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A house, somewhere in Lincolnshire, 5 August 2006

OK, I can hear 99% of you asking "Francis who?". If I was to say "It Bites" and "Calling All the Heroes" then most of you in the UK would probably go "Oh, I remember them. Where are they now?".

Well, the other 3 members of It Bites are reforming with John Mitchell as we speak, leaving Francis to do his own thing, just as he (mostly) has since the band split all those years ago.

Tonight was a small affair, (one of a series of like events) with about 30 fans gathered together in the front room to listen to Francis play and generally talk about his life, his past, astrology and Celtic FC.

From the word go this was a great gig, with the vast majority of the songs played coming from his latest album, "The Gulley Flats Boys", but with snippets of older stuff too (Homegrown and Goodlife). Subjects covered included love, divorce, parental death, growing up and just about everything inbetween.

There were no excessively long guitar solos (well, it WAS an acoustic gig after all), but despite that Francis had us eating out of the palm of his hand from the word go, with just about everyone singing along to every song. I dont think that people realise just what a naturally funny preson Francis is, and some of his observations on life were very funny, whilst others were very personal and profound.

This gig was FAR better than when I saw him last in Cardiff (Xmas 2004), and has to be my gig of the year so far (and probably the best that I`ve EVER seen Francis perform).

Review by Mark Ratcliffe

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