15 November – I first saw Secret Affair on the March Of The Mods tour at the Fforde Grene in Leeds in August 1979 with The Purple Hearts and Back To Zero. The following year they played St George’s Hall in Bradford and I saw that show too. They made some great singles but after being ignored or abused by the music press, and with a little internal bickering, they called it a day in 1982.
Re-uniting in 2003 for three shows, they now appear to be a going concern again. This is the first time they’ve played Leeds in 30 years so I’ve no intention of missing it! I’m not disappointed. Now a six piece, having added a Hammond player and saxophonist, but with just Ian Paige and Dave Cairns from the original line-up, they play their back catalogue like men determined to show just how good those songs are, ending with a triple whammy of Time for Action; Let Your Heart Dance and the incomparable My World. Don’t leave it so long next time.
A mention for the support The 45’s, young lads from Carlisle who are mining the same seam as The Strypes, 60s R’n’B, and doing it well. Worth catching.
17 November – Another evening of nostalgia, if I believed in that, with one of Britain’s finest Rock bands: Mott The Hoople. They’re another group who’ve decided to give it another run round after a long break, splitting in 1974 and picking up the reins again in 2009 for five London shows. After thinking about it they decided to play five dates around the country in 2013 and I’m at this one at the Manchester Apollo with Brian. Despite some negative reviews for the London show, mainly centred on Ian Hunter’s vocals, I think this is a great show! All the songs you’d want to hear played by the original line-up, with the exception of drummer Buffin who is very ill these days and is replaced by Martin Chambers of The Pretenders. Joe Elliott of Def Leppard joins them for All The Young Dudes and seems to enjoy the opportunity to play with a decent band for once.
I may never see them again, unless I buy the DVD of tonight’s show, but now I have a great memory.
Set List: Rock And Roll Queen; One Of The Boys; The Moon Upstairs; Hymn For The Dudes; Sucker; Soft Ground; Waterlow; Born Late ’58; Death May Be Your Santa Claus/You Really Got Me; Ballad Of Mott The Hoople; Walkin’ With A Mountain; Violence; When My Mind’s Gone/No Wheels To Ride/The Journey; Honaloochie Boogie; The Golden Age Of Rock ‘N’ Roll; All The Way From Memphis.
Encore: All The Young Dudes; Roll Away The Stone; Saturday Gigs.
27 November – Second time of seeing Jonathan Wilson this year and he continues to be a champion of the West Coast sound made popular by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and others. In fact Crosby, Nash and Browne all guest on his new album Fanfare, which this tour is promoting. He still gives plenty of space to songs from his first album though and I’m particularly happy to hear Desert Raven and Dear Friend. Not that the new songs are slouches in any way. I do wonder how long the Brudenell will be big enough to accommodate him.
Have I mentioned I have a Spotify West Coast playlist before?