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DEF LEPPARD Brixton Academy, London
27 Feb 2003

First up, former Almighty front man Ricky Warwick, who was playing a solo acoustic spot. Not bad but just like a pub singer really – nothing special and not a tune remained in my head after the gig. His debut album maybe worth a look as Joe Elliott is listed as the producer.

The Darkness have been the object of much hype in the rock press - a camp heavy metal band as Classic Rock magazine named them! They started off with a Quo like boogie riff before the vocalist, dressed in a fetching pink jumpsuit, started his highly-strung vocals. A mixture of Geddy Lee meets Jon Anderson with the stage moves of the late, great Freddie Mercury! The music is classic heavy rock but the thing that will make or break the band are the highly pitched vocals - hard to explain unless you hear them first hand. Not a bad set but those vocals are something else.

Def Leppard took to the stage in a mass of lights and a packed audience full of loyal fans. ‘Let It Rock’ started off their set in fine style. All the classics were there including ‘Photograph’, ‘Foolin’, ‘Rocket’, ‘Promises’, ‘Bringin’ On The Heartache’ and ‘ Animal’. Even the classic Sweet cover ‘Action’ was aired and boy does the band rock out on this! Newer tracks are represented by ‘Now’ and the forthcoming UK single ‘Long Way To Go’. The acoustic spot featured ‘Two Steps Behind’, which has become a firm favourite from the ‘Retroactive’ album.

A great concert - the heaviest I’ve ever seen them play - with a good mix of songs. Quality melodic rock from a band that just gets better with age - come back soon!

Text © 2003 Jason Ritchie

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