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GOTTHARD Relentless Garage, London
No band has
delivered more consistently in the field of melodic hard rock over the
last decade as Swiss outfit Gotthard. They have enjoyed huge success on
the European mainland, and yet in England still remain something of a well
the crowd at the Garage was much bigger than for their previous visits to
the Capital four years ago, the place was still only slightly over half
It was also
apparent that the stage was smaller than they are used to, and cramped the
style of the six-piece band (with a live keyboard player) who are quite
mobile on stage, particularly singer Steve Lee, who comes over as a hybrid
of David Coverdale and Steven Tyler but with a refreshing humility.
together with an initially muddy sound, meant the gig took a while to come
to the boil, but there were still many highlights: Sister Moon featured
some very Whitesnake-ish slide guitar from Leo Leoni, their cover of Hush
(one of the remnants from their first ever tour in 1992, supporting
Magnum) got the crowd going with a singalong, and of seven numbers from
the new Need to Believe album, the title track was a classic Euro ballad
akin to those the Scorpions made a speciality of in the 1980's.
mid-section acoustic set, with just Steve and Leo playing some of their
ballads and responding to fans requests, took the tempo down, yet oddly
sparked the gig into life as they spent the rest of the set rocking out in
included All We Are, from 2005's classic LipService album, the massive
hooks of The Oscar Goes to You and the glam stomp of Lift U Up which had
the front of the crowd pogoing.
also lived up to expectations, with Leo playing his voice box during old
favourite Mountain Mama, before they closed with the absolutely massive
hooks of Anytime Anywhere, the stand out track from Lipservice, one of the
decade's great albums. Another quality gig, but what will it take for them
to gain the recognition they deserve on UK soil?
Words/ Gone too Far/ Top of the World /Need to Believe / Sister Moon/
Hush/ I Know you Know/ Right from Wrong/ Unconditional Faith
section: Heaven/ You're All I Care For/ Let It Be/ One Life, One Soul/
Shangri la/ All We Are/ I Don't Mind/ Oscar Goes to You/ Lift u Up
Encores: Mountain Mama/ Anytime, Anywhere
photos by Andy Nathan
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