Saturday, November 27, 2010

Heaven 17 - "Penthouse & Pavement" live in concert 2010

November 26th 2010, HMV Institute Birmingham

Just like OMD, who performed their album “Architecture & Morality” in its entirety plus many hits back in 2007, Heaven 17 is on tour to perform their 1981 gem “Penthouse & Pavement” in its entirety and, of course, the evening doesn’t end there.

Heaven 17 has always been regarded as a mere spin-off from The Human League, which at some stage included Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware, who co-wrote the leagues major hit “Don’t you want me?”, which on that cold November night in Birmingham is being performed in an acoustic manner by Heaven 17 vocalist Glenn Gregory.

Live musicians join H17 on band and the whole experience was just fantastic. Apparently the band felt the same as they were calling the crowd in Birmingham “audience of the tour” – and the energy on the night was electrifying.

Not least because Heaven 17 are in top notch form and the songs sound great – the video screens added yet another dimension to their performance.

The songs sound tighter than on the record and it is just great to see the band return to perform an album they have never performed live before.

The show also featured the mega hits “Temptation”, “I am your money” and the legendary “Let me go”, which has always been a personal favourite of mine.

They talked about the loss of their friend Bill MacKenzie, who overdosed way back in 1996 and performed a song of his with just Ware on synthesizer and Campbell on vocals. Goosebumps material!

Martyn has worked with and produced many artists – among them Terence Trent Darby and he recorded a meditation music album with living legend Vince Clarke of Erasure, Yazoo and Depeche Mode fame back in the year 2000.

Another highlight of the evening was the last track on the night: “Being Boiled” another Martyn Ware co-penned song.

What a great night out, what a great band!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2010 - KISS, support TAKING DAWN

Fans on their way to the venue

“You’ve wanted the best, you’ve got the best …” and they were the best. KISS at the O2 in Dublin.

Las Vegas based support act Taking Dawn played a 45 minutes set and, like many support bands, had to struggle with a moderate sound and little lighting. Nonetheless, they were quite well received and their songs had melody and depth and the guys were a joy to listen to.


Again, like so many other support acts KISS had had over the decades, TD paled in comparison to the beast that is KISS.

All the usual effects from rising drum kits to fire and blood spitting and so on were there and the pyrotechnics were marvellous, yet – what impressed me the most was how musically tight and professional the 4-piece unit is.

“From the beginning to the boom”, referring to their latest offering SONIC BOOM, the band performed new material as well as classics including anthems like: “God gave rock and roll to you”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Love Gun” and a brilliantly sounding “Crazy Nights”.

Kiss new the history and often teased the Irish crowd by mentioning Birmingham and Sheffield while challenging the Irish ‘Kiss Army’ to sing better than the British crowd had done, thereby getting more out of the audience and increasing the mutual experience.

Although the Irish fans weren’t all that enthusiastic, judging on my going to KISS concerts a number of times before this one, they were still rocking enough to leave their mark on the KISS tour.

A great night out with a band that doesn’t only rock on but seems to notch it up every time they do a tour.

KISS ***

KISS rocking it out in Dublin

Paul Stanley during "I was made for loving you" on the second stage

KISS on stage in Dublin