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BAD COMPANY, Wembley Arena, London
11 April 2010
Photos by Noel Buckley
It's a shame
Joe Perry's sound guys struggle with Wembley's cavernous
acoustics for the first few songs tonight , because the Project kick off
tonight's show with the classic Let The Music Do The Talking, the title
track of the original Joe Perry Project 1980 album and by far the best
thing he's come up with outside of Aerosmith.
Unfortunately the muddy Wembley sound threatens not to let the music do
the talking, as the band continue through the Aerosmith standard Walking
The Dog. The sound does pick up but Perry's 45 minute set teeters from
good to bad and back again.
At its best,
during the likes of the excellent Rockin' Train and the set closers of
Train Kept A Rolling and Walk This Way, the band sound spot on, pumped
up and worthy of the Stadium/Arena status Joe Perry holds.
Unfortunately, the material from the recent album 'Have Guitar Will
Travel' sounds like it would be more at home in your local pub.
The likes of
Sling Shot and a terrible cover of the obscure Fleetwood Mac song,
Somebody's Gonna Get, just don't cut it and whilst Perry is
unquestionably a great guitar hero, he ain't no singer. Still a
reasonably enjoyable set and Perry should be nicely warmed up for this
summer's Aerosmith shows.
This is the
first time for quite a few years that the three surviving original
members of Bad Company - Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Mick
Ralphs - have teamed up for a tour, so anticipation is high. After
Rodgers' successful stint with Queen, and Ralphs' involvement in the
triumphant return of Mott The Hoople, can they turn on the Bad Company
magic of old?
is a resounding yes. Accompanied by some great visuals from 3 giant LED
screens at the back, the band kick straight in with Can't Get Enough and
Wembley starts rocking for real.
and a great Running With The Pack follow, before the band deliver the
first of a few treats for Bad Co. connoisseurs - a superbly powerful
version of Burning Sky, title track of the band's fourth album and not
one you would naturally expect them to dig out. The cheesy Young Blood
gives everyone a chance to get to the bar/toilet, before Rodgers gets
the acoustic out for a great version of Seagull.
is the second real treat for the die-hards as the band unearth Electric
Land, the only real gem from the disappointing last album Rough
Diamonds, and one of the highlights of the set. Simple Man and Feel Like
Making Love, with mandolin intro, keep the set rocking along nicely,
before the band launch into a great version of Shooting Star,
accompanied by giant projections of fallen rock heroes such as Bonham,
Moon, Hendrix, Elvis and of course appropriately the great Paul Kossoff.
Roll Fantasy gets the crowd singing along before the band turn it up
notch for a rocking finale of Moving On, Ready For Love and an epic set
closer of Bad Company. An encore of Deal With The Preacher brings the
evening to a close very nicely.
is Bad Company back on top form and they certainly got the thumbs up
from everyone in the audience. A common talking point was how good the
choice of songs were tonight. Paul Rodgers' vocals are still exceptional
and, unlike some of his contemporaries, show no sign of deterioration
is, as ever, solid as a rock behind the kit and its great to see Mick
Ralphs back in the band - he really did make the difference.
With a new
Best Of Free and Bad Company album currently being promoted, I think a
lot of fans, including myself, expected a few Free numbers to be
included in the set tonight. As it turned out, none were on offer, and
in the context of tonight's show, that was no bad thing. As great as all
the Free material is, tonight was about pure 100% Bad Company back to
their best, and they delivered a set to prove it.
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