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Robin 2, Bilston, 4 April 2010
As with the
Mostly Autumn show in Leamington the previous Friday, this show was
special as it was vocalist Olivia Sparneen's last Breathing Space gig
before leaving to take over lead vocal duties with Mostly Autumn, with
Bryan Josh also finishing his lead guitar stint with the band.
one of my favourites The Robin 2 in Bilston could have been a little
busier for this historic show but those that made the effort witnessed a
great send off for Olivia and Bryan and I was very happy to hear Iain
Jennings say after the show that of course the band would continue.
The set was
well constructed with tracks from the three Breathing Space albums and a
few of Iain's Mostly Autumn compositions.
numbers of the evening all up-tempo rockers Forgive Or Surrender from
the debut album, The Senses and Coming up for Air from the second
release and right up to date with Clear from current album 'Below the
Radar'. Starting with four rockers worked really well and got the show
up and running.
Band all in
great form Olivia up front held the crowds attention as always, Iain
Jennings displaying his usual keyboard wizard skills with assistance
from brother Ben, Bryan looking very chilled and relaxed knocking out
the solos and of course the solid rhythm work of Paul Teasdale and Barry
Time for a
change of pace next with, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the
Mostly Autumn back catalogue the exquisite Hollow from The Last Bright
Light album, a medium tempo full of soul track with fantastic lyrics,
subtle chilled musical backing and breathtaking lead guitar, a track I
have always believed would have made a great single.
Rain Song next with its heart breaking lyrics sang beautifully by Olivia
followed by the catchy pop/rock of Run From Yourself and to close the
first set another stand out vocal performance on the moving You Still
change for Olivia for the second part of the show changing from her
bright red dress into what someone in the crowd called her beautiful
mermaid outfit (well named).
set started with Time Tells all the Unknown another up-tempo pop/rock
number with a delicate keyboard intro before they dropped the pace for 2
tracks from the debut album the emotion filled ballad Belief and one of
the albums strongest numbers the epic Wasted all the Time.
dramatic track next The Night Takes You Home a real power ballad and the
next number began with one of my favourite Iain Jennings keyboard intros
the simple but stunningly effective start to Searching for my Shadow
which also included scorching guitar work from Mr Josh.
slow burning crackers from 'Below the Radar' with Drowning and Dusk
before a real treat this time the number that has been Olivia's
showpiece when performing with Mostly Autumn when she would leave her
backing singer duties and take centre stage Never the Rainbow. An
absolute tour-de force this track, rocking from start to finish tonight
performed without the Blackmore/Gillan style guitar/vocal duel but still
a fabulous number.
The main set
finished how it began fast and rocking with Below the Radar and my
personal favourite Breathing Space number, the uplifting When I Hold on
a real gem that a lot of us must have been secretly hoping to hear
tonight, Iain's Mostly Autumn masterpiece The Gap is Too Wide, the word
epic hardly does this track justice and the crowd went crazy on hearing
the beautiful keyboard intro and then of course quickly quietened down
to take in this outstanding piece of music.
surprise we still had one more number and Olivia thanked everyone who
had voted for the final track of the night Questioning Eyes in the
Classic Rock Society awards 2009 where it was voted best track, a
stunning number completely deserving of its award.
show and while sorry to see Olivia and Bryan leave the band hopefully
Iain is hard at work auditioning for replacements and we can look
forward to more great music both recorded and live by this outstanding
To Olivia of
course the very best of luck with Mostly Autumn, of course Heather is a
very hard act to follow but Olivia is an extremely talented vocalist and
excellent live performer so the future looks bright.
Review and photos by Andrew Lock
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