Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Credit where credits due!

Oops! Completely forgot to credit Stephen for his fabulous live photos that he has allowed me to use on this blog for the last four live reviews. Thank you!
And check out his youtube account too.

The Strawbs - Stanley Theatre Liverpool

I'm not very up on my Strawbs, this I will freely confess. I had a best of compilation and the BBC Sessions CDs and that was it until I went to this gig. Since then I have been investigating and investing in further releases.

With the above in mind, the distinction that this was the electric Strawbs and that they would be performing an album in its entirety in the second half didn't really mean very much to me.

Playing to a small but very appreciative audience in a small, rather chilly venue, it was obvious that this was a band enjoying what they do. The opened with New World and, well, then I get a bit lost. I did recognise quite a few numbers but not enough to list the titles.

The sound was rather thunderous for a small venue. This isn't a complaint, I quite like it when bass notes cause my jeans to vibrate!

In the interval a couple of the band members were to be found mingling in the bar area at the back of the room.  Oh! Note to the Stanley Theatre - sometimes the audience for the shows aren't your lager drinking student types, any chance you can occasionally open the bigger bar or at least get some bitter in to the little one? Cheers!

The second half saw the band perform the album Hero And Heroine in full. I knew some of the tracks and enjoyed the whole thing enough to have ordered the CD after I got home.

The encore was Lay Down, a track that has been a constant earworm since the first moment I heard it.

I came away from the gig feeling like I had been given a bloody good fix of music and felt all the better for it too. Should the opportunity arise I would certainly go to see them again!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Steve Winwood Liverpool O2 Academy

I admit by Friday I was flagging but I really was flagging, but I also really wanted to see Steve Winwood! Sadly the venue isn't really designed for short-arses like myself. I had no inclination to shove my way to the frint so found a reasonable spec at the back and enjoyed the first couple of songs before I chap decided to move forward and stand directly in front of me!  I swear it was deliberate!

Not being able to see very much at all after that, we retreated to the balcony bar where the view was just as restricted, but at least the bar was accessible and we could plonk ourselves down on the floor at the side of the room and simply enjoy the music.

Due to being worn out and having a few more pints than on previous nights this turned out to be the least memorable of the three gigs that week, but I had got to see Stevie Winwood live in the flesh, albeit briefly, and that was good enough for me!

Robert Plant Liverpool Olympia

After a day to recover from what so far has been my favourite Yes related experience, it was time to worship at the altar of Robert Plant. I've seen him several times before and he's never been one to disappoint. This concert was no exception.
The venue was lovely with pink walls and ornate elephants, if a little chilly up on the lower balcony. The view was great though, as was the sound. There was plenty in the set from the new Band Of Joy CD which I love!
The other band members all got a go in the spotlight with Robert stepping back to play harmonica or sing backing vocals, clearly having a fantastic time on stage.
Highlights were Angel Dance (from the new album), Tall Cool One and Gallows Pole, with Rock And Roll an obvious crowd pleaser.

I have to say that I doubt a washboard has ever seemed so rock!

Anderson Wakeman Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Three concerts in four days, with a stinking cold! It was a challenge, and I was ready.
Having had to duck out of going to see The Manfreds due to germ warfare in my body, I was determined not to miss out the gigs I had been looking forward to the most.
I was especially looking forward to the Anderson Wakeman gig. I saw Jon Anderson twice last year and I had never seen Rick Wakeman before.
The set opened with Starship Trooper, which made my day, (if you want to know why google the words in my blog header graphic) and included a hefty collection of audience favourites among the new songs being showcased. The strongest of the news tracks was probably House of Freedom, coincidentally the strongest track of The Living Tree CD.
The banter betwen the songs was amusing yet brief, concentrating on the music. It was a joy to see two artists so into the music they were offering, not just performing for the sake of promotion (although they were obviously plugging the new disc.)
Highlights for me were Southside of the Sky, Your Move, a lovely rendition of Soon and the show closer, The Meeting. I adore this last song, and getting to hear it live proved to be a tad emotional, tears rolled in the taxi home!
Jon sounded much better and much stronger vocally than when I saw his solo tour last year.  And I was looking forward to seeing this show again in Manchester in November, however 80+ miles an hour winds and the revenge of the head cold sadly put pay to that.

Yours Is No Disgrace

Stand by!

I'm about to type up all the concert posts I've been intending to post for weeks!

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