Friday, March 31, 2017

The Who - Thursday 30th March - Royal Albert Hall

What a treat - Thunder and the Who in the same week. And as a bonus, TCT stalwart Noel Gallagher was added as a late support.

His acoustic set was a mixed bag. A few non-descript solo (HFB) songs and four Oasis classics including the dodgiest version of Wonderwall I've heard. If you are going to write one of pop's all time classic sing-a-long songs, why change it so that it has different emphasis and is much worse than it was? Leave that to Bob Dylan! The set was saved by a back-on-track version of "Don't Look Back In Anger" to finish.

Anyway, the premise for the headliners would be that this would be the World premier of "Tommy" - played acoustically. It turns out that the band felt that they couldn't make this work, so we got "Tommy" - electric!

Now I don't like to be critical of one of my favourite bands and one of the greatest of all time, but his was one of the weakest shows I've seen them do. Pete Townshend seemed pretty grumpy (I suspect he was finding it harder than normal playing a challenging set that hadn't been done for years [1989]), the sound volume was wildly inadequate (the mere thought of being able to be 20 yards from the stage for the Who and be able to talk at normal volume to your neighbour seems unthinkable) and the audience pretty static.

Still, at least we got the often dropped "Sally Simpson" and a few greatest hits afterwards, but this seemed cut short. Apparently the intro to "Welcome" was played for the first time since 1969 by those in the know! But there was definitely something lacking. I'm at Birmingham in a few weeks with a different set promised - let's see how that goes!

[ Edit - I gather the Saturday TCT Who show at the RAH was a huge improvement ]

Setlist - Noel Gallagher
Everybody's on the Run
If I Had a Gun... 
Half the World Away 
AKA... What a Life! 
Don't Look Back in Anger 

Setlist - The Who
I Can't Explain
It's a Boy 
Amazing Journey
Eyesight to the Blind 
Cousin Kevin 
The Acid Queen
Do You Think It's Alright? 
Fiddle About 
Pinball Wizard
Go to the Mirror! 
There's a Doctor 
Tommy Can You Hear Me? 
Smash the Mirror 
I'm Free 
Miracle Cure 
Sally Simpson 
Tommy's Holiday Camp 
We're Not Gonna Take It 
Won't Get Fooled Again
Join Together
Baba O'Riley
Who Are You

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thunder - Tuesday 28th March - Hammersmith Apollo

Luke Morley and Ben Matthews
One of Britain's top rock bands in one of the World's great venues - what's not to like? Well, the venue name of course - I'm not going to call it the Eventim Apollo.

Regular readers of the blog would have known exactly where to find us in the venue (to within a couple of metres) and Danny and the boys were on excellent form. Their new album, "Rip It Up" has been a bit of a slow burner for me - especially after the fantastic "Wonder Days" predecessor. It is growing on me a bit and the new songs worked well in a live setting.

The normally excellent Lynne Jackaman appeared for some background wailing in the encore on "She Likes the Cocaine" and unfortunately it was wailing - her fantastic vocals not really shown to their best ability in my opinion.

So like pretty much every Thunder show I've been to, this was really good. It just didn't quite feel as much fun as normal for some reason. Can't quite put my finger on why.

[ Edit - Subsequent Christmas show(s) added in Wolverhampton - yay! ]

No One Gets Out Alive
The Enemy Inside
River of Pain
Resurrection Day
Right From the Start
Backstreet Symphony
Higher Ground
In Another Life
The Thing I Want
Don't Wait For Me
Rip It Up
Love Walked In
I Love You More Than Rock 'n' Roll
Wonder Days
She Likes the Cocaine 
Dirty Love

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Black Star Riders - Friday 17th March - Kentish Town Forum

I primarily went along to this on the basis that Rich was going, the tickets were quite good value and Gun were supporting - who I'd not seen before (certainly in this incarnation). In the event a secondary support was added, pushing Gun down to 3rd on the bill, which was a bit of a pain (shorter set, earlier start etc).

Still, they were OK. Having gone through several vocalists it turns out that the founder member and bass player is now on singing duties. He was fine and the set was pretty decent - even my pet hate "Word Up" sounded bearable.

The other support band were not bad either, but I can't remember their name. The Black Star Riders seem to be shifting away from their Thin Lizzy history and only "The Boys Are Back In Time" was covered here. You would have thought St. Patrick's Day would have yielded "Whiskey In The Jar"! Still, they are a decent rock band and vocalist Ricky Warwick has a fantastic voice. I enjoyed their set despite not knowing the songs, which is a bit of a theme for my recent visits to the Forum (or the "Town & Country" as I prefer to call it!)

Setlist - Gun
Let It Shine
Word Up! 
Don't Say It's Over
Better Days
She Knows
Steal Your Fire
Shame On You

Setlist - Black Star Riders
Heavy Fire
The Killer Instinct
Dancing With the Wrong Girl
Hey Judas
When the Night Comes In
Cold War Love
All Hell Breaks Loose
The Boys Are Back in Town
Hoodoo Voodoo
Who Rides the Tiger
Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
Testify or Say Goodbye
Kingdom of the Lost
Bound for Glory
Finest Hour

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Creedence Clearwater Review - Friday 10th March - Boom Boom Club, Sutton

With no February shows, this was my first gig in ages and a decent tribute act to the fine music of Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty. Thought the singer was really good - he'd be an excellent fit in the current incarnation of Slade. And for a casual fan of CCR and JF, they played pretty much everything I expected to hear.