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PAUL RODGERS/Down N Outz
Manchester Apollo, 21 April 2011
really 'got' Mott The Hoople or for that matter their Hunter-less
offspring Mott and British Lions. And from all accounts, the seventies
glammed up rockers could be quite ramshackle live. All are
celebrated by Joe Elliott's revivalists who feature Quireboys Paul
Guerin, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir and Phil Martini.
What you get
with Down N Outz is a modern-day Mott sharpened by
modern technology and production values. Tonight Ian Hunter's 'Overnight Angels' and 'England
(both songs giving Elliott's outfit some success in the States) were highlights.
It would be
easy for the wizened rocker to pass by a Paul Rodgers gig on the
basis that (a) he'll be touring again sometime and perhaps with a new
album and (b) he is never going
to pull out the real obscurities from his illustrious back catalogue.
actually some four years and a bit since he toured in his own right
(although more recently he's been treading the boards with Bad Company
and Queen). But perhaps understandably tonight's was also a safe set and
Free fetishists in particular would have only heard the very
Rodgers did the right thing and played to his greatest strengths and -
in truth - to the lowest common denominator. The healthily mixed gender
- and capacity -crowd of a certain age may well have baulked at
But this was
no time to celebrate a rather interesting post Bad Co career - the
classic rock songbook-to-die-for effectively ended tonight in c.1979.
Only 'Take Love', a new song with Bad Company heritage, broke the
theme of tonight's tastings.
course crammed an awful lot into his first decade of stardom,
punctuated by his greatest chart success with 'All Right Now' (a single
in 1970 after Free had already released two albums) and then given a new
lease of life with the phenomenally successful Bad Company.
Now' was an inevitable highlight tonight (together with 'The Hunter' for
the encore) but we also got superb renditions of 'Wishing Well', 'Mr
Big' and 'Be My Friend' together with 'Fire And Water' and 'The
added in the key Bad Company hits 'Feel Like Making Love', 'Can't Get
Enough Of Your Love' and 'Rock N Roll Fantasy' you had an immediate
nostalgia fix with songs that have never sounded so good. Amazing
that most are nearly 40 years old!!
you may have heard elsewhere, Rodgers is the 'voice of rock' and
that voice is in tremendous shape, arguably better than it was in the
heyday. Ably abetted here by Todd Ronning (bass), the redoubtable Jason Bonham on
drums, and Howard Leese one time Heart guitarist who tastefully and
authentically interpreted these classics whilst giving them a welcome
helping of modern punch (especially Bonham's robust drumming
A slick show
never quite degenerating into the cabaret feared by all wizened rockers
and all held together by one of the best frontmen in rock.
now Paul will get his next band album together and perhaps next time he
may be a bit more adventurous in the set-list. The Firm, The Law,
the solo albums and even his Queen?
are the gripes of a wizened rocker, and all in all this was a tremendous