Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
Gig reviews
Special features
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
Gig Reviews...

Just witnessed your best live gig?.. send us a review!

Grand Opera House, York  4 December 2010

Mostly Autumn, photo by Andrew Lock

As usual 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.

The extreme 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.

This was 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 Heart.

My guess 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.

The rocking 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 Jennings.

Mostly Autumn, photo by Andrew Lock

Set two 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.

Next what 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 in conflicts.

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 the Sun.

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.

Mostly Autumn, photo by Andrew Lock

Encore time 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.

Another 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 arm.

Review and photos by Andrew Lock

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group