft
Space And Time
Lucky Man

Roger Daltrey
Freedom Ride
Gimme A Stone

Bryan Adams
Run To You
Cuts Like A Knife
When You’re Gone (Duet)
Straight From The Heart

Jeff Beck
Beck's Bolero
A Day In The Life

Jeff Beck & Debbie Harry
Heart of Glass
Call Me

Debbie Harry
One Way Or Another

Baba O’Riley
Who Are You
Won’t Get Fooled Again

Roger Daltrey & Jeff Beck
I’m A Man (Mannish Boy)

Join Together


Rich said...

Don't recall Debbie Harry singing Atomic. Indeed it is not in your set list below the article! No mention of the Tetley either.

MatthewB2 said...

Fair points, both of them! Atomic so easily confused with Call Me ! Now corrected above.

Unlike the barman's mistake confusing Tuborg and Tetley. Still at least that halved the cost of the round!