Posts Tagged ‘soul’

Tom Jones Darlington Arena 29 August 2021

TOM TIXSo I finally made it! My first proper gig for a long, long time. And what a gig. None other than Sir Tom Jones himself. I last saw Tom at Newcastle Arena around 20 years ago with Marie. At that time he was still, at least in my mind, very much a pop star. Now, at 81 years old he has become “a national treasure”, and a veteran pop/soul/R&B star. His voice has deepened and become richer with age and his profile has, if anything, grown; partly due to his appearances on TV talent show The Voice.

Tom has matured gracefully, in my view. No longer the dyed hair, what stood before us a couple of days ago was a man proud of his own legend, his back catalogue and, on his new album, not frightened to explore the songs of his contemporaries, such as Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens and add his own deep, soulful, rich textured voice to transform them into his own unique Tom Jones style.

The venue for the concert was Darlington Arena, housed in what was the old Darlington football ground, built by local businessman (now disgraced) George Reynolds. The venue holds 25,000 people; on the night I would estimate that there was around 10,000 to 15,000 people in attendance; some on the pitch and some up in the stands. I took a taxi for the 45 minute journey to Darlington with my carer, and sister-in-law, Elaine.

The Darlington Arena website announced the concert thus: “Global superstar Tom Jones is set to perform at the Darlington Arena… in what promises to be an unforgettable evening of entertainment. Fans in the North East are certain to be delighted! Tom Jones’ 50+ year career has remarkably gone from strength to strength. Along with sustaining his popularity as a live performer and recording artist for five decades, he garnered at the age of 75, the best reviews of his career for his most recent albums Long Lost Suitcase, Spirit In The Room and Praise & Blame.”

TOM 2We arrived around 7 PM just in time to catch the support acts the Dunhills and Megan McKenna, star of reality TV shows The X Factor and The Only Way Is Essex. Both acts put on a good performance and warmed up the crowd for Sir Tom.

The disabled area was at the front of the terraces, to the side of the pitch. Our position wasn’t great so we moved up a little to get a better view of the stage and the screens. Tom Jones took to the stage around 9 PM, opening with his big hit “What’s New Pussycat?” This was followed by another trip back to the 60s with his first number one hit “It’s Not Unusual”. Great openers, sung with the usual powerful Jones voice. An excellent start to a great concert. What followed was a mixture of covers from his new album and some further trips down memory lane. “Windmills of My Mind” has always been a great favourite of mine and Tom’s treatment of the song didn’t let me down. Similarly, his rendition of Bob Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee” was also excellent. Soon we were back in the 60s again and, another favourite, “The Green Green Grass of Home”. It was quite emotional for me, seeing Tom Jones perform the songs again. Similarly, the epic “Delilah” was delivered with power and soul as always. Great.

Now can an 81-year-old sing “Sex Bomb” with any credibility? I thought not, and I really hoped that he would not attempt this song. However, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. He slowed the song down, and his deep voice somehow made it feel okay. The crowd certainly loved it and everyone in front of us was dancing away.

We were treated to other hits including Randy Newman’s “You Can Keep Your Hat on” and Prince’s “Kiss”. And soon it was over. After one hour 10 minutes Tom Jones left the stage. The reception from the crowd had been rapturous throughout. The people of the north-east certainly enjoyed the visit of Tom Jones. Soon he was back on stage and we were treated to a three song encore, closing with “Strange Things Happening Every Day”. A nice autumnal evening spent in the company of a true living legend.

TOM 1Getting out on the venue was a little bit of an adventure. The officials were not allowing any vehicles into the car parks. This was to enable the park-and-ride buses and people on foot to leave safely. However, it also blocked my taxi from getting in. The taxi was stuck in a massive queue of cars somewhere down the road. With some clever to-ing and fro-ing on our phones we managed to locate him and, once we were out of the long traffic jam we were safely up the A19 and on our way home, arriving safely around midnight.

Setlist: (something like) What’s New Pussycat?; It’s Not Unusual; Popstar (Cat Stevens); The Windmills of Your Mind (Noel Harrison); Green, Green Grass of Home; One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) (Bob Dylan); Talking Reality Television Blues; I Won’t Crumble with You If You Fall; Tower of Song (Leonard Cohen); Delilah; Lazarus Man; You Can Leave Your Hat On (Randy Newman); Sex Bomb; If I Only Knew; Kiss (Prince)

Encore: I’m Growing Old; No Hole in My Head; Strange Things Happening Every Day

Many thanks to Elaine for the photographs (she also really enjoyed the concert).

Hot Chocolate various venues Sunderland early 1970s

hot 1

Now this really is a guilty pleasure! Hot Chocolate were playing the clubs and ballrooms throughout the early to mid 70s before they broke it really big. I recall seeing them several times at Sunderland Locarno, Sunderland Polytechnic Wearmouth Hall and possibly Sunderland Top Rank in the period 1971 to 1974. They were already having hits by this stage such as “Love Is Life” and were a great live, fun band. I am sure that I saw them at one of the Fresher’s Balls at Sunderland Polytechnic at one stage.

I found the following biography on the official Hot Chocolate website: “Hot Chocolate formed in Brixton, London, England in 1968. Members of the group included Errol Brown, Tony Connor, Larry Ferguson, Harvey Hinsley, Patrick Olive and Tony Wilson.” Now one of the most fascinating things about writing this blog is that it encourages me to find out the history of the band I am writing about. I thought I knew quite a lot about the beginnings of Hot Chocolate. How wrong I was. The biography goes on to tell me:

“In 1969 the band started working on a reggae version of the John Lennon song “Give Peace A Chance”.  Errol Brown had changed the lyrics for their version but was informed that he could not do this without John Lennon’s permission, so a copy of the demo was sent to the Beatles Apple record label to see what they thought of it.   Fortunately, John loved the version and it was released on the Apple label.” Well, I never knew that and I have never heard Hot Chocolate’s version of “Give Peace a Chance”. So, I looked on eBay and tried to buy a copy, but they are pretty expensive. Then, courtesy of Alexa and Amazon Music, I was able to listen to the track in the comfort of my own home. In some ways, it is quite close to the original; however, it is very reggae oriented also. Listen to it if you get a chance.

The band was apparently named Hot Chocolate by a secretary at the record company and in 1970 they released their first hit single “Love is Life” which reached number 6 in the UK charts. They then went on to have at least one hit a year for the next 15 years, having over 30 singles in the UK charts including massive hits such as “So You Win Again” (which reached number 1 in the UK charts) and “You Sexy Thing” (which reached number 2).

hot 2In 1985, Errol Brown left the band and at that point they disbanded. Hot Chocolate reformed with a new singer in 1992 and continue to tour to this day. Errol Brown went on to have a successful solo career until he retired in 2009.

My favourite song was always “Emma”. I have vivid memories of standing at the front of the stage at Sunderland Locarno watching Errol Brown singing that song just after it had been released. That was probably the last time I got to see them. From then on they moved from playing ballrooms to headlining Newcastle City Hall. I guess, after that, I didn’t see them as a proper rock band and our paths never crossed again. Another thing about writing this blog, is that I am encouraged to buy old LPs of the band’s work and listen to their music again. I bought myself a copy of Hot Chocolate XIV Greatest Hits from eBay (pictured). I must admit I had forgotten just how successful the band was. Looking back, they gave me lots of fun nights in the early days.

Errol Brown sadly passed away from liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas on 6 May 2015. RIP Errol Brown.

Eric Burdon Newcastle City Hall Sat 23 Jun 2018

eric tixEric Burdon is one of my all-time heroes. I have seen him many times over the years so I couldn’t resist going to see a hometown concert at Newcastle City Hall. Eric Burdon is a legendary figure with a giant, deep, soulful voice. He took The Animals from Newcastle to the top the charts, London and around the world. His growling, rasping voice featured on such great hits as “We Got to Get Out Of This Place “, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and, of Course, “The House of the Rising Sun”.. Then, when the band split up, he formed his own, more psychedelic version of The Animals and had further hits such as “Monterey” and “When I Was Young”. Eric then became a fully fledged member of the San Francisco scene, a friend of Jimi Hendrix and then fronted the band War in the 1970s. The drive, work ethic and sheer nerve of the guy astounds me. He took himself from the backstreets of Newcastle, around the world and became a major player on the international music scene.

eric picPublicity for the concert read: “Despite Eric being the ripe old age of 77, his voice still packs a punch and he and his band put on one hell of a show. Seriously, the guy is North East music royalty; he and his band inspired generations of artists and wrote gritty, working -class tunes about gritty, working-class subjects before it was cool to write gritty, working-class tunes about gritty, working-class subjects. You can expect all the classic Animals’ tracks from a true master of the blues vocal performance – he’s been playing music for more years than many of us have been alive and he sure knows how to do it.” (NE VOLUME)

This time around Eric fronted a new backing band with young rock/blues players, and very impressive they were too. The set comprised old Animals hits, songs from his later career and soul and blues standards. His voice remains strong, the years have added even more gravel to it; taking his delivery closer to that of the blues legends he based his career on. Indeed, he has become one of the legendary blues men himself; in the mould of the old black blues singers he followed when he was young. Judging by the superlatives I have been using, you can guess that I really enjoyed the show. It was great to see one of my heroes back in his hometown, playing in a venue that he has starred in so many times before. Simply amazing and long may he continue. My carer, Joanne, came away a fan also.

Setlist (was something like this): When I Was Young; Mama Told Me Not to Come; Inside Looking Out; Spill the Wine; Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood; Don’t Bring Me Down; Bring It On Home to Me; Bo Diddley Special; It’s My Life; The House of the Rising Sun (Click on the link before this bracket to see a great video on YouTube); We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place; Hold On, I’m Comin’; The Blaydon Races.

My grainy photograph was taken at an earlier concert, when I witnessed an equally great performance by Eric Burdon at the Colne Blues Festival.

Van Morrison Newcastle Virgin Money Unity Arena 3 September 2020

So this was my first concert since seeing Elvis Costello in March and my first socially distant concert! Quite a different and in some ways daunting experience. The arrangements all sounded very well organised with everyone attending being in their own little cell, in my case myself along with my carer, Jackie.

van tix

The advertising for the event said: “Get ready for the UK’s first dedicated socially distanced music venue arriving in Newcastle this summer! If you’ve missed live music, the thrill of a shared experience and are ready to get out in Newcastle – you will need to be at this summer’s biggest music event.”

The Virgin Money Unity Arena is based at Gosforth Park, just a 5 minute drive from central Newcastle. The arena is designed to be safe and encourage social distancing with organised car parking, safe queuing systems into the arena and a dedicated area for car-loads of friends or family to enjoy the event.

van 1

The line-up for the series of concerts at the venue was strong but for me, one name stood out: that of the legend that is Van Morrison. Van Morrison is a true artist, and like any true artist he has his highs and lows. He has given me some of the best concert memories of my life, but I have also seen him deliver performances which were disappointing and where it appeared he wished he wasn’t on the stage. However, I would also rate the time I saw him at Newcastle City Hall with the Caledonian Soul Orchestra in the early 70s as one of the best 10 concerts of my life. But that is part of the magic and mystique that is the artist Van Morrison. You can never quite predict how well he will perform or indeed what he will perform but, for me, the experience is always worthwhile.

The arrangements worked well on the night and lived up to promise. Our taxi driver was led through a special entrance round the back of the racecourse and after a swift entry we walked along a track which had been laid across the grass to avoid my wheelchair sticking in any mud (which would not be good) and were taken to our little private cell near the front of the stage. We had been asked to arrive between 6 PM and 7 PM, and the concert started at 8 PM. We arrived at 6:45 PM, which worked well and meant we didn’t have too long to wait. I was soon fortified by a pint of pale ale and, with blankets wrapped around me (it was a little nippy) I was all set up and ready for a night with my hero. It turned out to be a nice night (I was dreading rain); cool, but pleasant.

van2

Van Morrison took the stage just after 8:15 PM resplendent in a long, dark coat and complete with a hat with ear coverings and shades. Very well set up for the night ahead. Tonight we were presented with Van on true, top form. Accompanied by a great, jazzy band tonight we saw Van play lots of saxophone and mouth harp and sing a selection of songs drawn from throughout his career, and including some jazz and blues standards, in his best soulful voice. Quite a lot of scat singing (“bit, but, bat”; I think you know what I mean) but it all fitted together well. Early on in the set we were treated to the early Them classic “Baby Please Don’t Go” and a great version of “Moondance”. We were then treated to a set of rhythm and blues and soul classics including “The Party’s Over” and “Have I Told You Lately”. The set drew to an end with “Brown Eyed Girl” with the band playing while Van left the stage. The band played on, looking over to the left of the stage to see if the main man would return. He did, and closed the set with a tremendous version of “Gloria”. We were soon led along over our little track, the theme G L O R I A ! still bouncing around my head.

Our taxi was waiting to take us back home again, picking up my carer Chris along the way, so that he and Jackie could help me get into bed still thinking how great it had been to be in the company of Van Morrison once again. For me, the man stands up there as a true artist/genius, alongside contemporaries Bob Dylan, David Bowie, John Lennon and Pete Townshend. You really can’t get much better on a nice cool, summer night. I just read that Van Morrison played at the Electric Ballroom in London a few days later and was accompanied on stage by Chris Farlowe. Now that would have been something to see!

Setlist was something like this: A Shot of Rhythm and Blues; Three Chords and the Truth; Baby Please Don’t Go; I Can Tell; Moondance; Carrying a Torch; Wild Night; Did Ye Get Healed?; Have I Told You Lately; Ain’t Gonna Moan No More; Precious Time; Sometimes We Cry; Whenever God Shines His Light; Enlightenment; The Party’s Over; Broken Record; Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile); Brown Eyed Girl; Gloria

Paul Young Newcastle City Hal 1983 & 1984

Paul Young Newcastle City Hal 1983 & 1984
paulyoung tixI’d seen Paul Young in Q Tips a few times, and was pretty impressed by his 1983 singles “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” which reached No 1, “Come Back And Stay” (No 4), and “Love Of The Common People” which made No 2 on re-release. He had put a great band together around him and that, coupled with great song choices and his sweet white soul voice, finally fulfilled the promise of his former group, and gave him the massive success he deserved. Young’s debut solo album “No Parlez” produced five singles, and stayed in the UK charts for 119 weeks, selling close to a million copies. Young’s backing band was ‘The Royal Family’ and included keyboardist Kewley, fretless bass player wizard Pino Palladino (now of the Who), guitarist Steve Bolton, drummer Mark Pinder, and backing singers Maz Roberts and Kim Leslie (AKA ‘The Fabulous Wealthy Tarts’). paulyoungprogs I saw them at Newcastle City Hall in 1983 when Paul was at the height of his new success. Paul Young had further success in 1984 with three more Top 10 singles: “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down”, “Everything Must Change” and “Everytime You Go Away”.
He was back at the City Hall later in the year for another concert.
Both shows were excellent events with a great selection of songs performed by a guy at the top of his game.

Stevie Wonder Wembley Arena 6th September 1980

Stevie Wonder Wembley Arena 6th September 1980
stevietixNo support
There was a massive buzz around Stevie Wonder’s first performances in Britain since 1974. Tickets for the six night “Hotter Than July Music Picnic” run of concerts at Wembley Arena were sold by postal application, and were massively over-subscribed. We were lucky enough to score tickets in the fourth row of the front block, giving us a great view of Wonder and his band.
The stars turned out in force for the show. As we took our seats we noticed Kate Bush sitting two rows behind us with a group of friends. We also noticed Goodie Bill Oddie in the front row.
Stevie began the first set with a run through some of his ’60s hits, starting with “For Once In My Life”. From a NME review of the time, written by Paul Du Noyer: “…there’s Stevie Wonder up there, the best soul voice this side of Smokey and he’s giving us ‘My Cherie Amour’ and ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’ and ‘If You Really Love Me’ and, oh, you really should have been there because it was a tremendous thing to hear.”
The show was in two sections, full of classic Motown, most of the “Innervisions” album, and those tremendous Wonder songs like “Living for the City” and “Higher Ground”. There were moments where it really just couldn’t have been any better, and others where Wonder got the crowd to singalong to the songs, almost spoiling them. “…those hoary old call-and-response sequences: ‘Now I want all you fellas to sing this part… and the ladies sing this part…’…..just a pointless pantomime” (Paul Du Noyer, NNME).
stevieprogAfter the interval Wonder re-appeared as the young “Little Stevie Wonder”, dressed in a cute red velvet suit and bow-tie and proceeded to play an amazing version of “Fingertips”; complete with note-perfect mouth harp. Then it was back to classics: “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” and an amazing “Superstition” which stunned everyone. The new songs of the evening were “Happy Birthday” in honour of Martin Luther King, and the single “Masterblaster” (more singalong, but still great). A breath-taking performance.
The following evening, which was last of the six night run, just before the very last song Stevie said “I’d like to bring on a couple of guests” and on walked Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross to sing along with him. Now I wish I’d been there that night.

Setlist. Set 1. For Once In My Life; My Cherie Amour; Signed Sealed Delivered; If You Really Love Me; Golden Lady; Boogie On Reggae Woman; Living For The City; Higher Ground; Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing.
Interval.
Set 2. Fingertips; Sir Duke; You Are The Sunshine Of My Life; Superstition; Visions; You and I; Secret Life Of Plants; Happy Birthday; Masterblaster Jammin’ ; Did I Hear You Say You Love Me

Simply Red Gateshead Stadium 25th July 1992

Simply Red Gateshead Stadium 25th July 1992
simplyredprogIn January 1992 Simply Red set off on a massive world tour. They had just released their 4th album “Stars.” The tour lasted 14 months, taking in 131 shows to 1.5 million people. In the UK Simply Red played concerts in arenas and massive stadiums, including Wembley Stadium. I caught the tour when it called at Gateshead Stadium in 1992. Support came from Des’ree. This is the only time I saw Simply Red.
The programme contains a welcome from Mick Hucknall: “Firstly let me welcome you to this “event”. I can’t call it just a show because the scale of these concerts defies that description. This is a special day for me because these “events” are a celebration of your enjoyment of the music that I and other musicians have made since the debut in 1985″, and discusses the band’s recent success, making it very clear this it had become very much Mick’s show: “Mick Hucknall’s latest album, Stars, has out-sold all the competition, including Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. His current British tour is such a hot ticket that even the touts are said to be out of stock. Simply Red – the band which for seven years has been mainly him plus helpers – is now the most popular group in the land.” simplyredtix The programme goes on: “Democracy is not a word that crops up when the talk turns to that seven-member organisation known as Simply Red. A fairly benign dictatorship is what it really is…Hucknall “I’m not a control freak..I’m like an old bandleader, providing a springboard for musicians who can come and go…””
This was a very classy show, with Mick performing the hits faultlessly to a crowd of adoring fans.
Setlist (something like): Sad Old Red; More; Jericho; A New Flame; It’s Only Love; Band Introductions; Your Mirror; Holding Back The Years; Enough; Model; I Wish; Let Me Have It All; Freedom; Thrill Me; Come To My Aid; I Won’t Feel Bad; Money’s Too Tight (To Mention); If You Don’t Know Me By Now; Stars; The Right Thing; For Your Babies; Something Got Me Started

Sad Café Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980

Sad Café Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980
sadcafe78“For a few years in the late 70s and early 80s, Sad Café may just have been the best live band on the planet. Their charismatic and under-rated front man, Paul Young, was a mix of every great rock band leader you’ve ever seen but he had an energy and personality that was all his own and which put him ahead of the pack. The solid-as-a-rock rhythm section of Dave Irving and Des Tong, the guitar pyrotechnics of Ashley Mulford, and those virtuoso keyboards from Vic Emerson were pulled into shape by Paul’s right-hand man, Ian Wilson who added rhythm guitar and exquisite harmonies to the mix. At their commercial peak, their single “Everyday Hurts” sold 600,000 copies……” (From the official Sad Café website). High praise indeed. But it is true that Sad Café were a great live act.
sadcafe80I saw them a few times in concert in the late 70s and early 80s. The first couple of times I saw them was at Newcastle University and/or Newcastle Poly, not sure which. At the time, it must have been 1976 or 1977″ Sad Café had just formed and were slogging away, playing the university and ballroom circuit. They were fighting against the tidal wave of punk and to their credit, they kept at it, playing up and down the country, with their brand of rock’n’soul and a great front man in the late Paul Young. By 1978 they had gained sufficient following to headline concert halls and theatres, and I saw them play at Newcastle City Hall on 1st May 1978.
sadcafeprogThey hit the big time in 1979 with their third album “Façades” and the No 3 hit single “Everyday Hurts” which was massively popular. The Façades tour called at Newcastle City Hall on 21st March 1980 and this time the venue was full. Support came from a band called “The Out”.
Sad Café were a good solid live act, but didn’t quite make it into the big league of rock acts. They continued until 1990 with a changing line-up, and then went their separate ways. Vocalist and front man Paul Young sadly passed away, aged 53, in 2000. In 2012, the band was reformed by original member Ian Wilson, along with other former members.
“I saw the lamp light from your window
I didn’t think you were home, sitting there all alone
So I came up to your room to ask you why
Why did you hurt me so?
Why did you have to go, away?
…..
There’s one thing I can say, everyday, how I miss you, oh oh
Every day that I’m without you hurts just a little bit more than
Than I’ve ever been hurt before
Every day that I’m without you hurts just a little bit more”
(Everyday Hurts, Sad Café, 1979)

Rod Stewart St James Park Newcastle 25th June 2007

Rod Stewart St James Park Newcastle 25th June 2007
rodtix2007Rod was back in Newcastle in 2007 to play a massive open air show at St James Park in June 2007. I turned up on the night and bought a ticket for half price outside the stadium (result, as tickets for Rod Stewart concerts were getting more and more expensive 🙂 ), the show was far from sold out. It was a dreary, cold night with spells of rain, which didn’t help the atmosphere inside the stadium. The stage was placed in the middle of the stadium, which created quite strangely angled views, from whichever position you took in the vast area. Support came from the excellent Pretenders, with Chrissie Hynde chatting with the crowd and playing their hits from the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Brass In Pocket and Talk Of The Town. rodprog2007
Rod’s performance included an acoustic set in the middle of the show. Not the best time I’ve seen Rod, but still an enjoyable evening, with the highlight for me being the chance to see the Pretenders again.
The setlist was something like: You Wear It Well; Some Guys Have All the Luck; Sweet Little Rock & Roller; It’s a Heartache; Rhythm of My Heart; Reason to Believe; Missing You; Father and Son; Every Beat of My Heart; Having a Party; Stay With Me; The Tracks of My Tears; Hot Legs; I Don’t Want to Talk About It; Dirty Old Town; Every Picture Tells a Story; The First Cut Is the Deepest; Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright); This Old Heart of Mine; Young Turks; Sailing; Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?; You’re in My Heart; Baby Jane; Maggie May. Encore: Twistin’ the Night Away; I Was Only Joking

Graham Parker and the Rumour Newcastle Academy 1st June 2014

Graham Parker and the Rumour Newcastle Academy 1st June 2014
grahampA few weeks ago I was writing about my memories of seeing Graham Parker in the 70s. At the time I wrote” “there was no better band than Graham Parker and the Rumour in the late 70s. They exploded out of pub rock and were part of the scene, and sound, which influenced punk and new wave. Graham Parker was the coolest guy on the planet and rocked and sang white soul and R&B like no-one else (OK maybe that’s a little unfair on Van Morrisson who was clearly a strong influence on Graham). The Rumour came with all the right pub-rock credentials featuring the legnedary Brinsley Schwarz (lead guitar) and Bob Andrews (keyboards) (both ex Brinsley Schwarz), Martin Belmont (rhythm guitar, ex Ducks Deluxe) and Andrew Bodnar (bass) and Steve Goulding (drums).”
At the time I didn’t know that I would be seeing them again, for the first time in 30-odd years. In 2011, Parker called up his old Rumour band mates and asked them to work with him again; they produced a new album that was their first together in over 30 years, and went out to play some shows. Last night they made their way back to Newcastle. Graham Parker explained how, outside the venue, a guy caught him and showed him a ticket for their concert at the City Hall in 1979, which he had signed at the time. He asked Graham to sign it again; which he duly did. He recalled those nights at the City Hall and other venues (the Poly as I recall) to cheers from the crowd, most of whom were surely at those gigs themselves. grahamparkerprogOf the reunion Parker says: “This has not been about touring for touring’s sake, or about making money….but we felt we had to get out there for a short while at least and be a part of the “This Is 40″ entourage….and bash some instruments around for the heck of it.” The tour has been having rave reviews; for example: “There was no need for any concerns over the 35-year gap. GP and the Rumour resolutely remain one of rock’s great live acts and the intervening years have done nothing to diminish their enduring powers. ” (the Birmingham Mail)
Well he didn’t let us down. Parker is still the same cool, cocky, energetic guy that he always was. From the moment they opened with Fool’s Gold, you just knew it was going to be good. The Rumour are still the tightest, hottest, rock, soul and reggae band on the planet (skanky beats, as Parker called them) and Parker is as animated and soulful as ever. Great stuff.
The setlist was something like this; I may have missed some: Fool’s Gold; Hotel Chambermaid; Snake Oil Capital of the World; Coathangers; No Holding Back; Howlin’ Wind; New Song; Live in Shadows; Lady Doctor; Love Gets You Twisted; Stick to Me; Watch the Moon Come Down; Get Started, Start a Fire; Discovering Japan; Nobody Hurts You; Pourin” it all out; Local Girls. Encore: You Can’t Be Too Strong; Don’t Ask Me Questions. Encore 2: Soul Shoes