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The Assembly, Leamington Spa 12 February 2010
band that has been at the top of their game for over 40 years, visited
The Assembly in Leamington Spa on Friday 12th February.
from fantastic Deborah Bonham, sister of the late great Led
Zeppelin drummer John, and a true power house of a rock/blues vocalist.
Her set mainly consisted of material from the 2004 album, The Old Hyde
(named after the farm John Bonham bought in the 1970's and where Deborah
lived) and Duchess from 2008 (named after Deborah's dog).
number Shit Happens set the tone for the set with the band tight and
rocking and Deborah commanding centre stage with that fabulous voice of
hers, full of character and soul as well as powerful with - to my ears -
a touch of Janis Joplin in the sound.
standout tracks from the The Old Hyde album included the title track
complete with a few words about the place itself and her father and
brother, and a full of soul version of the Lorraine Ellison classic Stay
With Me Baby.
the Duchess album and I Need Love, a new track from a forthcoming album
kept the momentum going - and she delivered a cracking set.
She seems to
have one of the best bands in the business including electrifying guitar
work from Peter Bullick and the keyboard skills of Gerard Louis.
Nazareth promised "a good rocking night out" in a recent rock
magazine interview and did they ever live up to that promise.
with original members, vocalist Dan and Pete on bass before the show (2
of the friendliest musicians I have ever met by the way - must also
mention stage manager Tam Sinclair a real gentleman) we discussed
amongst other things the difficulty in picking a set from such a huge
back catalogue, but they delivered a set with a perfect mix of old
classics and more recent material.
atmospheric bagpipe intro tape with tons of dry ice drifting around a
spectacularly lit drum kit before the boys bounced on stage and started
to really rock the venue.
kept on coming including the out and out rockers Bad Bad Boy and Hair of
the Dog the awesome My White Bicycle, their first hit single Broken Down
Angel, and of course their huge hit version of power ballad Love Hurts.
last studio album in 2008 The Newz, they played a great version of the
heavy riffing The Gathering and from the 1980 release Malice in
Wonderland a real stand out number the slow but powerful Heart's Grown
Cold a song introduced as about addiction and which really showcased the
bands vocal harmonies.
two of the all time Nazareth greats and both rockers from 1973, a real
vintage year for the band, Razamanaz and This Flight Tonight.
gig Dan McCafferty (loved the bagpipe solo) and Pete Agnew (complete
with white mice on his bass strap) on top form and so obviously having a
ball, Pete's son Lee playing rock solid drums and last but not least on
superb lead guitar Jimmy Murrison.
A good sized
crowd, and with the help of Dan's showmanship quite a vocal one, had a
great night - roll on a return to the venue.