Another legendary live event from Banquet Records saw Tom Walker basking in the glow of his number one debut album, What A Time To Be Alive. I wouldn’t have normally picked up his album but as I checked out the gig on the Banquet website I thought “Why not?”. I admit it didn’t immediately grab me on first listen but his songs allow him to stretch both high and low, being equally engaging to listen to and more so live. He was clearly thrilled with the albums reception and to be playing in London. He worked through his debut with real energy, his voice so much more powerful as you might expect from a live performance. His slightly growly delivery resonates with every note and clearly he writes and performs from the heart. Leave A Light on blistered with emotion and one of the things I like about live performances is when the guitars kick in more than on record, and Tom Walker has a few to play with! I hope Tom enjoyed his first live outing in London because we certainly did.
Check out What A Time To be Alive here
A few weeks ago one of my musical dreams came true when I got to see The Revolution live. Of course that we’re missing one particular element of their original configuration but having these five individuals on stage performing the songs that they helped create was amazing. Back in ’86 when Wendy, Lisa, Bobby Z, Brown Mark and Dr. Fink last performed in the U.K. I wasn’t really a Prince fan (my first Prince gig was seeing the Lovesexy tour in ’88) and so I never thought about seeing them until they were gone. The Revolution were more than “the baddest band in the universe”, as Prince once delighted in proclaiming on stage. The Revolution era of Princes career is a particularity special one, as it is without doubt that without them we wouldn’t have seen the likes of the albums Purple Rain, Around The World in a Day or Parade as well as the multitude of other tracks that didn’t make those particular LP’s. Wendy & Lisa had a special collaborative relationship with Prince, providing many musical influences to his music that ranged from classical to pop. To my mind the Revolution era, with its origins around ’82, it’s semi-officialdom in ’83 (with “dna eht noituloveR” appearing on the 1999 album cover), and it’s official beginning in 1984 (with the addition of Wendy to the band), provided music unmatched in Prince’s career. It was always nice to dream that perhaps one day Prince would get the old band back together, and although it was indeed Prince who brought them together, it turned out to be for the worst ever reason.
Opening with the classic line “Ladies and gentlemen, The Revolution” (from the Purple Rain film) the crowd understandably went nuts, and from song one it was party time. If your a Prince fan, when you read the set list you will see why:
Take Me With U
Sometimes It Snows in April
Let’s Go Crazy
Head (Doctor Fink synthesizer solo)
Visions (Lisa Coleman piano solo)
When Doves Cry
I Would Die 4 U
Baby I’m a Star
Oh my god! What a set of songs. They played 17 Days for goodness sake! One of my all time favourite tracks. Just to hear them go through these songs, one after the other, tune perfect – what a joy! Of course there was tribute paid to the missing leader of the band with Wendy expressing the reasons for them getting back together as a catharsis, but this was a celebration no matter what the reason. It was such a special night and one I had waited for with great anticipation. I wasn’t disappointed and I imagine anyone else there felt the same. Wendy promised a return to London to play “deeper cuts” which makes the prospect of them coming back even more exciting. I can’t wait!