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Revolver, Birkenhead 11 July 2009
comebacks go, this ranks among the most surprising. Money clearly isn't a
main motivation. So used are we to seeing Neil Buchanan in the trademark
red jumper presenting Art Attack on European telly that it takes a little
while to adjust to the cut off T-shirt and strides again. The lure of the
stage never leaves it seems.
But it doesn't take long. Neil Buchanan is a born entertainer and a tremendous
personality to have on stage with you. His trademark curls sit well on a rock
star frame. And why shouldn't it? As paper rounds go, that was not a bad one
between 1980 and 2007. Isn't it so annoying when a guy looks good , sounds good
and can change career just like that? Bah!
isn't about one man though. Andy Charters rejoins his old mucker on
guitar, Singer, Nige Roberts is the only member not to have been in the
original line up but has quickly stamped his own authority on the front
Dinwoodie on bass looks all of 25. In fact you would have been forgiven
for thinking this was one of those notorious situations where just the one
original member is joined by his nephews to perform under the original
banner. No such genetic engineering here, with Charters flying over from
the US especially.
Drummer Keith Knowles was temporarily excused from proceedings with an injured
hand, but this didn't detract from the occasion with Wolfpack's Paul "Andy"
Anderson filling in for both the Bolton and Birkenhead dates admirably at short
The tone was
upbeat. Marseille are deliberately treading the good time rock n' roll
grooves, continuing where they left off when Mountain Records became a
muddy landslide. It was interesting to see one guy celebrating his 21st
freaking at the front of the stage with his mates. In fact audience
profile at this Birkenhead rock club was encouraging with the horny hands
of toil mingling with the bright young things.
was the anthemic "Are You Ready?" which really took us back to those heady
days where Marseille were on the stadium tours in the US and blowing off
Judas Priest at the Liverpool Empire. These are my words as an 18 year old
witness and not their claims. Some of the older songs have been updated
with the highlight, "Heat of Night" featuring some tasty soloing from
Buchanan. It's a testament to a song when you can remember the riff and
chorus when you wake up in the morning.
"Do it The
French Way" was Marseille's closest brush with Top of the Pops. Punkish in
delivery was evident here and, as if by magic, two young ladies who looked
as if they had been flown over from the French province made an impromptu
appearance on backing vocals.
Nige Roberts is a fine addition. With a skull cap and leather pants on a humid
Mersey evening, he must have lost a stone in weight but no less energetic in his
voice which reminded me at times of Paul Stanley as opposed to Holder and Gramm
who he had previously been compared to by fans. A none too shoddy set of
were few and far between. While Marseille naturally look at the old days
for inspiration n the early days of this reunion, it will be interesting
to see how songwriting develops live and digitally. At times, a slower
more thoughtful number could have provided some variation. Even the most
ardent feel good bands like Van Halen had their reflectional moments.
This is a
band to seek out. Logically they are gigging twice a month across the UK
due mainly to the geographical locations of the original members. Next
visit to the UK is September with stops so far at Liverpool (Cavern),
Midlands, Yorkshire, Tyneside and Lancashire to May 2010. Catch 'em if you
can and bring your nephews and nieces to the party.
and photos by Keith Thompson
Are You Ready
You're A Woman
Over & Over
The Can Can
Lady of the night
Walking Through The night
Some Like It Hot
EP review and interview
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