Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Roland Gift

Roland Gift
The Sage, Gateshead
The second Sage gig of the weekend, following hard on the heels of Lisa Stansfield, was a rare appearance by Roland Gift, ''The Voice of Fine Young Cannibals''.

This was a great coup by The Sage as Roland played just four venues on this mini-tour (the others being in Birmingham, Hull and London) as he limbers up for the release of a new album, Return to Vegas.

Hall 2 of The Sage provided a very intimate setting for this fabulous show. It's been a very long time since Fine Young Cannibals enjoyed their golden years and Roland has performed very sporadically since then. With a new six-piece group (guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards and two backing singers), all of whom were clearly enjoying the evening just as much as we were, Roland delivered a masterclass performance.
From the raw emotion of What Do You Mean, through the finest cuts from the Fine Young Cannibals' albums up the finale of Blue, Roland projected a magnetic stage presence and a demonstration of raw emotional that threatened to blow the lid off Hall 2.

It was a serious, intense set punctuated by just the occasional burst of humour. Early on, he asked ''Does anybody like punk rock? Do you love punk rock...? Well, here's some reggae'' before launching into a storming Ever Fallen in Love.

The audience was in a very responsive mood throughout the gig and the biggest cheer of the night was reserved - predictably - for Suspicious Minds. Elsewhere, he still hit the high notes in She Drive Me Crazy, which had the audience singing along from the start.

The encore started with The Prisoner, a recent song based on themes explored by the famous TV series of the same name, with key line ''I am not a number; I'm a free man!'' belted out very convincingly.

Set List

What Do You Mean
Ever Fallen in Love
Girl Like You
Johnny Come Home
It’s Only Money
Good Thing
Suspicious Minds
Around the World
She’s Not You Girlfriend
She Drives Me Crazy
Broken Heart
I’m Not The Man I Used To Be


The Prisoner

This was undoubtedly one of the best gigs of the year. Here's hoping the new album appears sooner rather than later and that a full tour will follow, with the same band.

Here are a few more photos with which to conclude.


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