Friday, December 24, 2021

Spike - Thursday 23rd December - Cavern, Raynes Park

Brief review:  Third Spike show of the year for me - officially billed as "Spike and Chris's Xmas Miracle" with Chris Heilmann again providing additional guitar sound and generally keeping order. Similar set to normal, but a fair bit of rambling meant that it was shorter musically than previous ones. Spike shared some sad news about the death of his friend Robin Le Mesurier (Rod Stewart band member, Womble and more recently occasionally playing with Cregan & Co) and clearly felt emotional about his loss. As ever, some interesting tales were shared - how many are true is anyone's guess!

We shared our table with Dawn Osborne working for Total Rock - you can read her full review of the show here.

Venue and View:  Front right seats, directly by the stage. Not noticeably busier than the socially distanced shows earlier in the year.

Setlist

White Christmas (snippet)
Run For Home
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Darlin' 
Pearl's a Singer
The Cadbury's Flake Advert Jingle (snippet)
Fortune 
Raining Whiskey 
+
The Wombling Song (snippet)
House of The Rising Sun
The First Cut Is the Deepest 
How Come It Never Rains 
I Don't Love You Anymore 
There She Goes Again 
So Far So Good
The Power of Love
"New Christmas Song"


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Thunder - Friday 17th December - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton


Brief review:
 
 Despite a huge queue to get in - caused by Covid checks seemingly being done by a single person, I managed to get into the cavernous venue a few minutes before showtime. The show was everything you want from a Thunder Christmas show - great musicianship, a decent selection of Thunder material and many inspired covers of rock classics. Marvellous!

Venue and View:  Well left of stage, but towards the front. Busy, but felt safe with enough personal space in an airy venue.

Setlist

[Acoustic]
Stand Up
She's So Fine
Olivers Army 
The Smoking Gun
Just Another Suicide (You Wanna Know)
Resurrection Day
Loser
Joy to the World 
A Better Man
Sailing 
+
[Electric]
Wonder Days
Higher Ground
You're Gonna Be My Girl
Tie Your Mother Down 
The Devil Made Me Do It
Burn 
Destruction
An Englishman on Holiday
Love Walked In
Sweet Home Alabama 
Last One Out Turn Off the Lights
+
Schools Out 
Dirty Love
Merry Xmas Everybody


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Warner E Hodges - Wednesday 15th December - Dublin Castle, Camden

Brief review:  Warner was in good form as he and his UK based band romped through a repertoire ranging from country to hard rock. As well as solo material, there was a good choice of covers including Let There Be Rock (AC/DC), I Want You To Want Me (Cheap Trick), Country Roads (John Denver), Fortunate Son (Credence Clearwater Revival) and Merry Xmas Everybody (Slade). A loud and enjoyable evening.

Venue and View:  Left hand side, halfway back. Still only 5 yards from the stage. Comfortable access to the outside bar if you needed to walk through the crowd.


Saturday, December 11, 2021

Slady - Friday 10th December - Belle Vue, High Wycombe


Brief review:
 
 A free pub gig in High Wycombe for the excellent Slade tribute. Previous shows this year had unfortunately classed with other engagements, so this was well worth the train journey north. It transpires that Wycombe has a range of very good value pubs - or we got very lucky with happy hour timings! That also may account for people passing out in some of them.

The girls were on good form and there was a mix of hits and album tracks in a well performed set. It's great to see the music kept alive so enthusiastically. 

Venue and View:  Small pub with the stage squeezed into a corner, but not raised. Our view was up front and personal - pub pretty packed.

I didn't note the full setlist, but for reasons that were not entirely clear, Merry Xmas Everybody was played twice.


Sunday, December 05, 2021

SAS Band - Saturday 4th December - G-Live, Guildford


Brief review:
 
 The traditional Christmas show for Spike Edney and the revolving cast of the SAS (Spike's All Star) Band. The setlist shows the guests and the hits performed - as always the musicianship on display was top notch.

Venue and View:  Balcony Seats (front left of centre). Decent view and once the woman in front stopped playing with her phone on full brightness, a comfortable watch. 

Setlist

Born to Run
Davy's on the Road Again (with Chris Thompson)
Blinded by the Light (with Chris Thompson)
If You Can't Stand the Heat (with Cheryl Baker & Jay Aston)
The Land of Make Believe (With Cheryl Baker & Jay Aston)
Making Your Mind Up (with Cheryl Baker & Jay Aston)
First We Take Manhattan (with Tom Robinson)
War Baby (with Tom Robinson)
2-4-6-8 Motorway (with Tom Robinson)
Addicted to Love (with Madeline Bell)
Sir Duke (with Madeline Bell)
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (with Madeline Bell)
Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves (with Madeline Bell, Cheryl Baker & Jay Aston)
(Sing If You're) Glad to Be Gay (Tom Robinson solo acoustic)
Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) (with Chris Thompson)
The Boys of Summer (with Tony Hadley)
Hammer to Fall (with Tony Hadley)
Gold (with Tony Hadley)
29 Riff Overture
Pink Cadillac / Peter Gunn Theme
Fairytale of New York
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Ensemble
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Ensemble
You're the Voice - Ensemble with Chris Thompson
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Ensemble


Saturday, December 04, 2021

Kenney Jones - Friday 3rd December - 229 Club, Great Portland Street, London


Brief review:
 
 More from Robert Hart and Dave "Bucket" Colwell. Ably support by Pat Davey (Cregan and Co, Paul Young etc) on bass and Steve Smith (keyboards) they join the headliner Kenney Jones (drums) for a run through some highlights of Kenney's long career. As you'd expect, that meant lots of Who & Small Faces stuff with a smattering of Bad Company and Free material and other rock classics. What was interesting for me is that brilliant as Robert Hart is on vocals, he must have a bit of a mental block with some of the lyrics - some of which were either wrong or in the wrong verse order on some songs. Still, it's not like they have been gigging much recently, so I think we can excuse that in the face of how good the other aspects are. Ken is obviously a man of few words - a brief "thanks for coming" was as much as we got from the man himself.

Venue and View:  Front left about 10 yards from the high stage. Excellent view, but very sparse audience


Friday, November 26, 2021

Sweet - Thursday 25th November - Chalk, Brighton

Brief review:  A new venue for me, just around the corner from the "Quadrophenia Alley". Unfortunately, the early start meant we only heard the last 3 songs from support Limehouse Lizzy, but they sounded good. As did the Sweet - now with Paul Manzi full time on vocals. The only lull was a couple of lesser known songs in the middle of the set, but otherwise it was hits all the way. 

Venue and View:  Front left about 10 yards from Andy Scott. Busier than expected, but not uncomfortable. Lighting was probably the worst I've seen this year with the band in near darkness for much of the set.

Setlist

Action
New York Groove 
Burn on the Flame
Hell Raiser
The Six Teens
Defender
Windy City
Set Me Free
Everything
Teenage Rampage
Wig Wam Bam / Little Willy
Love Is Like Oxygen / Fanfare for the Common Man
Fox on the Run
+
Blockbuster
The Ballroom Blitz

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Danny & Luke (Thunder) - Tuesday 23rd November - Crawley Hawth


Brief review:
 
 Another round (following on from previous years) of chat and music from Thunder's Danny Bowes and Luke Morley - this time without Mick Wall hosting. Entertaining, but clearly much more scripted than the "unscripted" book they were promoting. I did actually get my 2nd half question selected by Danny and was able to engage in some friendly banter from the stage.

Venue and View:  4th Row, left of stage. Sparce crowd (less than half full)


Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Dead Daisies / Quireboys - Wednesday 10th November - Shepherd's Bush Empire


Brief review:
 
 Managed to bag some promotional free tickets for this one and enjoyed the Quireboys romp though their re-released debut album "A Little Bit Of What You Fancy". In fact, it was basically a setlist from 1990!

I don't know much about the Dead Daisies, but with Glenn Hughes on vocals and Doug Aldrich also in the band, it was a fair guess that there would be some decent rock music performed. And despite not knowing much of the material, in was perfectly enjoyable - maybe not quite enough to make me rush out and buy their albums, but I wouldn't be adverse to seeing them again. 

Venue and View:  Front left for Quireboys and first half of DD. By the merch desk at the rear after Fortunate Son.

Setlists

[Quireboys]
Misled
Man on the Loose
Long Time Comin'
Whippin' Boy
Hey You
There She Goes Again
I Don't Love You Anymore
Sweet Mary Ann
7 O'Clock

[Dead Daisies]
Unspoken
Rise Up
Dead and Gone
Chosen and Justified
Mexico
Bustle and Flow
Lock 'n' Load
Fortunate Son 
Midnight Moses 
Drum Solo
Mistreated 
My Fate
Leave Me Alone
Saving Grace
Like No Other (Bassline)
Holy Ground (Shake the Memory)
+
Long Way to Go
Burn


Thursday, November 04, 2021

Scouting For Girls - Wednesday 3rd November - G-Live, Guildford


Brief review:
 
 More SFG today with a family trip to Guildford. There were a few references to Croydon the night before around the noise levels and the reaction to questions about "Posh Girls" (make up your own jokes!). From what I picked up, we were one song shorter tonight, with the "Stick The Kettle On" collaboration with Lucy Spraggan dropped. Excellent as normal.

Venue and View:  2nd Row of balcony seats. Unobstructed view and the standing area looked packed. Venue suggested this was just about sold out.

Setlist

I Wish It Was 1989
Heartbeat
I Wish I Was James Bond
1+1
Posh Girls
Butterflies
Famous
Millionaire
Bad Superman / Stacy's Mom
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) 
This Ain't a Love Song
Secret Tattoo
Elvis Ain't Dead / Can't Help Falling in Love
+
Michaela Strachan
She's So Lovely