Line Up: SAS Band / Chris Thompson / FABBA Girls / Madeline Bell / Melanie C / Mick Wilson / Patti Russo / Paul Young / Tom Robinson
Support: Kyla & Natalie Stroud
Twenty years of the SAS Band. A random collection of artists (led by Spike Edney and including Neil Murray and Jamie Moses) who get together to play good music. Just for the hell of it. No particular reason to do it. Nothing in particular to promote. No egos (well maybe one or two)...just an excuse to have a good time on stage.
I (along with fellow gig geek Mark) was lucky enough to have been at the very first SAS Band gig back in July 1994. It was pleasing that few others in the crowd answered in the affirmative when Spike asked how many here were at the gig in ’94. I admit I had a smug look on my face…and Mark did to…although he always looks like that. That first gig was in sunny Gosport. Tonight we made the trip to not so sunny Guildford and the G Live. It is fair to say that this is is not a rock n roll venue. It makes up for the lack of character though with excellent sound…and expensive beer prices.
Chris Thompson (Manfred Man) is a powerful vocalist who is always a good choice to open these shows and does so here with Blinded By The Light. Mick Wilson (10cc) sings a cracking version of Happy, which left some of the, slightly ageing, crowd with quizzical looks on their faces, but is rather splendid version nonetheless. Paul Young is always a pleasure to see on stage although he struggled a little through Come Back and Stay tonight (due to ear piece issues). However seeing him sing the first line from Do They Know Its Christmas was something I thought I would never see. Patti Russo is another powerful vocalist and her performance, especially Radar Love, goes down well. The FABBA Girls do their thing and do it well although the act is becoming a little tired and out of place with the rest of the show. The two are great backing vocalists for the band though and contribute hugely to the overall sound.
Over many SAS Band shows I have had the pleasure of seeing many unusual singer / song combinations. Bruce Dickinson belting out I Want to Break Free and Tony Hadley crooning a rendition of Hammer to Fall to name but two. Tonight was relatively Queen free apart from the bundle of joy that is Melanie C sprinting her way through Don’t Stop Me Now. She along with Madeline Bell (singing The Power Of Love and What Becomes of the Brokenhearted) are highlights with the latter continuing to amaze with a powerful voice and a youthful look that surely means she can’t really be 72 years of age.
It is Tom Robinson who without doubt is the star of the show. His four songs are sung with passion and his humour on stage was a pleasure to see. Finally getting to hear 2-4-6-8 Motorway and Glad to Be Gay live was fabulous and seeing him belt out I Predict A Riot was surreal yet truly magnificent.
Another good SAS gig then, not up there with previous gigs but still a good show.
A few gripes:
- The show finished at 11.15. To be fair that was the advertised finish time but considering that the last train back to London was at 11.11 at the station opposite then I thought that was a little odd. I had to miss the last song…which is something I never do...a little gutting
- People that weren’t there: Roger Taylor, Brian May, Tony Hadley, Mark Shaw...a little disappointing but hey they are busy people and this band is a loose collective...but for the 20th anniversary show it would have been nice if a few more old faces showed up
Minor gripes for what was a good show from the veterans of having a good time. Long live the SAS Band…and for old time’s sake…Spikey Says Bollocks.
Ticket Price: £33.00