Recent Music Reviews
Following is my review of:
URIAH HEEP + SNAKECHARMER gig review
URIAH HEEP + SNAKECHARMER Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Thursday 8th December 2011
Snakecharmer as the name suggests feature some former Whitesnake members – Micky Moody and Neil Murray – who are joined by Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone Ash/Tina Turner/We Will Rock You), Harry James (Thunder/Magnum), Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne) and Chris Ousey (Heartland/Virginia Wolf).
Given a decent length of time for a support band they fair ripped through some classic Whitesnake (all songs from before the post-1987 big hair days). Vocalist Chris Ousey, sporting the Paul Rodger’s approved jeans and white vest look, hits the notes perfectly something sadly Mr Coverdale no longer does. Great to hear ‘Slow An’ Easy’ and a nice rocking version of ‘Here I Go Again’. Micky Moody had a chance to shine with a stunning slide guitar solo whilst Neil Murray (looking more and more like ‘Top Gear’s James May) seemed to be having a good time playing the old ‘Snake classics live again. The sound was not great at times but from this display you can expect to see and hear more of this fine band of musicians.
Uriah Heep have come a long way since I first saw them live in the late 80’s with their then new vocalist Bernie Shaw playing the small club venue Shelleys in Longton. Fast forward to now and they have got their fans back out again including some younger fans which is always good to see.
Touring their new album ‘Into The Wild’ Uriah Heep are lucky in that their fans like to hear the new songs unlike some of their fellow contemporaries who have to sneak a few new songs in. Kikcing off with ‘I’m Ready’ and a frantic ‘Return To Fantasy’ soon had the crowd nicely warmed up before the Heep choir kicks in with ‘Stealin’.
Drummer Russell Gilbrook (who has a kit that would put many a power metaller to shame!) had a drum solo between two new songs ‘Money Talk’ and one of my favourates ‘Nail On The Head’.
Mick Box as ever was grinning throughout and throwing his shapes, a rival to Magnum’s Bob Catley if ever there’re was one. Made a change to have an acoustic guitar solo spot which segued well into ‘The Wizard’. Bernie Shaw is a perfect frontman as he has an easy interaction with the audience and vocally has lost none of his power. He had the audience singing along to ‘Lady In Black’ which closed the set.
Encore time and the band wanted a few fans onstage to headbang along to ‘Free An’ Easy’, a song Mick Box introduced as being voted one of the first heavy metal songs in Germany. Amongst the lucky few fans on stage was none other than Mark Taylor, who had cannily taken his video recorder onstage to capture the moment. Nice touch as the band was joined by their families including Bernie Shaw’s daughter who seemed naturally at ease centre stage dancing away. ‘Bird Of Prey’ and ‘Easy Livin’ closed the set off in fine style.
Uriah Heep are one of the few 70’s rock bands who still sound great, look to have a ball on stage and are still making good music, albeit not quite at their early 70’s pace of two albums per year! Long may they continue.
Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
Ready An' Willing
Ain't Gonna Cry No More
Slow An' Easy
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
Here I Go Again
Fool For Your Loving
Return to Fantasy
Nail on the Head
Acoustic guitar solo
Into the Wild
Look At Yourself
Lady In Black
Free 'n' Easy
Bird of Prey