BCC in Manchester, 30th of July 2011

Typing a few things while it’s  all fresh in my  memory. I meant to stay away from computers during this holiday but Rob lent me his laptop and since I have some time to kill before heading to the venue where Tom Jones is playing tonight. I thought I could save some time for when I get home.

My impression right after the concert is that this was one of the best shows I've seen in a while. It really lived up to all my expectations and more. Just before the show a young woman interviewed me and asked what I expected and what my favourite songs were.
I was hard pressed to answer, as I don’t really have one favourite song. Each one is such a delight especially played live.
I confess one of my favourites at the moment is “The Outsider”  I totally took off into another dimension when they played it. Glenn Hughes is such a perfect showman, and his performance is very emotional.

To get a general idea there are plenty of videos on youtube, but it takes some imagination to really understand what it’s like to see this band. It’s not for nothing I say they are my favourite band at the moment. It's fresh and lively and each one of these musicians is one of the best in his field.

It’s a bit like a painter who has the best possible palette and the skills to make the best of it, they can do anything and it shows.

Before the show we met up with Dawn and Paul, it is becoming a sort of yearly ritual it seems. As usual, I tried to be there early since a spot at the fence is part of my concert habits, the hall is really hot and stuffy, but at the front you get a cool breeze that helps a lot.

Opening band was Michael Schenker which was a nice surprise, Not necessarily a fan as such but if you like good rock you can't really go wrong with him. Still  a bit miffed that it was one of his songs that was going through my head as I woke up this morning...

Despite his amazing musicianship the difference with BCC was staggering. I've said it before but this is not at all a supergroup or an all star band. They are a real band with this exceptional chemistry going on. You really don't get this very often, and I was beginning to think it was a thing of the past. I hope they will stay together for a while still.

The set list was:

Black Country
One Last Soul
The Battle For Hadrian's Wall
Song Of Yesterday
I Can See Your Spirit
Save Me
The Ballad Of John Henry
The Outsider
(Keyboard solo)
The Great Divide
Sista Jane

Man In The Middle

See? It's impossible to pick out one song in there, they are all equally mesmerising. I am still completely hypnotised when I watch Joe Bonamassa play. That's impossible to describe, you have to be there. The setlist is really great, a mixture of powerful rock anthems, and softer moments.
I adore "the Battle For Hadrian's Wall" what an amazing song. I hope to hear this live again as it really unfolds then.

I didn't take any photos but this set was taken yesterday in Manchester: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m_g_gray/sets/72157627317670644/with/5991472881/

I also mentioned to the young journalist how the band would play a solo song of Joe B and Glenn Hughes. That version of "The Ballad Of John Henry" was more rock orientated as the original but really wonderful. I was kind of hoping for "Medusa" when it was Glenn's time to do one of his songs, but I can do with "Burn" also. Now I've seen the current Deep Purple do it (two years ago) and Glenn's version. I think I preferred the latter, but that's hardly a surprise.

A lasting memory will be the crowd chanting "BCC, BCC...." as the band was saying goodnight. That's a sure sign that this is is the stuff of legend. They have their faithful fans and I am happy to be one.


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