Blackberry Smoke at the O2 Academy, Glasgow 3 Nov 2018

On a wet and windy Saturday evening, I boarded the 525 to Glasgow with my accomplice for the evening.   For only the second time, I was accompanied by Mr A and, compared to our last outing around about this time last year, he didn’t appear to be scared….hee hee.

Despite the stormy weather, we were heading to Glasgow for a double first for my chaperone- his first visit to the city’s O2 Academy and his first opportunity to see Blackberry Smoke play live.

The Weather Gods took pity on us and we didn’t get completely drenched as we walked down to the venue. The Construction Gods then shone on us as we were able to queue under the plank staging of the scaffolding outside the venue. Happy days indeed!

There was only one support act on the bill for the evening – Quaker City Night Hawks. However, security were a little slow in getting folk inside and the support band were very prompt on stage. The end result was that by the time Mr A and I took up our rail positions, the QCNH were out on stage and halfway through their first number. Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, this quartet played a solid forty-five minute set of blues based Southern rock. The rapidly growing crowd around us were certainly enjoying the ten song set. These guys were a new band to my ears but highlights for me were Rattlesnake Boogie, Mockingbird and their set closer Fox In The Hole.

If I was to offer up one piece of constructive criticism here, for my personal taste, they were a little too laid back. I’d have preferred some more lively numbers in the set to really get the fans buoyed up for the headliners. That said, I enjoyed QCNH and will be checking out their new album when it lands early next year.

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Earlier in the day, I’d been listening to Blackberry Smoke and had been wondering which songs would make the setlist. I was wishing there was a way to put in a request  as there was one in particular that I hoped to hear live.

The Music Gods must have been listening because at eight thirty Blackberry Smoke stepped out onto the Glasgow stage to thundering cheers and opened their two hour set with Six Ways To Sunday. I was a happy girl!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg-kae3TxWA

 Waiting For The Thunder and Good One Comin’ On made up the remainder of the opening trio.

I could feel a “good one comin’ on”! A good gig!  And Blackberry Smoke didn’t disappoint!

 On stage, the band seemed totally at ease and all looked genuinely relaxed and happy to be playing for their Scottish fans.

Their twenty song set was a balanced mix of old and new with all albums represented. Several of my personal favourites made the list.

Pretty Little Lie is always a fan favourite and the Glasgow choir didn’t disappoint here or at any other point during the evening. Charlie Starr complimented the fans on more than one occasion for the quality of their singing.

Medicate My Mind from their current album Find A Light was one of the highlights of the night. It was also promptly followed flawless renditions of Sleeping Dogs and another of my personal favourites, Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3zQidLxUBA

 As the final chorus of Ain’t Got The Blues died away, a fan to my right called out a request. With a glance to his bandmates, Charlie checked that the audience were happy to hear that song instead of what was planned. He never said what had been next on their set list but Scare The Devil Outta You from their 2011 album Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime made a rare live appearance. The Scottish crowd loved it!

One Horse Town and Like An Arrow rounded off the main body of the set.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDJotSVgS9k

One thing had been missing all night however….. Charlie was hat-less!

 This matter was resolved when the band returned to the stage for their two song encore. Flesh And Bone from Find A Light opened the encore in storming style. Live that is one powerful song!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_wJLht9ueI

 And after two full hours the appropriately titled Ain’t Much Left of Me brought the night to a successful conclusion.

 Till next time, guys. Hurry back.

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As we walked back towards the station among many other happy Southern rock fans, a group a few yards behind us started singing and so the music continued into the night……..

 

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Massive @ Ivory Blacks Glasgow 12 Oct 2018

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Slightly later than usual, Boy Child and I boarded the train to Glasgow in search of a new venue and old friends.

We were heading off in search of Ivory Blacks, one of the city’s smaller venues to  see Australian rock band Massive.

These guys from Melbourne are on the verge of releasing their third album and really deserve to be playing bigger rooms. Just saying….. but maybe I’m biased. I love these boys and have done since I first heard their debut album in 2014.

We found the venue … well, I found it. Boy Child walked past it! We were also first there.

As we stood waiting in the doorway,sheltering from the rain, the door opened and a tousled dark mop of curls stuck its head out before stepping out for a sneaky smoke – the band’s guitarist Ben Laguda. We chatted happily for a few minutes then Ben apologised that he needed to go back in and get changed for the show.

Doors opened a few minutes later and we found that the venue was even more intimate than anticipated.

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Originally there were meant to be three bands on the bill but the opening support act had to cancel due to ill health. The job of opening proceedings fell to Brighton based trio, The Rocket Dolls. This band’s strength is its front man Nikki Smash (and those perfect teeth as Massive’s Brad Marr pointed out later on.) The guys played a solid half hour set. Perhaps it was the sound quality (I really struggled to make out the vocals) or the lack of numbers in the room but overall I grew a little bored here. Sorry, guys….

 

By the time Massive climbed onto the stage, a small but passionate crowd had gathered, several sporting Massive t-shirts from the 2014 and 2016 shows.

All credit to these boys, they played with as much passion and enthusiasm as if they were playing to five thousand folk instead of to less than a hundred rock fans plus half of Ben Laguda’s Scottish relatives.

Massive opened their ninety minute “set” (and I use the term loosely here) with Blood Money Blues, from their 2016 album Destination Somewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTUq1p9p8d0

Since I last saw these guys there has been a line up re-shuffle and this was the first chance I’d had to check out their new bass player and drummer. All four members of the band were in good form. Ben was in a particularly mischievous mood all night. (Maybe we should be thankful he only “mooned” us once!) As ever at a Massive show, the beer was flowing as fast as the music.

Part way through the set, post -Ben pee break, front man Brad Marr disappeared to the side to pull on a Scottish top. Sorry, Brad, it was neither a football top nor a rugby top but was a nice touch. Personally, I preferred the Saltire flag cape circa Oct2014.

The set proved to be quite fluid – Ben encouraged his bandmates to play a bit of The Proclaimers 500Miles (twice). We had a brief bit of Vanilla Ice rapping then a snatch of Under Pressure by Queen after an ice cube incident thanks to the mischievous Mr Laguda. Massive also played three awesome covers. I’ll come back to the third one in a moment but their renditions of Highway Star and Immigrant Song were brilliant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwGIcxFg3R0

Two of my favourite songs made the set, both from the band’s debut album Full Throttle. Dancefloor got everyone moving, including Boy Child. Great party rock song. Highlight for me is always Ghost  – I freely admit it….I love this song! Although, thanks to the arrival of a round of Jagerbombs on stage, it did dissolve into chaos in the middle. Here check it out for yourself as the vibe here sums up the whole show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1kM_XfcOUU

Glasgow was treated to a couple of new songs from the band’s forthcoming third album Rebuild Destroy. Loved Long Time Coming and current sing Roses.

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end (before the beer runs out) and Massive rounded the night off with a rousing version of ACDC’s Highway To Hell.

As we made our way back to the stations, Boy Child and I debated whether we had been to a gig or a party. Either way, it was awesome!

Hurry back, boys!

 

 

 

 

 

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Halestorm at the O2 Academy, Glasgow 23/09/18

On Sunday evening, instead of boarding the train, I clambered into Boy Child’s baby bat mobile to be chauffeur driven to Glasgow. Having detoured to collect FB Son en route, we made our way to the city centre in search of the O2 Academy.

We were heading to a sell-out show.

We were heading to see Halestorm!

Despite arriving some 45 minutes before the doors were due to open, a lengthy queue greeted us. No rail spot tonight sadly……

From my position near the front (about 4 in from the rail) I watched Rews, an all-girl duo from London/Belfast take to the stage to open the show.  Musically- these young ladies were entertaining. Vocally – couldn’t understand a word. Sorry, girls.

Next…..

Well, where to begin to describe what came next?

Avatar!

Hailing from Goteborg, Sweden, words fail me as to how to begin to describe the entrance these guys made …..  here, take a look for yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP2W7ofZMiE

(credits to the owner TeamDobby KC via You Tube)

Front man Johannes Eckerstrom is a leggy giant on stage with a charismatic commanding presence. Part clown, part ring master, part Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), Johannes had the Glasgow crowd in the palm of his rather large hands within seconds.

To his right, The King quietly presided over things, despite not having his usual throne on stage. Wind milling dreads flying, The King was a sight to behold!

Avatar are loud! They are in your face! They are heavy as F**K at times and theatrically delicate at others. They truly are a spellbindingly bizarre act to watch.

We were treated to just eight songs by these Swedish metal giants over roughly fifty minutes plus several costume changes. Skilfully, they wound the set up to its climax, ending with The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country and Smells Like A Freakshow.

Boy Child said to me later that he wished he could have seen my face when Avatar came out on stage. I wish I could have seen my face when they came out at first but, by the end, I was sold on them as a live act.

A support slot was too short ….. I’m already looking forward to their next headlining appearance in Glasgow!

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I think, if my maths is correct, this is the seventh time I’d waited patiently for Halestorm to take to the stage.

Amid flashing lights, Halestorm stormed into their set with the title track from their latest album, Vicious. It was the first of seven songs that would be played from Vicious. A strong choice to open with but the sound could have been better and perhaps opening with a more familiar song might have got the set off to a stronger start. The ever-popular Love Bites (So Do I) followed and despite the sound still suffering a bit, the Scottish fans were 1000% on Lzzy’s side.

Dressed in a scarlet shaggy jacket and leather bootcut jeans, Lzzy cut a striking figure on stage. How she manages to perform in those high platform boots I’ll never know!

Black Vultures, also from Vicious followed. Another powerful song with an angry edge. Awesome!

Having worked hard to get the capacity crowd revved up, the band then made what to me seemed a slightly risky choice of song. Lzzy explained that the vinyl format of Vicious had just been released and that it contained 4 bonus songs not available anywhere else. She announced that they were going to debut one for the Scottish fans. Golden was a great rock track but the fans didn’t know it and around me the energy levels slumped. Personally, I think this would have slotted in better a few songs further into the set.

Having shed the “red sheep” Lzzy and the boys played one of my favourite tracks from the new album, Do Not Disturb. Sultry, sleazy, down right sexy, this is Lzzy at her provocative best. Loved it!

Four new songs out of the first five though was a big gamble. Halestorm should be thankful it paid off!

Fan favourites Amen, I Am The Fire and Mz Hyde had made the cut for the setlist. Seeing these played live again showcased just how tight Halestorm are on stage these days. These guys have been playing together for nigh on 21 years according to Lzzy.  With Lzzy’s powerful vocals and the quiet assured performances of Josh Storm and Joe Hottinger on bass and guitar respectively, Halestorm are a force to be reckoned with. Add in the flamboyance of drummer Arejay Hale and they are unstoppable. (Arejay, what was that suit all about?)

It wouldn’t be a Halestorm show with out Arejay’s drum solo, complete with an appearance by his “big sticks”. Thank God he doesn’t toss them into the crowd- he’d kill someone!  Arejay Hale is one of my favourite drummers but a little bit of the sparkle seemed to be missing in Glasgow. Still awesome and entertaining.

Freak Like Me and Killing Ourselves To Live rounded out the main body of the set.

A transport case was moved down to the front of the stage before the start of the three-song encore. Carrying an acoustic guitar, Joe Hottinger and Lzzy returned to the stage to thunderous applause.

Side by side, they sat on the transport case to perform The Silence – the only ballad from Vicious. I love this song. It reeks of nostalgic love and there’s a tenderness to it. However, I wish that Lzzy had toned the vocal down a bit for this one. She has one hell of a voice. She also has such a beautiful sultry voice for songs like this. We really didn’t need The Silence to be delivered quite so forcefully….just my humble opinion.

With the transport case kicked out of the way, the rest of the band returned to the stage to end the night with two firm favourites, I Miss The Misery and, with a glass (plastic cup) in hand to toast the fans, Here’s To Us.

Here’s To Us fans and Here’s To Halestorm – till next time!

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3 years young today…..

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The Panoramic View – Mark Harrison

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I was delighted when The Panoramic View by Mark Harrison dropped into my inbox. Despite my love of all things rock, rootsy/folk/blues singer songwriter Mark Harrison really is one of my guilty musical pleasures.

Over recent years I have watched Mark’s career go from strength to strength as he winds his way along a steady path to becoming one of this country’s musical treasures. With his unique quirky panache Mark is winning hearts with every show and every new album.

The Panoramic View, due to be released on 7th September, introduces us to fifteen new original songs…..I almost hesitate to call these tracks songs. Musical stories is a more accurate description. An extra element of eccentricity is added to this record thanks to the narration of each track’s introduction by Gail Porter. A nice idea but after a few songs it did grate on me a little (sorry, Mark)

This album tells tales that are part present day social history, part blues appreciation class and part mid-western 1850’s US history lessons. It’s easy to share Mark’s love of the blues through his lyrics. His skilfully crafted lyrics bring these stories to life as much as the music does.Each track covers a diverse theme; each track is subtly musically diverse. There’s even a rag time instrumental homage to the main bus station in Coventry!

The Panoramic View brims over with talented musicianship from Mark and the guests who share the space with him. Whether he’s playing his National (I have a real soft spot for those) or his 12-string acoustic, Mark’s prowess as a guitarist shines through on each of the fifteen tracks. He is ably accompanied as ever by Charles Benfold on double bass. The are joined by various highly skilled musicians including Ed Hopwood on harmonica and Paddy Milner on piano.

I’m not going to go through this album track by track for the simple reason that I don’t want to spoil the stories for you. I struggled to pick out a highlight track. Without a word of a lie, they are all great songs. For it’s song title alone, Don’t Die Till You’re Dead stands out a little prouder than some as does John The Chinaman. Love the harmonica on that one and the story behind the song.

Mark himself has declared this record to be his “magnum opus.” He might just be right. This album oozes charm, talent and a refreshing level of confidence.

Don’t believe me? Then check it out for yourself.

 

10/10

  Copies of The Panoramic View can be purchased via the link below.

http://www.markharrisonrootsmusic.com/shop.php

 

 

Mark H

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The Gaslight Anthem @ Barrowlands Glasgow 24 July 2018

On a beautiful Tuesday evening Boy Child and I boarded the 525 to Glasgow. Fortunately, it wasn’t quite as hot as the last time we had attempted to get to Glasgow on the 525 and this one actually made it to the city’s Central Station on time.

Who had we escaped to see?

Well, we were headed for Barrowlands to see The Gaslight Anthem.

The New Jersey based band have been on hiatus for the past three years but have come together to play a series of shows to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album The ’59 Sound. Glasgow was lucky enough to play host to one of these shows and we had been lucky enough to secure tickets for this sell out event.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again- I’m not a fan of Barrowlands as a venue. I know it has an iconic place in Glasgow’s musical heritage but it just doesn’t do it for me. Sorry. Boy Child’s first comment as we entered the room raised a wistful smile. Looking up he said, “They need a bigger glitter ball.” (R.I.P.  O2 ABC Glitter Ball – still in mourning)

Opening act of the night was Matthew Ryan, a singer/songwriter form Chester PA. Instantly easy to listen to, Matthew Ryan and his band played a heart-warming seven song set. As much a storyteller as a singer. Matthew Ryan quickly had the growing Glasgow crowd on side. There was a gentleness to this opening act that is rare to see. Loved it!

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I knew that the published support act had been unable to fulfil the commitment but I hadn’t heard who had replaced them. A few clues sat on stage – a ukulele and a mandolin- plus Matthew Ryan dropped another hint by mentioning Dave.

Much to my delight, and Boy Child’s, Dave Hause, accompanied by his brother Tim Hause, were next up on stage. I love this guy! He appeared a little more sombre than the norm as he opened his forty-minute set with Time Will Tell. By now the venue was almost full and from the fans’ reaction, Dave Hause could have been the headline act. Glasgow loves this boy from Philly. He delighted me by playing two of my personal favourites Autism Vaccine Blues and C’mon Kid. Awesome songs!

His next song, more than a little tongue in cheek and played on the ukulele, was dedicated to the president of the United States. The song title – Dirty F***ker! The most bizarre instrument of the evening made an appearance during this ditty as Tim Hause played a melodica- weird wee thing! All good light-hearted fun.

Strap lock disaster struck a moment or two later as Dave’s gorgeous Martin acoustic slipped towards the floor. Not sure if he caught it before it hit the stage but he was not too impressed judging by the look on his face. Holding the guitar by the neck, he held it up for all to see then stepped forwards and passed it to a girl on the rail. Nice souvenir!

Now minus his six-stringed friend, Dave finished off the set vocals only, leaving his young brother to play guitar. Dave rounded off his set with The Woodpile amid promises to be back in town soon. We’ll be there.

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As the time approached for the headliners to take to the stage I grew a little concerned. The tour was billed as a celebration of The ’59 Sound- what if that was all that they played? Turns out I needn’t have fretted.

At 9:15 amid huge cheers from the capacity crowd, The Gaslight Anthem stepped out on stage to open the show with Handwritten. The room went wild! A sign that the next hour and forty-five minutes were going to be lively. (Pushy jumpy crowd)

This was only the second time I’d seen Brian Fallon front the band and, to be honest, I have mixed memories from that last Gaslight Anthem show in 2015. He’d seemed so reserved and almost sullen that night, a far cry from the relaxed, smiling chatty Brian that I have seen several times since. Again, I needn’t have worried. While he didn’t chat to the crowd too much (he really does struggle to understand the Glasgow accents!) the smile was there and the twinkle in his eyes.

Old Haunts and The Spirit Of Jazz swiftly followed before the band began the whole ’59 Sound experience. Yes, they played all twelve tracks in order! WOW! Where to begin to describe that? Great Expectations we certainly had and the band lived up to them and then some!

I’m not about to wax lyrical about every track – WHEW I hear you cry!

Highlights for me were The ’59 Sound itself (although I will confess to preferring the solo performance Brian Fallon gave of this earlier this year), Film Noir, The Patient Ferris Wheel and Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (Boy Child was absolutely thrilled to hear this one live at last). It’s hard to believe that these songs are ten years old. They all sound so fresh. Perhaps its because the band are on hiatus and the set isn’t road weary. Perhaps it’s just because these and the others from the album are just awesome timeless songs.

Watching the band interact with each other – or not interact- was intriguing. They are all skilled musicians, super skilled. I’ll admit to having a soft spot for guitarist Alex Rosamilia and I’d listen to Brian Fallon sing the phone book! Drummer Benny Horowitz was obviously having fun as he grinned out over his drum kit all night. Alex Levine on bass – jury is still out on that.  He didn’t appear to interact with any of them all night, leaving me feeling that some of the chemistry is missing. Ian Perkins, the strong silent type on stage, did a sterling job playing guitar and quietly watching proceedings.

With Here’s Looking At You Kid and The Backseat bringing The ’59 Sound to an end, the Gaslight Anthem kept playing, treating the Scottish fans to a further ten songs. Highlights of the second half of the twenty-five song set for me were The Queen Of Lower Chelsea and National Anthem. Love them both!

With the 11pm curfew fast approaching, the Gaslight Anthem brought the evening to a climax with the almighty American Slang, ably assisted by Dave Hause.

Watching the band leave the stage, I couldn’t help but wonder if the hiatus will become permanent and if that was the last time I’d see the band on stage together. To quote Dave Hause “Only time will tell.” One thing’s for sure, this show was a 10th birthday party to remember.

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Myles Kennedy @ O2 Academy Liverpool 07 July 2018

Slightly earlier than usual last Saturday, Boy Child and I boarded a train to Glasgow. It was the first of three trains. It was 7:07am!

So, where were we heading so early on a sunny Saturday? We were off to Liverpool to see Myles Kennedy.

Neither of us had ever been to Liverpool (in fact, Boy child had never travelled so far by train!) but we were armed with Google maps.

Five hours later, give or take a few minutes, we arrived into Liverpool’s Lime Street station. Within a few minutes, with the help of said maps, we had found the venue and then set off in search of lunch and our hotel.

By 2:30pm, fed and watered and safely checked into our hotel (that’s a whole story on its own) we were back at the O2 Academy for the meet and greet. This  was Boy Child’s first meet and greet experience and he looked on a little nervously as I caught up with various members of the AB family from around the world. One of the highlights of these shows is catching up with friends. It never ceases to amaze me how far folk will travel to see this guy. Two girls had flown in from Tokyo to catch a couple of shows!

Eventually, we were ushered into the venue via a service entrance, through a cobbled covered courtyard, past a washing machine and a drier! We were given a warm welcome by Paul and the team as always and the rules for the day were laid down to ensure that the meet and greet ran smoothly.

The room for the evening was larger than I’d envisaged (the show had been moved from the O2 Academy 2 into the bigger room due to demand, I believe). On stage, in front of us, mid-soundcheck was the man himself, Myles Kennedy. Watching soundcheck is always enjoyable and you never know what delights you might experience.  Calmly and methodically Myles worked his way through things, pausing to re-check his resonator’s set up having confessed to pressing a button and not being sure which one! Satisfied that all was well, Myles welcomed everyone and opened things up for a Q&A. Questions from the fans varied from which song did he like to play most from the solo record (Haunted By Design, in case you were wondering) to talking about jamming with members of Led Zeppelin to a “cheeky” question about his checked shirt. (Yes, Myles it did look a bit like you were wearing your grandmother’s tablecloth! LOL)

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After a quick photo with Myles (I managed to get two – thanks Paul) we were all shown back outside to wait for show time.

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Shortly before 7pm, the VIP queue were allowed into the venue a few minutes ahead of the rest of the waiting fans. After running up an incredibly steep flight of stairs, a rail position was safely secured for the evening. Happy days!

The support act for the evening was Dorrian Sorriaux, the super talented, French guitarist from Blues Pills.  This is one skilled musician! Having released his first solo EP Hungry Ghost a few days earlier, Dorrian quickly impressed the growing crowd. The diminutive maestro surprised many of the audience with his vocal abilities. They are right up there with his guitar prowess. Dorrian played an all too short set and enchanted us with his lively blend of folk/rock acoustic music. Definitely a solo artiste to watch out for.

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By now the heat in the venue was incredible! It was with relief that I accepted a cup of iced water from the security staff and medic as they started to pass drinks out to the melting fans.

Shortly before nine, the lights dimmed again and the haunting opening to Devil On The Wall echoed round as Myles started the song just out of sight of the crowd. As he stepped out on stage a wall of cheers greeted him. And, yes, he was still wearing Granny’s table cover (sorry, Myles!) The set opener was promptly followed by Standing In The Sun, the SMKC classic.

Maybe it should have been renamed Standing Under A Blazing Sun as everyone in the room, Myles Included, was already dripping with sweat!

The Mayfield Four classic, albeit Myles claims it is cheesy, Mars Hotel proved to be a firm fan favourite.

With an acoustic rendition of Addicted To Pain following on immediately, Myles had expertly covered all aspects of his career in the first few songs of the night. Nicely done!

Having been fortunate enough to see two previous shows on the first UK leg of the Year Of the Tiger tour back in March, I was secretly hoping to hear some “new” songs. Myles didn’t disappoint.

The first of these was the beautiful Ghosts Of Shangri La. Played on his “laser like” resonator, Myles had the capacity crowd held in awe. We all love that song it appears.

Then having checked how we were all holding up in the heat, we were given a choice- Lover or Show Me A Leader. Lover was my personal choice but, with my usual level of luck, Myles opted to play Show Me A Leader, the epic Alter Bridge song from The Last Hero.

A second “new” song to me from Year Of The Tiger followed as Myles delighted us all with the beautiful Turning Stones. Love it!

Hearing Myles play an acoustic version of Iron Maiden’s classic, The Trooper, is a sound to behold. Introduced with a little nostalgic tale of his teenage years playing air guitar with a tennis racquet, Myles ably demonstrated his prowess. Not only did he demonstrate his skill at playing but he displayed his talent for playing hard and fast while dripping sweat from every pore!

Dear Lord, it was HOT!

Manager, “Renaissance Man”, friend, Tim Tournier joined Myles on stage next for the first of two appearances as the duo had obvious fun playing together before slipping slickly into Haunted By Design. It really is a delight to behold when you can tell that the star is enjoying the show as much as you are.

The third and final “new” song of the night for me followed a couple of songs later – Songbird. Love love love it!

What’s left to say about Watch Over You that followed? Goosebumps and tears in my eyes every single time. Such an emotional ballad. Simply gorgeous.

Probably my highlight tune of the night followed – Travelling Riverside Blues. I just love this one. Love the mischief of its lyrics and, from watching Myles play this, it’s easy to see that he loves it too.

Still playing his resonator (have I mentioned just how much I love this guitar?) he rounded out the main body of the set with a sultry acoustic rendition of the SMKC song World On Fire.

As ever I harboured a secret hope that hallelujah might make the cut for the encore. Sadly, not tonight….one day…. I hope! Myles opened his two-song encore with the breath-taking Love Can Only Heal. When I first heard this on the record, I cried. I’ve cried most times I’ve heard it and this time was no exception. So beautifully raw and personal. Incredible song and a magical performance.

The final song of the night saw Tim (Timmy!!!) return to the stage as together they closed the show with Year Of The Tiger. A perfect note to end on.

What a show! I just wish I could do it all again, despite the heat!

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Having said our farewells to various AB family members, Boy Child and I made our way slowly outside. Fresh air has never felt so welcome!

To complete our full “fan” experience, we waited patiently outside on Myles leaving the venue, hoping to share a few words with him and to get our tickets autographed (there had been no signing part to the meet and greet sadly)

I’m sure after such a hot and physically draining show, many musicians would have declined to spend time chatting with fans and signing items but not Myles. Looking tired but ever the gentleman, Myles took his time, spared a few words for everyone and signed everything the fans thrust in front of him.

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Hot, tired and happy, Boy Child and I said our final “goodnight’s” to the remaining members of the AB family then meandered back to our hotel, both wishing we were following the tour on to Leeds.

Till next time. Thank you, Myles.

 

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