Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The Goldhawks - Tommy - at the Darlington Hippodrome

The Goldhawks
Tommy - The Album - LIVE!
Darlington Hippodrome
7 September 2019
It was back in April when I became acquainted with the music of The Goldhawks. Back then, they delivered an excellent rendition of Quadrophenia and I was already to experience their take on Tommy.

I didn't have too long to wait - and it was even at the same venue. Between times, I had already been to see The Who at Wembley Stadium, where they had played parts of both classic albums.

The Hippodrome wasn't sold out; in fact the audience was noticeably smaller than in April. I am sure that was no reflection on the prowess of The Goldhawks but perhaps having two shows at the same venue with relatively little time between them was a shade ambitious. The general public may have assumed it was the same show (not everyone is an aficionado).

Tommy is better-known but harder to play than Quadrophenia, due to the extraordinary amount of words. This led to a couple of slips, but certainly nothing serious.

There was a short interval after Tommy and then the band returned to run through some high-tempo hits, which eventually brought everyone to their feet for a rousing finale.

It proved to be a very enjoyable evening. Fans of The Who need to see The Goldhawks in action as soon as possible.

A third show is soon to be added to their repertoire, with Then and Now, a greatest hits showcase, set to hit the stage in Spring 2020. The Goldhawks are definitely ambitious.  Before then, I already have plans to see their Quadrophenia show for a second time.

Follow the news and tour dates over at the official Goldhawks website.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas at Arc

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
Arc, Stockton-on-Tees
22 August 2019

This year's 'no holds barred' year of gigs continued with another expedition into soul territory, as a follow-up to my recent evening with Gladys Knight in Birmingham.
Martha (who had just turned 78 in July), together with sisters Lois and Delphine, went through the card and delivered exactly what one expect: an evening of soul, rock and roll and rhythm and blues, with all of the classic songs present and correct. These included Come and Get These Memories, Jimmy Mack, Heat Wave and, of course, Dancing in the Street. Martha prefaced the latter with a list of some of the people who had performed cover versions before going on to say she likes to come over to England just to remind everyone whose song it really is.

Opinions and reviews vary regarding the quality of Martha's voice, but she was on great form at Arc and made a strong connection with the very appreciative audience.

It was certainly a packed Arc and as the temperature continued to rise the arrival of Heat Wave was most apt.
The evening was very entertaining, yet Martha's wistful moments when she spoke of those who are no longer with us (Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin et al) counterpointed the good times with a poignant reminder that nothing lasts forever. The trick is to catch such legends while you can.