Maybe the band were over their jetlag from the Weekend, maybe they’d had more of a chance to practice their setlist, maybe the later start (9.30 on stage but no curfew) meant they were more relaxed, maybe they were just happier with the sound – whatever the reason, Dudley last night provided a better overall performance from the band than Sheffield on Saturday. That’s not to say Sheffield was bad, but the guys seemed more ‘together’ and the quality of their music shone through better at the Dudley show. The sound was by no means perfect (it never is at JB’s) but considerably better that at The Corporation. During the ballads with Jeff on the keyboards, you could actually hear Jeff sing, and they all sounded superb.
The setlist was pretty much the same as on Saturday (I think. I was busy taking pictures and not taking note of the songs). A few Talisman numbers, some JSSB material, a few brand new songs (‘21st Century’, ‘Hey’, ‘Broken Man’ and ‘Gin and Tonic Sky’?), some covers, and lots and lots of improvisation.
The crowd was not as big – maybe a couple of hundred – although not bad for a Monday evening, but the atmosphere was good and they really got into the latter half of the set. Howie’s solo efforts were excellent and brought chants of ‘Howie, Howie!’
Jeff then said ‘With this song I want to take you back to a time when everybody wore cheesy outfits and had ridiculously f*****d up hair’. While visions of the fashion disasters of the 70’s and 80’s flashed through our minds and we waited for the trademark disco medley, the band suddenly launched into Journey’s Separate Ways. LOL Way to go, Jeff!
The Funk medley finish brought the house down – full of energy, and the guys looked like they were having a ball.
The show lasted for around an hour and 45 minutes, but that passed by in a flash (always a good sign).
Afterwards, again the guys came out to meet all the fans waiting to see them. Unfortunately, we only had time for a very quick goodbye as we had a long drive home and had to be up early for work today.
Looking forward to seeing them again in Islington on Wednesday.