Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cregan & Co - Wednesday 30th December - Boom Boom Club, Sutton

An early "New Year" show from Jim Cregan and his band of merry men. A family outing for us this time, following the relative success of forcing the kids to watch Rod Stewart in Las Vegas. Here, at a packed Boom Boom club at Sutton Utd FC, vocalist Ben Mills let rip through a selection of Rod classics and highlights from "Family" (Jim's "other" band) plus Steve Harley's "Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)".

As ever. musicianship was of the highest standard. Drummer Harry James becomes my artist seen this year with the most acts (Thunder, Magnum, Snakecharmer and here) and a special guest appearance from ex-Bad Company guitarist Dave "Bucket" Colwell for "Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller" ended off a great show.

Jim and Dave photo by Philip Crow

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Def Leppard - Friday 18th December - Wembley Arena

A double (or even triple) header with Def Leppard co-headlining again with Whitesnake, this time with the Black Star Riders (ex Thin Lizzy) as support.

We arrived part way through the Black Star Riders set - which sounded pretty good. Ricky Warwick's voice is stunningly similar to Phil Lynott's and the sing-a-long Whiskey In The Jar at the end was sung enthusiastically by the filling arena.

Whitesnake were up next. Supporting their latest album of Deep Purple covers, the setlist included many from that. Not being a big Deep Purple fan, many of these sounded pretty dull to me. David Coverdale's voice however seemed to be back in form and the final 4 songs of the set went down well.

Def Leppard opted to start with a song from their rather good new album and that set the scene nicely. Joe Elliott's vocals were strong and not even the site of a topless (from the start) Phil Collen could detract from the musicianship. I suspect hard-core Def Leppard fans could complain about a fairly static setlist, but for the casual fan (ie me) this hit the right balance.

Setlist - Def Leppard
Let's Go
Love Bites
Armageddon It
Rock On 
Two Steps Behind (acoustic Joe Elliott)
When Love and Hate Collide
Switch 625
Let's Get Rocked
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Rock Of Ages

Setlist - Whitesnake
Bad Boys
Love Ain't No Stranger
The Gypsy 
Give Me All Your Love
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City 
You Fool No One 
Drum Solo
Soldier Of Fortune 
Is This Love
Fool For Your Loving
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night

Setlist - Black Star Riders
All Hell Breaks Loose
Are You Ready
The Killer Instinct
Bound For Glory
Kingdom Of The Lost
Finest Hour
Whiskey In The Jar 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Status Quo - Friday 11th December - Brighton Centre

Rossi, Parfitt, Cave, Edwards, Bown: Status Quo, Brighton  2015
December. Brighton. It must be Quo. Indeed it was and a very pleasant afternoon of pubs and darts was followed by another solid show at the Brighton Centre. We've seen support Wilco Johnson enough over the last year or 2, so skipped his support slot in favour of the Chippie and a beer.

Quo were as you'd expect - no, actually better when you consider their age and comments that Rossi is feeling the strain these days. The static setlist remains the one real bugbear for so many of us - there can be no excuse for the 2 Heavy Traffic songs remaining in the set at the expense of others and does anyone pay money to want to see Quo play The Wanderer? Other than that what's not to like?

The Wanderer 
Something 'bout You Baby I Like 
Little Lady
Burning Bridges (On and Off and on Again)
Beginning of the End
Medley: What You're Proposing / Down the Dustpipe / Wild Side of Life / Railroad / Again and Again / Big Fat Mama
The Oriental
Creepin' Up on You
In the Army Now 
Drum Solo (The Caveman)
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World 
Paper Plane
Junior's Wailing 
Rock and Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Judas Priest - Tuesday 1st December - Brixton Academy

Breaking The What!?
Down to Brixton for the Metal Gods and a thorough test for my new acoustic earplugs!

The evening starts with Michael Schenker's latest reincarnation - the Temple of Rock. Featuring a couple of ex-Scorpions on the rhythm section and Doogie White (Rainbow) on vocals, they romped through some popular material including the Scorpions classic "Rock You Like A Hurricane" which I'm pretty certain Michael didn't play on when he was in the band!

Mr Schenker certainly cut a slightly odd figure in his bobble hat and shuffling around the stage looking a man much older than his years, Still, it's his playing that we'd come in early to see and that was good.

After a brief interval, "The Priest" were back in town, Rob Halford resplendent in an array of black cloaks, jackets and gowns. Plus the slightly weird black gloves of course. As a frontman, he spends surprisingly little time at the front of the stage. The standard favourites were in the set of course, but to me the new material merged into one to a large extent. His vocals seemed good and I enjoyed the show (although was slightly closer to the mosh-pit than intended!), but not as much as on previous occasions. Maybe the earplugs affected things too much. In our group of 6 though, I was in a minority as the rest thought it a belter.

Setlist (Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock)
Doctor Doctor
Live and Let Live
Victim of Illusion 
Vigilante Man
Lord of the Lost and Lonely
Rock You Like A Hurricane 
Rock Bottom 

Setlist (Judas Priest)
Metal Gods
Desert Plains
Victim of Changes
Halls of Valhalla
The Rage
Turbo Lover
Redeemer of Souls
Beyond the Realms of Death
Screaming for Vengeance
Breaking The Law
Hell Bent for Leather
Electric Eye
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Living After Midnight