The king of shock and the bad boys of rock was always going to be a tantalising affair, and so it proved. Alice playing the role of warm up artist was, as we’ve always expected him to be, the model of entertainment and musical theatre. All of the usuals were there and are as fun as ever and woven nicely into a set – which was shortened – but all the better for it. It meant the hit’s kept coming and the pace rarely let up. His band containing 3 guitarists added a perfect slab of muscle. Long may the puppet-master continue to pull the strings. Next the man course…the final tour….the roller coaster gimmick…the voice….the ailing guitarist….. Yes all these were discussed at the bars, the car parks, the forums etc. So, were any of them relevant. The answer is a resounding NO !!!!!. From the off da Crue hit the ground running. Vince was in fine fettle, ok so he missed a few notes, but with a high octane show like that, who wouldn’t?. Tommy and Nikki provided the ever youthful foundation..ever the cheeky kids..the perfect foil to Micks more demure persona. The hits kept coming, Mick nailing each one of them..he really does peel off a crunching riff with ease (even if his movement is less easy). Vince stroked his ego with his backing dancer / singers (?), and the band were suddenly 18 again and playing in the local bar.
Then THAT MOMENT !!!…..Drum Solo, often a term that leads everyone to the bar, but this was not a drum solo, it was a DRUM SPECTACLE. I saw him in 2011 with his drum ride kit, but christ this was a bit special.. weaving over the audience whist rotating 360 degrees whilst playing along to an assortment of drum n bass, trance, metal and …well just about anything he could muster. This was kid in the candy store stuff, silhouetted by thousands of mobile phones. Awe became AWESOME for that moment in time.
After that the band continued to rock the venue to it’s foundations and with the light show and continuous pyros they were at risk of violating Health & Safety regulations.Vince and Nikki were then transported over the audience on hydraulic arms like something out of a sc-fi movie much to the fans delight. The night ended with an explosive finish to match anything an impending Apocalypse might conjure up…..and then…..the Encore. The spots were suddenly directed to a small boxing ring sized stage in the centre of the venue, the band were directed to the finale by torchlight and proceeded to entertain those inches away with ‘Home Sweet Home’ a lovely intimate moment for those so far away from the stage until now. We were witness to something special…and I think the venue is still standing….just. !!!!!!
Photo copyright Lisa Billingham – Billibee Creative Limited