As with most years, the live scene takes a while to recover from the end of the previous year. It has taken until this last Saturday to see a bloody amazing gig hit London town. Over the last week I have a few CDs to review; this time it will be a less eclectic than the last bunch. We've got some known, some not so well known, and a couple of singles as well.
Thunder: (w/Roadstar & Toby Jepson in support) Hammersmith, Apollo, London 4 Feb 2006
Now anyone who has stuck with me this long on Blogcritics knows that I have quite an affection for local boys Thunder. Having followed them since their stunning if chronically underrated and wasted (in the US) debut Backstreet Symphony, I was rather pleased to see their return early this century to making records and touring.
Saturday night marked the end of a UK tour which saw them once again reconecting with their loyal UK fans and delivering up a nice slice of British blues-rock. Saturday night was no exception. The band was on absolutely top form with Danny Bowles showing younger frontmen how to play a crowd. The audience members were literally eating out of his hands the entire set.
Where this man gets his energy to bounce around and sing so well for 110 minutes is beyond me. The rest of the band showed they could keep up with him through some classic songs both old and new. Harry James, Thunder's eccentric drummer, even showed us he could play guitar and sing. The stage set was useful while at the same time not distracting.
The band performed wonderful versions of "Love Walks In," the ode to Englishness "Englishman on Holiday" as well as new stuff in the form of "Fading into the Sun" and that ode to love, "I Love You More than Rock n' Roll." The crowd sang along with most of the tunes, naturally louder to the old ones, and many a couple relived their gig-going days of yore. The crowd was a mixture of young and old; with in some cases three generations together.
My girlfriend and I were able to attend the aftershow party. We got see the family attmosphere that is the Thunder touring machine. There were children, wives, and family members around and a smattering of aging groupies as well, which just added to the ambiance.