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Graham Bonnet Band Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 05, 2018    
 
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Graham Bonnet Band - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 22 August 2018

It's now almost an annual occurrence for the Graham Bonnet Band to be carrying out a tour of the UK, with dates to follow in Japan which has always been a stronghold for the Rainbow family. A lot of work for the lead singer whose first hit ('Only One Woman') was fifty years ago.

At a well-attended Camden Underworld, the Graham Bonnet Band provided their own songs, plus quite a few from Graham Bonnet's illustrious past; interestingly, the band leaned just as much on Alcatrazz and Michael Schenker Group as Rainbow. Probably the presence of Alcatrazz and New England keyboardist Jimmy Waldo influenced this as the band launched into show opener 'Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live' and later covered 'Starcarr Lane', 'Jet To Jet' and the keyboard-driven Pomp-tastic 'Island In The Sun'. As for the sound, even with the low ceiling of The Underworld, the music came over loud (very loud) and clear; Bonnet's vocals, and especially his upper register, cut through the mix well.

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Kurt James (ex-Steeler) carried out guitar duties on the cramped stage with aplomb, his solo work was certainly unique with a very varied use of the tremolo arm of his Strat. Mark Benquechea provided a masterclass in powerhouse drumming without missing a beat, whilst Beth-Ami Heavenstone added the Yin to Bonnet's Yang with her calm and steady bass approach.

As for original Graham Bonnet Band songs, there were several from 2017's 'The Book' album, with the standout being 'Into The Night'. The lone track from their recent album, 'Meanwhile, Back In The Garage', was 'Long Island Tea' which was very much in the fast and frenetic mode.

Following the inevitable 'Since You Been Gone', the show ended with the fast-paced 'Lost In Hollywood'. With Graham Bonnet in good voice and the band firing on all cylinders, the Japanese audience will have something to look forward to.

Review by Rob McKenzie; Photo by Dawn Osborne

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