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It was wonderful – London

Whatever you think of the album, it was really good to hear so many new songs. Put into the context of a live show (and without Michael Bradford’s production!) they sounded fine – fitted in really well. With a bit of luck, Mr G might have learned the words (to some of the old ones as well!) by the time the tour comes to you 🙂

The first part of the show was all “What’s coming next?” – and I’m talking about the guys on stage there. For those of us in the
audience it was wonderful. I confess that I was so surprised that it took me a while to realise that it was “Living Wreck” that I was hearing.

Things became a bit more predictable after Contact Lost / WDG. But they still managed to squeeze in another couple of new ones. WDG really has become a crowd-pleaser – not as much as the Machine Head numbers, but not far off.

The three front men were all in fine form, and clearly enjoying it. Don was excellent, with big Ian encouraging us to play “Air Hammond” during his solos.

Paicey – well, I wonder if the years are finally beginning to catch up, and if he was being more economical at first. But I’ll leave that to the drummers amongst you. He always looks so agonised anyway, and certainly by the second half of the show he was really into his groove. Maybe I was just so stunned by the opening sequence that I wasn’t paying enough attention to him.

Ian G said that they are going to be on the road for “two years” – a daunting thought at any age.

Liked the stage set – two racks of lights on the back wall on either side of the album cover backdrop, plus a couple of vertical rows on each side of the stage. The lights were much brighter than they appear in Stephen’s photos – multi-colours, abstract patterns, animation – clean , modern, complemented the music without being obtrusive.

Oh yes – Roger’s Rickenbacker came out for “Smoke”.

Summary – a great start to the tour. Things can only get better as the gremlins and uncertainties are ironed out. Hope they retain the adventurous setlist – seems to me to be a good compromise between playing new/obscure material and playing the crowd-pleasing old favourites.

There is a new tour programme – we only realised this when we were outside afterwards and saw others with it. At a glance it looks good.

Good to meet some new faces and catch up with some old ones – sorry I didn’t get a chance to chat.

Enough from me, I think.

Garry Smith

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