Monday, November 21, 2016

David Essex - Sunday 20th November - Drury Lane Theatre

View from the Gods
David Essex announced that this would be his "farewell tour", so it seemed like a good opportunity to see the 70's superstar again before he bows out. This is the 3rd time I've seen David and I seem to be getting higher and higher in each venue I see him! This despite paying (well) over £10 for the first time for his ticket! The show was effectively a greatest hits sing-a-long, with Richard and I very much towards the lower age range for the audience. The view was OK(ish), but the sound was clear, vocals good and the material as expected.

I would put myself very much in the "casual fan" bracket regarding Mr Essex, but the passion of his true fans really showed - hundreds even standing out in the rain by the stage door afterwards to get a glimpse or photo.

Beautiful Day
If I Could
All the Fun of the Fair
Hold Me Close
Me and My Girl (Nightclubbing)
Oh What a Circus
A Winter's Tale
Picture This Sky
On and On
Rock On
Imperial Wizard
Ships That Pass In The Night
Gonna Make You a Star
Silver Dream Machine
Here We Are All Together
It's Gonna Be Alright
I'll Be Missing You

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ian Hunter - Friday 11th November - Shepherds Bush Empire

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band
I had been looking forward to seeing Ian again and was even more pleased when I remembered that we had decent floor seats for this one. Support came from Graham Parker and Brinsley Schwarz who were pleasant enough - but somehow I expected that I'd recognise at least a couple of their songs. I didn't! Still, it was fine and Graham came across well with some self depreciating humour to the fore.

Mr Hunter has been touring for a good few years now with his Rant Band and the set tonight was a good mixture of old classics and newer favourites. Ian was in fine voice and effortlessly switched between guitar and keyboard. The crowd lapped it up (after almost being dragged to their feet initially by 2 somewhat overexcited fans - who presumably wanted to get "down the front"). If I do have one reoccurring issue with Ian's shows, it is the front of house sound. Now, it could be mitigating that we were in the 4th row, but it took several songs before the vocals and in-between speech became clear (and lifted above the instruments). Also when special guest Paul Cuddeford joined in for "All The Way From Memphis", it took an age for the desk to realise that he was playing a solo and to turn him up so the audience could hear it. I'm sure being the sound man is a far from easy job, but there are few recurring shows I go to these days where the vocals start so muffled.

Despite those reservations, I really enjoyed the show and it was nice to be able to hear "All The Young Dudes" without a stage invasion by Joe Elliott!

That's When The Trouble Starts
Once Bitten Twice Shy
When I'm President
The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nuthin' but the Truth 
Cleveland Rocks 
All American Alien Boy 
Fingers Crossed
Honaloochie Boogie 
Just Another Night 
Bow Street Runners 
Shrunken Heads 
American Spy 
Michael Picasso 
23A, Swan Hill 
Sweet Jane 
Irene Wilde (Snippet)
All the Way From Memphis (with Paul Cuddeford)
All the Young Dudes 
Goodnight, Irene (Snippet with Graham Parker)

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Dan Baird & Homemade Sin - Saturday 5th November, Bush Hall

Who's Got The Hat?
The now (at least) annual London show from Dan and the boys. Back to Bush Hall, where a slightly stressful 5-modes of transport journey got us there slightly after nine. Thankfully proceedings seemed to be running a bit late and we caught half of the main support act with Warner E Hodges on guitar. They had a couple of catchy numbers, but the main vocals were a slightly acquired taste.

The late start and strict curfew meant a reduced headline set. Dan prides himself on choosing the set each night (and mixing it up on the fly). In general, this works really well, but tonight it didn't quite have the desired effect for me - probably the weakest show I've seen from the guys for a while. Quite a lot of similar songs and too many elongated. Surely a 12 minute version of Railroad Steel to finish was not the best use of limited time especially when it followed a lengthy "Dan Takes Five" (which is basically the same song!)

Still, "Mon Cheri", "Sheila" & "I Love You Period" were great. "Two for Tuesday" was a sad omission, but to be fair, even a slightly under-par show from this band is still good.

Dan was kind enough to sign a copy of the new Live DVD/CD - "Live At The Sweden Rock Festival" for me which was much appreciated.

I didn't note the exact set, so if anyone did - could they please post?