Every Steve Harley concert is a unique and wonderful experience; this time he is backed by Cockney Rebel. His connection with his faithful and knowledgeable audience is warm, appreciative and honestly loving.
His joy at being able to perform live was immediately recognised by the opening song having the refrain “ You don’t know how I feel to see you.” The feeling was mutual as everyone responded, “ You don’t know how we feel to see you.”
Although his performance is yearning and heartfelt his poetic lyrics are joyous in their simplicity and directness. His command of the English language is precise and meaningful as are his anecdotes and caustic comments. His command of the room is beyond doubt; especially when admonishingly requesting the doors to the bar area be shut and appropriate hushing of audience members whilst daring to talk above him is refreshing.
Amongst the expected crowd pleasers with Sebastian, Judy Teen Come Up And See Me, Mr Soft, Tumbling Down, Bed in The Corner/Sling It were many of his own favourites which were all greatly appreciated by the adoring audience who were clearly not the ‘only here for one song’ brigade. He is noted for not wanting to use cue sheets to sing his intricately chosen lyrics but he wouldn’t have needed one, his audience would have gladly helped him along.
Due to illness of Kumo Harada changes were made to the line up. So late was the call that adjustments to the desired set were made to incorporate replacement bass player’s inclusion on the tour. The adjustment appeared seamless. Such is the high quality of all the songs that whatever he played would have been lapped up by the appreciative audience. Visits to Human Menagerie, Psychomodo, Best Years of Our Lives and Steve Harley career favourites (and the one’s the bass player could remember!) enraptured all and left us begging for more.
Still suffering with the support of a stick and be-seated through the entire evening the traditional showbiz stage departing before encore was shunned. The whole group with Steve Elliot, Barry Wickens, Bill Dyer, Robbie Gladwell and James Lascelles remained on stage to receive the well-deserved applause and a standing ovation. Promises of a return to Lowther Park , one of Steve Harley’s favourite venues, were greeted with much anticipation as we departed happily into the chilly November night warmed by the memories the night will bring.