Saturday, 4 June 2011

Roger Hodgson - Liverpool Philharmonic Hall May 2011

(I will confess to only knowing a few Supertramp songs when I decided to go along to this concert, what I knew I liked, and what I managed to find time to play before I went I also liked. Sounded like a win-win situation to me. Some good songs in one of my favourite venues...

I knew it was sold out, but I didn't realise quite how loud the audience could be. They sang along, applauded and whooped between songs all at a volume usually reserved for vast arena crowds. And that was great, you really should so your appreciation. However, when during the second part of the show a minority in the audience just talk loudly, shout and chant so the artist can't be heard and whistle continuously and inappropriately through out a song, I'd really rather not be in the same room as you.  I really felt for the poor stewards who were verbally abused when trying to get one bloke to get down off his mate's shoulders, and then had to scrabble on to the stage when the very same chap leaped on there and grabbed the microphone at the end of the gig.

The negative feelings I got due certain audience members were certainly pushed aside by the music though. Roger has a lovely voice, sadly the sound seemed to be adjusted for the ambient noise and ended up sounding like he was singing in a empty warehouse a lot of the time rather than it echoing beautifully around the Philharmonic Hall. Still I've been to gigs where the sound was worse.

The setlist seemed to satisfy the audience. Plenty of tunes that even the most casual of music fan would know, coupled with a good few that certainly pleased the person sat to my right, who was having a whale of a time.

Roger moved between a keyboard, the guitar and a grand piano depending on the song and his band were all excellent musicians.  Highlights for me were Take The Long Way Home, Hide In Your Shell, his version of Across The Universe (so refreshing for the obligatory Beatles cover not to be one of the usual suspects)  and Dreamer. All delivered with quiet display of modest talent. (That's to say he was modest about it.) He looked moved by the vast outpouring of affection for those in attendance, though he did have to quieten them down in order to be heard when he wanted to speak.

Just to redress the balance against the audience, for probably the first time ever at a gig, the bloke who was sat in front of me turned around and asked if he was blocking my view because he was taller than I was. He wasn't, but how nice and considerate.

So, the minority of "overly appreciative" - for want of a better euphemism - fans and those who were just down right rude and gabbed all the way through it, aside, it was a really good gig and will probably result in me investigating further into Supertramp and his solo stuff. 

Set list
(taken from the Roger Hodgson Official Face Book Page)
Take the Long Way Home
In Jeopardy
Hide in Your Shell
Lovers in the Wind
Easy Does It
Sister Moonshine
Breakfast in America
Along Came Mary
Soapbox Opera
The Logical Song
Child of Vision
Lord is it Mine
If Everyone Was Listening
Across the Universe
Know Who You Are
Don’t Leave Me Now
Fool’s Overture
Two of Us
Give a Little Bit
It’s Raining Again

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