Support: Stone Broken
It's 29 years since Cult of Personality blasted on to MTV screens. Earning Living Colour a Grammy and multiple MTV awards the song was a huge success and put the band firmly in the spotlight. They were a welcome change from much of the usual MTV fare at the time which, in the late 80's, seemed to show just ten videos on repeat....and eight of those were Phil Collins (actually I just checked and that's a complete lie...would love to see these on MTV now). It can be hard to pigeon hole Living Colour (should you feel the need to), often described as 'funk metal', they were 'the next big thing' in the rock world for a while. Unfortunately, like so many bands of that time, they disbanded all too soon in 1995 (due to good old musical differences). Unlike others though the hiatus lasted just 5 years reuniting in 2000.
It's hot and loud in the sold out club tonight. Yes, air conditioning would be a welcome addition to an otherwise great venue, but hey rock and roll is supposed to be sweaty (or so I'm told). No matter the temperature, it really is great to see the band back in the UK (after a few cancelled tours).
The set list here consists of a pretty even spread of songs from their first three albums and new long player, Shade. The latter shows they have much still to give and the tracks from it tonight mix in well with the older classics. They are such a versatile group, their cover of Notorious B.I.G. Who Shot Ya, shows off the band's, and in particular, Glover's ability to mix styles. Indeed there are good front men and there are outstanding front men. Corey Glover fits firmly in the latter category. Not only does he possess an excellent voice but also an on stage style that is both unique and entertaining. His dress sense is certainly one of a kind as well.
The camaraderie between the band mates is obvious. Vernon Reid and Glover are a comedy double act. Hilarious. However Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish also have big parts to play (Wimbish's bass solo is something else...in other words actually entertaining).
Love Tears Its Ugly Head is the standout track for me. Such an amazing song (their biggest hit in the UK), so different from anything else. Glover is superb yet again. Why it leads into the only misstep of the evening, a drum solo just before the last song, I really don't know. Didn't work for me. Fine in a set an hour longer but just a bit strange here. However what the hell do I know? That last song, Cult of Personality, sees Glover venture into the crowd and make his way to the sound area. He sings the last notes from there. An unusual finish by an unusual band but a band confident in its history and future.
Come back soon guys.
Ticket: October 1st 2017
Ticket Price: £22.00