3 April – I like Simone Felice and so does the GLW. He just gets better and better, particularly as a live act, and The Brudenell suits him to a T! Tonight he’s playing as a three piece with cellist Gabriel Dresdale and guitarist/dobro/mandolin player Matt Green while Simone switches between guitar and drums. He’s out in support of his second solo album, the excellent Strangers, and plays a number of songs from it, with the standouts being Bye Bye Palenville and Molly O, as well as old favourites such as If You Ever Get Famous. The encore comprises a tremendous cover of Bruce Springsteens’s Atlantic City and Neil Young’s Helpless. If you missed him this time don’t make that mistake again!
11 April – What are Elbow? Are they, as someone said, a prog band without the solos, a great pop group or something else altogether?
Well what is indisputable is they write great songs, are excellent musicians and have a charismatic front man in Guy Garvey.
Garvey’s talent is to draw the audience in to the performance by talking to them as though he’s having a pint with them. I suspect this isn’t as easy as he makes it look but he succeeds tonight, almost making the Leeds Arena seem like a club show.
They play plenty of songs from their latest album, The Take Off And Landing Of Everything including my favourite My Sad Captains, a reflection on the nature of friendship, as well as the song many of the crowd will have come to hear, One Day Like This.
They’ve come a long way since Asleep In The Back and it will be interesting to see where they go next.
Set List: Charge; The Bones of You; Fly Boy Blue / Lunette; Real Life (Angel); The Night Will Always Win; New York Morning; The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver; Great Expectations; The Blanket of Night; Mirrorball; The Birds; Grounds for Divorce; My Sad Captains
Encore: Starlings; Lippy Kids; One Day Like This
Touring to promote his new solo album Dizzy Heights, which I recommend as a ‘Grower’, he also cherry picks from his back catalogue. Neil Finn could be a human jukebox but, luckily for us, he is so much more as he reinterprets many of the songs, for example playing Don’t Dream it’s Over as originally written on piano and organ.
The appearance of Johnny Marr for the encore is a surprise to those of the audience who’ve not seen Finn play in the Manchester area before.
There’s a second, solo, encore to bring the show to a fine end.
Set List: Impressions; Distant Sun; Pony Ride; One Step Ahead; Dizzy Heights; Into the Sunset; Sinner; Recluse; Better Than TV; Only Talking Sense; From a Friend to a Friend; Fall at Your Feet; Flying in the Face of Love; White Lies and Alibis; Divebomber; Message to My Girl; Don’t Dream It’s Over; Strangest Friends; I Got You; Locked Out;
Encore: There Is a Light That Never Goes Out; She Will Have Her Way; Weather With You
Encore 2: Love This Life; Chocolate Cake; I See Red; Pineapple Head; Better Be Home Soon