Monday, March 31, 2014

Status Quo - Monday 31st March - Hammersmith Apollo

Quo Night 3.

I'd genuinely had no intention of doing the Monday night at Hammersmith, but nights 1 and 2 were so good, it made it essential - especially if this is genuinely the last chance to see this lineup.

The venue was much less busy - probably only 2/3 capacity on the floor, so this meant we had easy access to a good spot. We swapped our "normal" front-left position for a front-right one to see Alan Lancaster close up. He seemed revived after a day-off and again the band were on form. A slight bit of feedback disturbed the set part way through, but Rossi was having fun with some searing solo's than were different from the previous shows. Still no jig in Roadhouse Blues, which was a rare disappointment.

I treated myself to the signed lithograph on the way out - it will find pride of place somewhere at home.

All in all though, a fantastic 3 shows. Got to be up there as the gigs of the year.

Setlist
Junior's Wailing
Backwater / Just Take Me
Is There a Better Way
In My Chair
Blue Eyed Lady
Little Lady / Most of the Time
Rain
(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays
Railroad
Oh Baby
Forty-Five Hundred Times / Gotta Go Home
Big Fat Mama
Down Down
Roadhouse Blues
+
Caroline
Bye Bye Johnny



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Status Quo - Saturday 29th March - Hammersmith Apollo

Night 2 of classic Quo. And arguably, this was even better than last night. Another packed house, although we managed to get a bit closer to the front. Band were on top form again.

Alan Lancaster still looks a little frail and struggles to walk. Quite how he and Francis were playing "football" to injure Rossi's leg is anyone's guess. But again, it was a joy to see 4 musicians with such history enjoying their playing and the crowd.

Making a note to purchase the live CDs over the weekend.

Setlist
Junior's Wailing
Backwater / Just Take Me
Is There a Better Way
In My Chair
Blue Eyed Lady
Little Lady / Most of the Time
Rain
(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays
Railroad
Oh Baby
Forty-Five Hundred Times / Gotta Go Home
Big Fat Mama
Down Down
Roadhouse Blues
+
Caroline
Bye Bye Johnny



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Status Quo - Friday 28th March - Hammersmith Apollo

The Frantic Four "reunite for one final time" says the poster. Well that's good news for us Quo fans who thought last year may be our only chance to see the classic Quo lineup.

A packed Hammersmith Apollo waited eagerly to see the band, with support coming from Wilko Johnson. Nice to see him again - shame that Roger Daltrey was busy across town at the TCT shows.

The atmosphere was never likely to meet the 2013 noise levels and excitement, but Quo came on to a rousing welcome. The set was very similar to last year, although I must confess to having to play "Gotta Go Home" before the show to remind myself of it!

I know there are some fans who will only see this lineup and not the current Quo lineup. I enjoy both, but there's no doubting this is the real deal. Heavy, more rehearsed than last year and all the band seemed to enjoy it this time around which was nice to see. How about a 2015 reunion?

Wilko Johnson Setlist
All Through The City
The More I Give
Dr Dupree
Going Back Home
Roxette
Don't Let Your Daddy Know
Back In The Night
She Does It Right


Quo Setlist
Junior's Wailing
Backwater / Just Take Me
Is There a Better Way
In My Chair
Blue Eyed Lady
Little Lady / Most of the Time
Rain
(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays
Railroad
Oh Baby
Forty-Five Hundred Times / Gotta Go Home
Big Fat Mama
Down Down
Roadhouse Blues
+
Caroline
Bye Bye Johnny


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Mods - Saturday 22nd March - CSC, Cheam

A private charity show from The Mods - less than 5 minutes from home. That'll do nicely. This was my first time seeing the band since Johnny Warman was replaced by Tim Huggins on vocals. Maybe comparing them would be disrespectful as both have different styles. The new singer has a good range of vocals, but has a way to go to match Mr Warman's showmanship and crowd encouragement.

I think this could be described as a tough gig for the band. An empty dance floor in front of them and people packed at the back near the bar and sitting in seats elsewhere. Still a strong performance got some people on their feet later on. I guess that's the danger of being a house band at an event, rather than the main event themselves. Still, good performance + good band = good evening.

http://www.the-mods.com/index.html

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Graham Bonnet - Wednesday 19th March - The Garage, Islington

A relative rarity for me these days - a headline act who I have not seen before. Sold on the premise that there was likely to be mainly Rainbow material played, this looked like it may be a nice evening out. And so it proved. Whilst not the most celebrated of the Rainbow vocalists, Graham fronted a solid set - with a backing band who had apparently only had 20 minutes rehearsal. I gather he'd flown in from LA - makes you wonder if the band were a sort of Rainbow / Deep Purple tribute band? Would their vocalist then get upset? They were certainly more than adequate in any case.

Mr Bonnet has quite a distinctive style - not sure I've ever seen a rock vocalist open their mouth so wide. Hardcore Rainbow fans tell me the material he sang on his only album with the band wasn't the best, but here all sounded fine and there were a few "favourites" thrown in for good measure - some of which he didn't sing on the original records.

Venue was a bit busier than anticipated - over half full and the show was good enough to make us book up for the next leg of the tour down the road in December. Maybe the set may have expanded by then.

Setlist
Eyes of the World
Love's No Friend
Since You Been Gone
Bad Girl
Makin' Love
Keyboard solo [Temple of the King / Tarot Woman (intro) / Toccato and Fugue / Mr. Crowley / Perfect Strangers]
Kill The King [Instrumental Version]
Drum solo
Catch the Rainbow
All Night Long
Lost in Hollywood
+
Long Live Rock And Roll



Sunday, March 09, 2014

Who's Who - Friday 7th March - Half Moon, Putney

So here's a show I wasn't expecting to be at. When a previous social engagement finished earlier than expected I found myself heading home on the district line. I had a vague recollection that a gig had clashed on the day, so a quick trawl of the internet showed Who's Who at the Half Moon. A quick check of the watch showed I might just make it if I was quick.

So, I turn up (suited and booted) with a "goody bag" containing bottles of wine and beer (after a "long sporting lunch" with Alastair Cook, Brian Moore and Ieuan Evans - hic!). I imagine I looked quite out of place.

Still, the set played was top notch as always. A mix of hits and hardcore classics from the Live At Leeds era - the snippet of Roadrunner was a welcome inclusion. Slight hilarity when popping to the main bar to get a drink I was given a real glass rather than a plastic one. The barman looked at me a bit strangely when I said I was in watching the show. Still - well worth the detour!