ThomasOShea's current selection is:
Gun To The Head [Live on Later With Jools Holland]
by The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Regal Encore

The Good, The Bad & The Queen at O2 Academy, Liverpool | Thursday 18 April 2019

A gig of two halves last night, both in terms of structure and crowd reception/perception at a surprisingly under-sold show (two-thirds full I'd guess, at a venue that can accommodate around 1200 and usually does).

The first fifty minutes were dedicated to last year's Merrie Land record, which was played in full and in album tracklisting order. This meant that the better-known material from it was aired right at the start, the set opening with the title track - - and then this selection, after which both the music and the audience's attention span meandered somewhat.

That's not to say that what was played was slapdash or uncommitted in any way, not with the quality of the musicians on stage, the rhythm section of Tony Allen and Tim Simonon keeping everything tight yet loose, the bass at times being the loudest element of the mix and occasionally overwhelming Damon Albarn's vocals.

Following the completion of the Merrie Land material, the band vacated the stage whilst The Demon Strings played a short interlude/intermission to bridge the two sets, the second being devoted to the self-titled début LP of 2007 and again run through in sequence as on the record, save for the omission of three of its tracks.

This more familiar work seemingly reinvigorated both band and those in attendance, especially during a back-to-back salvo of the minor hit singles 'Kingdom Of Doom' and 'Herculean', leading into the home straight of the evening. A delicate rendition of 'A Soldier's Tale' was a particular highlight of the whole gig before it concluded with another single in 'Green Fields' and the eponymous cut that closed that first album.

The latter provided a bit of levity before it got going, as during the (short) walk over to the piano, Damon managed to "split my fuckin' trousers" much to the evident amusement of Simonon who asked if he "had a safety pin" and then suggested that he "just take 'em off", an idea which met with quite a bit of enthusiasm from those positioned towards the front, but was advice that was thankfully not taken.

A definite curate's egg overall and a bit underwhelming considering the abilites of those involved, who seemed to conspire to become something less than the sum of their parts, most especially during the Merrie Land half of the performance.

However, it was certainly a vast improvement on the support act, Trevor Raven, whose end-of-the-pier styled organ instrumental renditions of classic hits by the likes of The Beatles, ABBA and Queen were mildly amusing for five minutes. Unfortunately, he was on for half-an-hour....


2018 - Studio 13 - United Kingdom/Nigeria
Posted: 19th April 2019
Thomas O'Shea
RadiO'Shea: The Jukebox Of My Mind - Even The Happy Songs Sound Sad (TM) 'It's Too Late To Start Now!'
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