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Gigs 96/97

I have been keeping this list of gigs I have attended and often written reviews for friends. It might interest someone so I have decided to put it online. I have tried to go to a lot of gigs in recent times as that is the only enjoyment worth aggravating my ME for but I am afraid it still affects the reviews.

Kiss - Wembley 25th November 1996

I was at the Kiss Gig last night.

Bloody Excellent. Boy am I fucked though. I was feeling physically sick with fatigue! Thank goodness it was one of the best shows I have been too.

I really don't give a monkey about Ace Frehely. But the Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons were really good. Peter Chris seemed to have a bit of a quite night. Almost no singing. I can't believe the way Paul who must be mid 40's? still runs round and does kicks on stage. Especially in those 7" High heels. He dances around and he jumps of Rises. You would think he would worry about twisting his Ankle!

There were a couple of girls on the Teared Seating behind me, the Gene was really being provocative with. I bet they were in seventh heaven. Gene seemed to be trying to encourage them to show there tits but they weren't game.

The stage show was really excellent. I am pleased I have seen the full thing.

I which they had done a mixed set (ie included some modern stuff) though instead of all the old stuff. They missed Beth and I still Love you which I thought was a shame as well. I was surprised they did I was made for loving you though as I thought Peter Chris said he would not do that in the Unplugged Video. I guess I will have to watch it again and see.

I almost bought the Kisstory Book (90) but they only had damaged copied left. I which I new where I could get it from. I only have a USA phone number I am sure there is supposed to be a UK or Dutch supplier somewhere.

Anyway it was well worth the way I will feel for the next few days!

RICK WAKEMAN - NOAH - 3 May 1997

Well I am back from Rick's Noah performance. And I thought it an interesting evening. If not a slightly unfortunate one. When I got to the station to come home it was 10.01 the previous train was 10.00 and the next 23.30 :-(

The music of the night came in 2 45 minute sets. First the choir sang for about 20 minutes by themselves. Then Rick came out and did Noah.

After the interval the choir did another minute bit and then they did a piece of Handle for half an hour with the string section and an mini church organ. Rick did not play in this half. He just watched from the audience.

So what was Noah like? Well I guess the choir was about 40 strong for this. It was larger for the two solo pieces as they had past members join them. There was also a 16 piece string section. 8 violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos and a bass.

The piece reminded me most of I think Hercules from A suit of the Gods. It had a lot of full choir parts and a chorus type part sung by a tenor type vocalist.

In my opinion sat on the front row in front of Rick he was at the wrong volume. Far to quiet. It was difficult to hear what he was doing above the very lively string section.

It was certainly no Journey but very enjoyable. Apparently, and Graham know this better than me, Rick is going to record another two tracks to be released with Noah. He has not written them yet so I guess that might not happen.

I hope Rick can afford the Strings and the Choir on the recording as it will be a good listen when he is further up in the mix.

I met up with Graham from the discussion list at the concert and another chap joined our discussion. He had come down from Liverpool. I mentioned I had been to the first Rick Wakeman Communication Centre annual Party and he immediately remembered I had sat next to him for the dinner and that I had had a problem with my arm (I had dislocated it the day before). We then moved on to discussing where we where sitting and were most surprised to discover we where sat next to each other at this gig too.

It was nice meeting this guy again as I was able to finish a conversation with him about the sounds Wakeman and Emerson are using nowadays. I very easily recalled he did not like Wakeman's setting recently and that he said if Emerson could find good settings why couldn't Rick. Since I have been listening to the 4 CD box set of ELP

I now felt qualified to comment that I preferred Wakey's more varied approach to sound settings.

Hard Rain - Norwich - 10th July - The Oval Rockhouse

I decided to go to this gig because it is some years since I last saw Magnum (the Vigilante tour I think (the one with a unicorn)) and I thought it would be interesting to see Hard Rain play such a small venue only 300? people.

Prior to the gig I got to meet Annie and the one who did compost corners on the Hard rain page. Which was nice

Then during the support act Bob appeared at the back so I took the opportunity to get my photo taken with him. I had not realised he was so short.

I watched the gig from a slightly odd position of a pool table at the back but although I barely saw Tony I got a good view of most things. It was also very interesting to see Ollie Cateley and her friends popping about to the music too.

The Set list was a follows

Youd Start A Fight - I thought this quite a good opener

Shame For The Bad Boy - I don't think I am that bothered by this one but it was good to see it live

Looking For A Way - This is one of my favourite tracks on the album and was particularly good to hear live

Vigilante - This predictably got a big response from the Crowd

Stop Me From Loving You - This is my favourite Hard Rain track and I really liked Tony's guitar parts they are so expressive.

Rage On - It was very interesting to hear Suzy the vocalist doing her part "oho oho oho oho" part live.

Les Morts Dansant - I thought it interesting the band should choose to add another ballad from there back Catalogue. As the Concert went on I realised it was the ballads I enjoyed most of the hard Rain album and there are quite a view of them.

Perpetual Commotion - this one is OK but does not do much for me overall. It has of course got pace.

I Must Have Been Blind - See what I mean another slow and very good ballad from the album

Scared Hour - This was my favourite track from the night not only because Chase the Dragon is my favourite Magnum album but because the keyboards and guitar were particularly good in this arrangement.

Different Kind Of Love - Bob introduced this as his favourite on the Hard Rain Album

Another Nice Mess - I enjoy this one

Tell Tale Eyes - This was the set closer and I thought it a very strange choice. It is a rather indifferent Magnum track to my ears but I guess it is a very speedy number. I liked the keyboards on this arrangement. I will have to pull out Rock Art again sometime and see if I liked it as much on (or little) on there.

The Encore

The Sprit - slow Acoustic sing along with the crowd. It reminded me very much of Marrillion doing I think script for a Jesters tears on an In concert back in the 80's. Then the band kicked in just at then end.

Overall I enjoyed there concert a great deal although it was a little short 80mins?. The sound occasionally got a little muddy but overall everything was clear. Especially Bob's vocals which is something that often suffers are hard Rock gigs.

I don't know if Suzy sang on the Hard Rain album but I preferred the live backing vocals. I get the impression the Hard Rain album did not have a drummer it sounds a bit to programmed in places to me and overall the songs appealed to me much more live with real musicians.

Overall I also found the set list more to my tastes than the one on the Magnum Live video which was mainly storytellers era. I wish I had a gig on video from the Maruader/Chase the dragon era

RICK WAKEMAN - Ronnie Scotts Birmingham 22/23 July 1997

OK here goes my review. Where shall I start? The venue I guess. It's a nice looking club. It probably holds about 300? people. I think I saw the tables where numbered up to at least 115 anyway. Obviously a place this size everyone has a good view

I had an excellent view. I was the table in front of Rick. i.e. About 6 foot away. Well Actually I could not see Tony but never mind. I had a great view of Rick's fingers on two of the keyboards. Actually there was a table on the stage right next to Rick they must have had a perfect view of Rick playing. I guess it was a little too visible though and of course they could not see the rest of the band

Rick had a 6 keyboard set up at this gig. This is the first time I have seen him exceed 4 with possible exception of the Silent Nights Tour which is too long ago for me to remember. (I took some pictures which normally only 1 in 4 are worth showing but if any are I will show you next week) He also had a portable keyboard.

Adam had 5 keyboards and I don't think the basic 4 from the past were Identical either. I think he had two technics ones as his from two whereas Rick had his Korg.

The use of 6 keyboards allowed greater variety in his use of sounds and it was absolutely fantastic. The basic set was much as the No Expense Spared tour. And that tour I remember thinking on leaving was probably the best gig I had every attended. Well Tuesdays night was probably even better if only because I can't remember the No Expense Tour now. Wednesday night was not as good as the set was reduced which was annoyed but apparently the Club thought he was playing too long!! :-(

Right The set.

Lure of the Wild. I personally don't go much on this track. I wish this was the one they dropped the 2nd night but I guess that would mess the set up completely.

Next was Chrissy first number with Robot Man. I can't recall if this was done on the No Expense Spared tour. I don't recall it and I was pleased to hear it.

Paint it black - Again with Chrissy on Vocals. I think this was an Encore back then. I am not sure about this track either.

Then on the first night only was Catherine Howard. This was really good and a brand new arrangement to my ears. That is why I was disappointed when it was dropped the next night. I am sure it had a new section in it.

Next was King Arthur. The arrangement of this was probably very close to the original. I certainly liked all the sounds Rick was using. Again Chrissy was on vocals. Although she disappeared now and then.

The second from last track of the set was After Prayers. And I have to say this was my favourite of the set. Rick introduced it by saying people thought it was about Death. I don't know if he was joking or serious. Even I can tell it is a pure Love song.

To end they did Eleanor. Again Chrissy did vocals. I am sure she was used more than I recall from No Expense Spared which is great by me. She sounded perfectly in tune all night both nights to me.

The Second set started with Catherine Parr.

Then came Journey. This was performed really well. I do get disappointed when I know this is in the set though. It is not that I object to the album itself it is great. It is just that I would prefer the variety of the 5? pieces it replaces. I also feel it is a long time for people to concentrate on enjoying a piece of music. Perhaps it would help me at least if there was some way Rick could get the Narration into the song again. Perhaps not. Anyway as I say it was an excellent Performance.

To close the set (first night only) was Merlin complete with portable keyboard dual. This is great as it allows everyone to see Rick's and Adams fingers at Work. Also Rick sits at a table in the audience to do the final fast bit. Great stuff. I think Chrissy Did vocals on this but my memory is going already :-(

The Encore was Starship Trooper. Definitely with Chrissy on Vocals. Adam does some more on the Portable Keyboard at the start of Wurm and then Rick Takes off and really goes for it. Again absolutely brilliant.

Next some observations on the differences between the two nights.

In After Prayers Rick used a very echoy effect at the start on the 2nd night. I am not sure if he was experimenting or if it was a mistake. It sounded the later if you ask me.

There was less of a crowd at the start of the 2nd night. Oh and it was much younger. The first night seemed to be a lot of the Regular club goers and I was convinced apart from the band I (31) was the youngest there. Because there was less Crowd Rick did not Joke about Adam and his refusal to have an Operation in order to do Chaka Karns part on Robot man as long. Also some of the crowd arrived late and he had already brought forward a joke about Adam being conceived in the kitchen. When he finished that someone else arrived and then he reviews for them what they had just missed. It was obvious he does not do this usually because he lost track of what he was doing next. He lost track of what he was doing after an unscheduled joke at another point in the set too.

The crowd the second night clapped when during Arthur the bass play did his "solo" part or shall we say more complex part at the front of the stage. The first night it was totally quite. Strange how audiences react differently. The bass player looked surprised though :-)

Both nights Adam really seemed to enjoy Tony's Drumming on Catherine Parr. They seemed to be interacting quite a lot.

At the end of the set Rick said he would do an extra long set the 2nd half to make up for the people arriving late. He then said he was lying but it still annoyed me somewhat especially as they dropped Arthur.

That reminds me after Journey the Compare went up on stage to thank they band he did not realise it was not the last track. They then did Starship trooper and he went back up and thanked them properly. The crowd wanted an Encore which is only reasonable but he said no. I would have been really annoyed as Rick never used the Portable but it was still on stage. The compare the first night was a definite fan and he was genuinely lost for words at the end of the Performance. The compare the second night was one of the musician from the Jazz Trio. I am not as convinced he liked the band. I better shut up whinging. I hope Brian gets a full gig though on Saturday.

As I said both gigs are absolutely fantastic from my point of view. It was good to see a different set after the piano tours and good to hear more re-arrangements of the popular songs. That is another problem of Journey. It does not really have room for much rearrangement. I would like to see more different songs introduces for future tours/gigs but I guess Rick is stuck with doing Wifes, Journey, Eleanor and Startship etc.

I am concerned that Rick maybe prefers to do Starship in preference to Merlin but the first night it did occur to me they were a little to similar to be one after another even if it was broken up by the Encore. Rick said that Starship was one of his favourite Yes pieces and I guess he had not played it so much over the years so perhaps it is fresher from his point of view. I think he should do his own stuff through rather than covers.

I only meant to go for one night but I thought blow the cost I will stay an extra night and take in two shows. If my children had been visiting on Thursdays who know if I would have stayed for a 3rd night. :-)

(Don't ask about my body!)

Hard Rain - The Oval - 1st October 1997

This was Hard Rain's second appearance at The Oval Rockhouse in Norwich in 4 Months and unfortunately the Crowd showed it. I would say there were less than half the people that turned up to the first gig in July. I would like to put it down to there being Live Football in TV but I am not so sure. The Leaflet the Oval Advertised them with was very enthusiastic saying something like the Previous gig had been the best they had had there all year.

From my point of view this gig was better. Annie had taken pity on me being confined to sitting on a Pool table at the back and side of the hall through illness. She therefore arranged for me to sit in the Sound and lighting booth. This was a real treat for me as I had never seen what goes on in there before and it is obviously the best place to hear the band.

I have never really given much thought to how Lighting at gigs is done. I guessed it was either sequenced by some sort of Computer unit or done by a Sound to light unit like my brother's Disco used in the 70's. I was fascinated to see they lights are effectively played much like a Keyboard most of the time. The Lighting Engineer was very frustrated with the House lights at this venue thinking it was a waste of time him being there but I thought he did them very well. Even if he could not fade lights up and down.

The guy on Sound was rather worried when he played the Singing in the Rain CD and the Left hand speakers started Buzzing away. He ended up having to turn them down considerably but I don't think it affected the overall sound of Hard Rain. He also spent the whole night tweaking the set up. I could not see exactly what he was doing but he was very conscientious. It was also interesting to see the problems he faced. During the 2nd song someone like the club owner asked him to turn something up. We all thought it everything was perfectly clear but clearly being in a box about 6 foot by 4 was changing the Sound compared with the rest of the room. For the rest of the night the Sound guy kept popping out to check what could be heard in the room as well as what we could hear and what he was getting on his Headphones. In future I will be more sympathetic to sound problems and perhaps try and arrange to be seated near the sound desk at future gigs.

The set list this time was as last time but with the addition of a new song "One night Ain't Love" and maybe another track from the Album. I thought I had counted 16 songs on the Set list but I am sure someone had told me 15 so maybe I can't count.

Since the July gig I had bought Magnums last gig album Stronghold/Last Dance and I have to say I much prefer the Hard Rain set. Knowing they were going to finish on Tell Tales Eyes this time meant I was not so surprised at the IMO "odd" choice. And I really like the Keyboard part in this which I think is new to the Hard Rain set. Actually I suspect that is my only fault with the Sound the Keyboards could have been a little louder to my ears at times.

It was also interesting to that I did not notice there were so many slower tracks this time or that the way "The Spirit" was done with the Crowd reminded me of Marrilion. I guess it was because there was not as many in the Crowd.

Overall it was a very good and Cheap night out. Tickets had been about 6.50 pounds in advance.

ELO Part II - 21St October 1997

I have been meaning to write my review for a little while but time seems to have slipped by.

This is the 2nd time I have seen ELO Part II now. And the Audience at this gig seemed a little Disappointing. Last time the crowd stood up very early in the Gig and since I have limited Standing ability I chose to sit up Stairs this time. I got first row and it was not surprising as my side section only had 3 rows on it and the Main bit no more than 10. Still I have seen worse crowds at the Regent (Rick Wakeman in 1985 was less than half full).

Sitting up stairs I found the volume to be a little on the quiet side. When I was downstairs on the previous occasion the sounds was echoing of the walls.

Tickets were 14UKP which I guess is par for the course for a venue the size of the Regent (Capacity 1500?)

We seems to have got a long performance this time. It was almost exactly 90 minutes with the Encore last time and I felt that was a little short. Well the absolute minimum. This time we got a two hours over two sets. The first set being about 50 minutes. I can't remember if it was one or two sets last time but I was much happier with this set up. And of course this meant we got a huge amount of songs.

I am not sure I like getting so many 2 minute songs but I can understand the Band wanting to get as many hits in as possible. The set was also rearranged a fair bit and it was nice to see different acoustics stuff.

I was disappointed to see "The Fox" and "10583 Overture" had been dropped as I liked them and think they might as well keep plugging Moment of Truth if they have not managed to do anything new recently. (Even "one night" was out last time they came)

I was quite surprised to find Honest Man was one of my favourite tracks in the Set. That was the only first Album song I have heard them do and I did not like the album when I borrowed it from the Library. So much so I did not even record it. Perhaps I should give it another try.

I also enjoyed Concerto for a Rainy day a lot to. And of Course Mr Blue Sky. I normally think of Out of Blue unfavourably because I think of Songs like the Jungle one but Perhaps I should dig that out again too.

Love or Money was very good. Am I picking songs that Eric Troyer sings? I think he has the best voice in the band not that there is anything wrong with the others. It just seems more ELO like to me.

I was interested that Serena thought they had done Horace Whimp well that night. I can remember thinking how empty sounding it was. Perhaps I was just missing the Days of the Week between verses and suffering from it being quite.

Actually I was slightly Disappointed to see 3 discovery songs close set 1.

It amused me that Bev introduced Louis Clark as Mr Exciting. I thought Don Airey? last time and Louis Clark this time did very little and I certainly could not hear much of what they were doing. It seemed a waste having the Extra head in the Touring band. Perhaps Louis helps get bums on Seats I don't know.

I haven't really got any Comments on the 2nd set except the accompanied part of Bev's Drum solo reminded me of Cozy Powels "Dance with the Devil" in places.

ELO Part II might not be in the big League anymore but they still put on a very good light show. It is not in Kiss's league of course but with just a few Vari-lights it is very effective

A very Enjoyable evening. I am most likely to go again if the band turn up in my area. Roy Wood needs to take some tips here. His set was identical despite it being 4 years between the two shows I saw.

So where have all the other reviews got to? Did only two or three UK people on the list go to a gig?

The Set List was.

Set 1

1. Fire On High
2. All Over The World
3. Evil Woman
4. Whiskey Girls
5. Hold On Tight
6. Showdown
7. Honest Men
8. Rock'N'Roll Is King
9. Concerto For A Rainy Day
10. Mr Blue Sky
11. Love Or Money
12. Calling America
13. Twilight
14. Shine A Little Love
15. Last Train To London
16. Diary Of Horace Whimp

Set 2

1. Because
2. All Fall Down
3. Living Thing
4. Midnight Blue
5. Strange Magic
6. Turn To Stone
7. Violin Solo
8. Clog Dance
9. Ain't Necessarily So
10. Telephone Line
11. Getting To The Point
12. Do Ya
13. Sweet Talking Woman
14. Ma Ma Ma Belle
15. Don't Wanna
16. Rockaria

Encore

1. Drum Solo
2. Drum Solo Accompanied
3. Don't Bring Me Down

Rick Wakeman - Norwich Theatre Royal - 18th November 1997

Well I went to last nights concert expecting a reasonably good Wakeman concert but no where near as good as Birmingham earlier this year when he was with a 6 piece band. Last night it was just a three piece. Rick, Adam (his son) and Frazer Thorneycroft Smith who I believe has been teaching Ozzy Osbourne's son to play guitar.

The day got off to a bad start when I discovered the battery was flat in my camera and I sent Dad out to get me a replacement only to find that it is a specialist Camera battery and not easily found. I therefore ended up taking my old camera. I guess this was no big deal as my pictures at gigs are normally very hit and miss.

We left for Norwich which is 40 miles from Ipswich at 6pm. We got to the outskirts of Norwich at 7pm with the Gig starting at 7.30. Plenty of time I thought. Last time I went to this theatre it took ages to find it because we did not have a map. I did this time. But we still only got to the Car park around 7.25. To go left at a junction you have to drive straight past it and do 3 right hand turns. Not the easiest thing to work out from a map.

Never mind we got in with a minute to spare. Some people arrive after the opening number and Rick quickly got them with "Did you reach a verdict then"

The first number was the Jig (from the Cirque Serreal album) I was pleased the Wakeman with Wakeman track had been dropped. It is was a sign of the good revamp of the set to come.

Rick then introduced Space Oddity and Life on Mars. All his in between song chats seemed relatively small and IMO about the right length. Both these Bowie number were rearrange from the Piano tour to be much like the Bowie originals with Frazer doing a reasonable job on the vocals.

Adam then did a solo number Summer's end (from Tapestries). Which I thought was OK and Mum (her first ever gig. She is in her 60's so it is better late than never.) quite liked.

Then Merlin was done. This was still in the Classical Connection II/Classic Tracks style but it had been rearranged to include Frazer doing some of the fast bit on Guitar. This completely failed for me. I have to say I don't really like his acoustic guitar work at all. It seemed all Twang and no note. I could not tell if it was because he was attempting to play fast or weather it was because he was playing high stuff most of the time.

Frazer then got his Guitar solo spot and he did a classical piece that I can't for the life of my name (Wayne? Reply Wild Swans)

At this point my batteries went on my Memory aid and my spare batteries where flat too. I don't understand why batteries discharge when they are not in use so easily. The rest of the track list I wrote out on my jeans and then after the interval paper :-)

Then we got the 1984 Trilogy. This was done differently too as it had Adam doing the Middle Julia Section on vocals. As I have stated before I don't like Adam's singing. And mum thought both he and Frazer sounded flat (in my terms dreary/depressing). It worked OK for Space Oddity/Life on Mars. And Adam as a Back up singer is OK. But I would prefer it if he was limited to that. It was good to hear 1984 again anyway.

The last song of the first set was the Breathalyser from Criminal Record. Before it Rick explained it was an amalgamation of several well known tunes to show the Experience of Drinking and Driving and being caught. I had never realised this before. I wish I could recall what the songs were. The live performance seemed to exaggerate the sections. Oh the first song was Little Brown Jug and once I knew this I could hear it but I would never have know otherwise. Also Adam did Bill Oddies vocal at the end. And since I love the way Bill did it on the studio version there was no way it was going to be better live. I am not sure people in the audience would actually have been able to hear the words of what was being sung as Adam seemed to mumble them at bit.

During the interval I noticed the Downstairs was full. I could not see what upstairs was like but I suspect there was a very pleasing turn out overall. Also because we arrived with only a minute to spare Mum had sat in the wrong seat. Preventing 3 blokes from taking their correct seats. What a relief. They were totally drunk and talked though out the first number of the 2nd set was I suspect was Frermiet's cat (from Tapestries) but might have been Burlington Arcade (from Romance of the Victorian age or something else - It was Burlington Arcade).

Rick then went on to tell a story about his Vasectomy and the drunks shouted out Get on with it and play the keyboards. I don't think Rick heard luckily but a guy in front of the drunks turned round and glared at them. Trouble looked to be looming.

Then came help and When my Guitar Gently weeps from the Tribute album. Help is done in a very relaxing style and this was enough to make the drunks leave (Yippee!). When my guitar gently Weeps was sung by Adam and confirmed that I did not know the Beatles original.

Then Adam and Frazer did a Frazer song called "My lips are sealed" and mum and I agreed it was not great. I also thought they were getting too many solo spots. I want to see Rick not them. Perhaps I am being hard. Rick obviously wants us to see how good they are. And Adam is definitely good on the Keyboards.

Next was the Highlight of the Evening. Jane Seymour the Church Organ piece from 6 wives of Henry 8. The new Church Organ sounds are very good although I did think a little thin to start with. It really was a terrific piece to see and feel played live. The Overall concert sound was at a very moderate level but this piece has good bass organ lines in it and I am very partial to those.

Then the 2nd highlight of the night for me. Children of Chernobyl (from No expense Spare). This is a great number and was it good to see it live. I can't recall if it was done on the No Expense Spare tour but it's certainly not been done more recently (to my knowledge anyway.)

Then we got back in to very familiar territory with the Nursery Rhyme Concerto (which still seems very new to most people judging by the crowd reaction) and Eleanor Rigby. Rick really does need to think up a new intro for Eleanor. He must have used the same one for 4 or 5 tours now. Still they were very good as usual. Although Eleanor did not seem to get to me as well as it did on the Piano tour. Perhaps there was a lack of Volume.

For the Encore the returned on stage in 101 Dalmatian tail coats and did a number I did not recognise and one that I did (Clair de Lune perhaps) on the Electric Pianos (which still sound like Electric painos too me I am sure they have not improved the technology on these).

The then finished with a track I mentally thought was the Jig except I was sure we had started with it so perhaps it was Burlington arcade if that was not at the start of set 2.

It was a very enjoyable show and I was very pleased with the extent the song selection and be revamped and rearranged. It was also a good balance of Stuff people would know, 90's product and it did not create the impression he was living on past glories like some sets do.

We then got back to the Car to find a parking ticket of 30ukp I had forgotten to display my Disabled Badge properly. What a prat :-(

I of course picked up a program which is up to Rick's usual humorous standard and since it was there and only 15ukp (If think RWCC is cheap actually) I picked up Adam's Real World Trilogy. I am currently on the 2nd disc and it is very nice. I think it might be a little too exciting for relaxation music but it is in that vein. Unfortunately there are faults on my Disc one of the set. But President (the record label) say they will happily exchange the disc.

Blimey that was long. Not bad for someone who is dead today.

ELO Part II - 21St October 1997

I have been meaning to write my review for a little while but time seems to have slipped by.

This is the 2nd time I have seen ELO Part II now. And the Audience at this gig seemed a little Disappointing. Last time the crowd stood up very early in the Gig and since I have limited Standing ability I chose to sit up Stairs this time. I got first row and it was not surprising as my side section only had 3 rows on it and the Main bit no more than 10. Still I have seen worse crowds at the Regent (Rick Wakeman in 1985 was less than half full).

Sitting up stairs I found the volume to be a little on the quiet side. When I was downstairs on the previous occasion the sounds was echoing of the walls.

Tickets were 14UKP which I guess is par for the course for a venue the size of the Regent (Capacity 1500?)

We seems to have got a long performance this time. It was almost exactly 90 minutes with the Encore last time and I felt that was a little short. Well the absolute minimum. This time we got a two hours over two sets. The first set being about 50 minutes. I can't remember if it was one or two sets last time but I was much happier with this set up. And of course this meant we got a huge amount of songs.

I am not sure I like getting so many 2 minute songs but I can understand the Band wanting to get as many hits in as possible. The set was also rearranged a fair bit and it was nice to see different acoustics stuff.

I was disappointed to see "The Fox" and "10583 Overture" had been dropped as I liked them and think they might as well keep plugging Moment of Truth if they have not managed to do anything new recently. (Even "one night" was out last time they came)

I was quite surprised to find Honest Man was one of my favourite tracks in the Set. That was the only first Album song I have heard them do and I did not like the album when I borrowed it from the Library. So much so I did not even record it. Perhaps I should give it another try.

I also enjoyed Concerto for a Rainy day a lot to. And of Course Mr Blue Sky. I normally think of Out of Blue unfavourably because I think of Songs like the Jungle one but Perhaps I should dig that out again too.

Love or Money was very good. Am I picking songs that Eric Troyer sings? I think he has the best voice in the band not that there is anything wrong with the others. It just seems more ELO like to me.

I was interested that Serena thought they had done Horace Whimp well that night. I can remember thinking how empty sounding it was. Perhaps I was just missing the Days of the Week between verses and suffering from it being quite.

Actually I was slightly Disappointed to see 3 discovery songs close set 1.

It amused me that Bev introduced Louis Clark as Mr Exciting. I thought Don Airey? last time and Louis Clark this time did very little and I certainly could not hear much of what they were doing. It seemed a waste having the Extra head in the Touring band. Perhaps Louis helps get bums on Seats I don't know.

I haven't really got any Comments on the 2nd set except the accompanied part of Bev's Drum solo reminded me of Cozy Powels "Dance with the Devil" in places.

ELO Part II might not be in the big League anymore but they still put on a very good light show. It is not in Kiss's league of course but with just a few Vari-lights it is very effective

A very Enjoyable evening. I am most likely to go again if the band turn up in my area. Roy Wood needs to take some tips here. His set was identical despite it being 4 years between the two shows I saw.

So where have all the other reviews got to? Did only two or three UK people on the list go to a gig?

The Set List was.

Set 1

1. Fire On High
2. All Over The World
3. Evil Woman
4. Whiskey Girls
5. Hold On Tight
6. Showdown
7. Honest Men
8. Rock'N'Roll Is King
9. Concerto For A Rainy Day
10. Mr Blue Sky
11. Love Or Money
12. Calling America
13. Twilight
14. Shine A Little Love
15. Last Train To London
16. Diary Of Horace Whimp

Set 2

1. Because
2. All Fall Down
3. Living Thing
4. Midnight Blue
5. Strange Magic
6. Turn To Stone
7. Violin Solo
8. Clog Dance
9. Ain't Necessarily So
10. Telephone Line
11. Getting To The Point
12. Do Ya
13. Sweet Talking Woman
14. Ma Ma Ma Belle
15. Don't Wanna
16. Rockaria

Encore

1. Drum Solo
2. Drum Solo Accompanied
3. Don't Bring Me Down

Black Sabbath - Birmingham NEC - 4 December 1997

Right I am now in the Process of recovering from one of the Best gigs of my Life. The original Black Sabbath line-up are my number one band. Although I am not as keen on Master of Reality, Paranoid and Never Say Die all their albums are either great or Fantastic. I went to this gig rather worried. When I saw Ozzy Last on the Ozzmosis tour I was not at all impressed. This was very sad as until then the Ozzy gigs I had seen (up to 86) had been guaranteed contenders for my best ever gig. Well my worries were unfounded Ozzy while being the weakest link was as good as I could expect from him. I.e. it is not the 70's now so the only Ozzy available in the imperfect slight out of tune current one.

The night started of with Fear Factory. If these have any relation to Sabbath Music the people who like them do so for the opposite reason to my reason for liking Sabbath. They are all Speed and noise and no melody. The songs seems to contain a lot of "Fuck"'s and shouting. The Bass player is a total nutter. The Singer did not seem to like standing. He preferred crouching on his Monitor. The Guitarist liking gobbing in the air a lot. And the Drummer played at great speed. Some of the Audience were allowed to go up and headbang. And my little brother seemed to get into them, so I assume I am too old.

After the normal length of change over the lights went out and Sabbath appeared on the two video monitors either side of the Stage. I suspect it was the montage of clips that were used to start the show in the States. They then stopped and we got the Air Raid Siren for War Pigs. Surprisingly the video monitors were not used again. The show was definitely being recorded but I doubt it was being down for Video. I could only see one Video camera in the Pit. This started on Geezer Butlers side (audience left) but after two songs seemed to be more on Tony's (the Right). Perhaps there was more but I could not seem them.

It was odd seeing Ozzy in the Centre of the Black Sabbath Stage. I am so used to the eccentricity of Tony being Centre and Ozzy being on the right. Still I could not see Ozzy allowing that one.

The Set was as follows :-

War Pigs - The whole NEC which was not quite capacity but pretty close only restricted view seats being left was going for it from the start. And helped Ozzy out on the Lyrics when Ozzy passed over to the Crowd.

Wall of Sleep - This had some Hey Hey Hey's at the end

NIB - Complete with Geezer Bass solo at the Start. Then it sounded to me and people near me like Ozzy said "Good Night God bless you all". Very Strange

Fairies Wear Boots - After this there was a full Band intro starting with Bill Ward.

Electric Funeral - At the end of this the crowd in front of Tony I assume was chanting Tony and Ozzy then decided to take up the chant.

Sweat Leaf

Spiral Architect - Ozzy was very weak on this but I was really pleased to hear it.

Into the Void - It was after this that Ozzy said they were recording and if we wanted to be on record we had better shout.

Snowblind

Orchid

Lord of this World

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Ozzy started this with Very Solo Ozzy Sounding phrasing. It ended with some more Hey Hey Hey's

Dirty Woman - This was introduced as "Here's a song which I like a lot it's". Keyboards could be clearly heard on this and I think Spiral Architect. I did not spot them elsewhere

Black Sabbath - "A Song that says it all". This started with Taped rain and a bell that sounded pretty similar to the one on Ozzy's Journey to the Centre of Eternity.

Iron Man - This has Oi, Oi, Oi at the start. And Oh oh oh ooohhh oh through out.

Children of the Grave ended the set.

While waiting for the Encore Ozzy said from back Stage "I can't hear you". Then there is so Footsteps/banging on a mic.

They come back and do the inevitable

Paranoid.

At the end Ozzy got the crowd singing a tune they knew but I did not. I assume it was a Brummy theme or something. He then said "One more thing, go home safe". Bill came down to the Stage for the Final bow and they kept trying to pull down his trousers.

With Encore the set was about 1hr 40mins which is the longest I have ever seen Ozzy do.

I thought the set list was a pretty good mix if not a little predictable in places. It was probably a good move not to do to much later stuff as it sounds a bit rough live. I was surprised at the lack of Never Say Die though and nothing from Sabotage.

The sound was very good all night.

The stage consisted of a large Cross at the back and lots of little crosses in the lighting rig. The back cross had various images projected onto it. Either side of the Cross was Scaffolding holding a lot of Laney Amps. The light show was the Standard you would expect at a gig like this. Probably no better or Worse than the Cross Purposes video.

As I mentioned, to me, the weakest Link in the Band was Ozzy. I am not sure if he goes off tune or what it is but something is not quite right. His voice certainly Wobbled and cracked a little. He was glued to his Autocue when singing. And this made for a fairly Static show as Geezer and Tony aren't big movers either. Ozzy did at least three Start Jumps and he had to keep pulling his trousers up all night.

Bill sounded great all night. I don't usually notice drummers but to me Bill has a very individual style and was perfect for the set.

Geezer was very good but with me being on the Right and him being on the left I did not pay a great deal of attention to him.

Tony was fantastic as usual. During one of the songs it seemed to be he extended a solo a little and I am sure Ozzy pointed to his wrist as if to say "Get on with it". Ozzy certainly seems insecure on Stage having to say something into the mic during more instrumental breaks. He only threw one bucket of Water to my memory as well and that was at the Start (On to the Press?)

The whole band were smiling all night.

The Merchandise for the gig was very poor. Typical of all Sabbath none Music products. There were 5 or 6 styles of T Shirt but they were not at all impressive. I got one with the Master of Reality "Black Sabbath" above a picture of the Sabotage mirror and group shot but it is only a few colours and very thin. It at least had Birmingham 4th and 5th on the back. I also got a bluish colour one of an early band image with just Black Sabbath and a cross on the back. I am sure they will sound familiar to OzzFeast goers.

Well I think that about sums everything up. A great night. I hope they do release a Video of it and not an Arty one. A Straight forward record of one nights show as per Cross Purposes.

Roy Wood - Norwich 22nd December 97

This was a very good evening. We Started of with T-rexstacy who are a T-rex clone. Being a Slade and remembering the Old rivalry between the fans a true to form and Hate T-rex so I did not enjoy it but the band do a good job of passing themselves of as them.

Then we Got Dr and The Medics. I really did not know what to expect here and could not see how they were going to beat T-rexstacy for crowd reaction. They basically played there two hit Singles Burn and Spirit in the Sky and a few covers songs such as Wild Thing, Block Buster, Born to be Wild and I did not know the first song. But boy do

they have stage presence and fun. They sort of take the Wizzard TOTP appearance attitude into their stage show. I thought they were really good fun. I was most surprised.

Sadly they made Roy's shy in between song chat look very week. Roy was still struggling from a cold and having to blow his nose between songs and saying "Do you fancy a sing song? I don't" Prior to Blackberry Way. I thought he still sang very well thought and it was great seeing him and the band again. I was a bit cool about the Big band band arrangements when they toured 4? years ago but I really am into them know.

Let's hope the Live Album really does appear next year and that Roy gets to Tour again and with a different set.

California Man
Ball Park incident
Fire brigade

Colin the Child catcher took of his coat only to discover he had split is flies! Why is he nick names the "Child catcher"?

House of Love
Angel Fingers
Forever
Flowers in the Rain
Good Night Bodicia
Lion's heart

That has move up in the set since Mar. In fact it has replaced 1-2-3 which I did not miss. But the set did not need shortening.

I got the impression this had been alter slightly backing vocal wise. It is difficult to remember. But the horns were adding Bits extra to my memory.

I can hear the Grass grow Roy's Revenge - I Wizzard Style B'side showing of the Band and Especially Roy the Drummer. It was good to get something new.

Colin was really getting off on this drum solo. Clapping Encouraging and Whooping away :-) Sure it is similar most nights?

See my Baby Jive
Rescue me

This is later in the set and I have never liked this song and the fact Holiday Watchdog on TV has been using the original of this song have been driving me nuts but I have to say I quite enjoyed it.

Are you Ready to Rock?

This was probably the best I have seen Roy do on the Bagpipes. Normally he is disappointed with his effort but he seemed content himself tonight.

Blackberry Way

How can this be Roy's favourite move song? I guess I am still haunted by the Colour Me Pop out of tune performance.

Encore

I wish it could be Xmas everyday.


2008 Jon Hinchliffe. E-mails welcome!