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Opera House, York 4 December 2010
this was the most important gig of the year for Mostly Autumn, their
annual Christmas show in their home city of York, the venue as always
the spectacular setting of the Grand Opera House and in front of the
usual packed house of enthusiastic and loyal fans both local and from
all over the country.
weather unfortunately may have stopped a few people from getting to the
show (but only a few by the look of it) and multi talented and multi
instrumentalist Troy Donockley at one time scheduled for a support slot
showed great resolve and managed to fight his way through the snow from
his secluded location in time to add his magic to the encores.
also of course the first Opera House show with Olivia Sparneen taking
the mantle on lead vocals and the tour itself was in support of her
first Mostly Autumn album as lead vocalist, the stunning Go Well Diamond
that the long standing opening number Fading Colours would change for
this tour was correct as the haunting intro of album opener For All We
Shared accompanied by back screen images of Mostly Autumn members and
album artwork through the years set the scene for the band to make their
entrance, but the opening number proper was the rocking new album track
Deep in Borrowdale.
theme continued for the next two numbers The Dark Before the Dawn and
Answer the Question before a change of pace for the heavy but slow paced
new track Anything at All followed by an exquisite vocal performance by
Olivia with a spine tingling Passengers.
Time for Mr
Liam Davison to shine next with his always stunning and always different
lead guitar intro to one of the all time Mostly Autumn classics The
Spirit of Autumn Past (part II) and of course this was the first sing a
long of the night.
One of the
stand out tracks from the second disc of the special edition of the new
album next the moving ICE with its lyrics of loss and regret and the
first half of the show ended with a new edition to the set, the award
winning Breathing Space number Questioning Eyes written by Olivia and
Mostly Autumn's keyboard wizard and Breathing Space leader Iain
began with the previously mentioned Fading Colours a storming powerful
track and its great to see it still have a prominent position in the
set, after this Bryan Josh announced that we would get to hear plenty of
the new album in the second set and this is what we had with the
following four tracks, first up with it's Thin Lizzy style guitar riff
and clever lyrics was the rocking Something Better.
must be one of the most powerful numbers the band have ever recorded Go
Well Diamond Heart and what a masterpiece the latest album title track
is dramatic, moving, atmospheric and haunting also enhanced by stunning
lighting and sound effects, the track was dedicated to seriously injured
soldier and great friend of the band Ben Parkinson and others caught up
Back to a
gentler pace for the next two numbers with the beautiful Back to Life,
the kind of ballad Olivia really excels at, and then a number that for
me portrays both loss and joy in one piece of music the magnificent Hold
We next go
back to Bryan's solo project Josh & Co Limited with for me that albums
best piece, the blues rock of Slow Down before returning to the current
album with the opening track For All We Shared.
Out and out
classics to end the main set and hopefully both numbers that will always
be present in the MA live arena, Evergreen and Heroes Never Die, the
latter with a new intro from guitar maestro Mr Josh.
and after a bit of fun with Bryan responding from a call from the crowd
for Rhinestone Cowboy and then giving us a few lines from this country
classic (with help from the audience - kind of !!) two more new numbers
the laid back and dreamy Forever Young complete with an explanation of
the legend behind its lyrics and then apologies for using the word again
but the moving And When the War is Over with its words of peace and
celebration at the end of war time.
As it was
nearly Xmas the band of course returned for the traditional final
encores of festive favourites beginning with a spine tingling and
beautiful rendition of When you Wish Upon a Star by Olivia, followed by
cracking versions of Greg Lakes I believe in Father Christmas, Fairytale
of New York and with Liam taking lead vocals a rocking Merry Xmas
Everybody. For the festive finale it was funny hats and seasonal fun all
around with Olivia looking just charming in her Santa girl outfit.
Christmas time another fantastic home city show for one of the best,
most talented but most underrated rock bands in the country Mostly
Autumn an outfit full of outstanding musicians and great people, a
special mention must also go to Anne-Marie for performing with a broken
photos by Andrew Lock
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