Fireworks

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The Quireboys / FM / Bad Touch / Vega http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c2/18/0e/FM-Sheffield-2019-Live-Thumb-54-1555786223.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 20, 2019    
 
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The Quireboys / FM / Bad Touch / Vega - Corporation, Sheffield (UK) - 06 April 2019

For the second time in three months a four-bill, mini festival rolled into my hometown of Sheffield. I ensured that I got down to the venue early doors; however, I was just finishing dinner in the pub next door when some kind lady came up to me to ask if I was going to see Vega this evening (having spotted me wearing a band t-shirt). It transpired that they had already taken to the stage, the set times having been pulled forward twenty-five minutes from the last time I had checked! Fortunately, it was only a two minute walk to the Corporation and my wife and I got ourselves positioned to the right of the stage whilst the band concluded their second song of the evening, 'Explode'. It appeared that most others had received the memo reference the timings, as there was a reasonable crowd already assembled, and Vega were going down a storm. I was going to comment that this was the first of the new bands, but then I realised that Vega have now been going for ten years!

Singer Nick Workman was working the crowd with consummate ease. Always a set highlight, 'Kiss Of Life' was the first sign that the audience were in fine voice and ready to party the night away. 'Every Little Monster' and 'Worth Dying For' kept up the momentum, whilst 'White Flag' and 'Saving Grace' brought the criminally short set to a tremendous end. What's with an eleven o'clock curfew on a Saturday night in a major city?!!


Vega Sheffield 2019 Live

Setlist: Let's Have Fun Tonight / Explode‬ / Kiss Of Life / Every Little Monster / Worth Dying For / White Flag /Saving Grace

The one positive thing of the early curfew was the quick changeover times; we only had to wait just over ten minutes before Bad Touch hit the stage. Initially, I thought that this was my first time seeing the Norfolk band; however, I soon realised that I had witnessed them supporting Black Star Riders at the Holmfirth Picturedrome. To my shame, I had not followed up on the band; however, I rectified this and purchased their most recent album 'Shake A Leg', from which six of their seven-song set-list was drawn. Highlights were 'Too Many Times', 'Show Me What It Means' and the Zeppelin-esque 'Dressed To Kill'. Stevie Westwood's vocals were impressive throughout and special mention to Michael Bailey, who was playing the hell out of his bass guitar. Arguably, they were the band with the best sound of the whole evening.


Bad Touch Sheffield 2019 Live

Setlist: Lift Your Head Up / Movin' On Up / Show Me What It Means / Too Many Times / Hammer Falls / Dressed To Kill / 99%

A friend of mine recently asked why I would go and see the same band over and over again. The answer is quite simple, pure enjoyment. This was my second time seeing FM this year and the sixteenth occasion since I first saw them support Bon Jovi on the 'Slippery When Wet' tour; remember those suits?

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Breathe Fire' was the surprising opening number before the sensational one-two of 'Bad Luck' and 'That Girl', where the atmosphere and audience participation cranked up several notches. The sound was a tad louder than the opening two bands, and far too bass-heavy from our position to the right of the stage near the bar; my wife did relocate to behind the mixing desk half way through their set and reported that the sound was much better from that vantage point. It's great that a band listens to its fans; as a result, FM have brought the classics 'Dangerous' and 'Face To Face' back to their live shows. If you ever had any doubt that FM's sound is originated from the eighties then you have to look no further than Jem Davis on keytar during the awesome 'Other Side Of Midnight'. There can be very few other groups that seem to visibly enjoy themselves as much on stage as FM, a fact fully appreciated by their loyal fans. The proverbial roof was taken off the Corporation during 'I Belong To The Night' and 'Tough It Out' before the set was concluded with 'Killed by Love' from the last studio album 'Atomic Generation'.


FM Sheffield 2019 Live

Setlist: Breathe Fire / Bad Luck / That Girl / Life Is A Highway / Let Love Be The Leader / Other Side Of Midnight / Dangerous / Someday (You'll Come Running) / Face To Face / Story Of My Life / Metropolis / Over You / I Belong To The Night / Tough It Out / Killed By Love

Now I have to be honest and admit that if I had not been reviewing this evening's show, I may have left following FM's performance. In hindsight, that would have been a big mistake, as The Quireboys put on a highly entertaining set of old and new material. I was right at the back of the venue when they took to the stage with 'I Love This Dirty Town'. Ironically, the sound was infinitely better than where I had been standing earlier, although the band did have a few technical issues to begin with. A few songs in, I relocated to just behind the mixing desk for a better view of the stage.

I have seen The Quireboys numerous times over the years and always found their performances to be a little hit and miss. The latter normally revolves around how inebriated Spike becomes throughout the show; ironically, it's the intoxicating performance of the likeable Geordie that is the focal point of the otherwise very tight band. Tongue placed firmly in cheek, Spike announced, "It's Saturday night, I think I ought to have a drink!"

He also amusingly quipped, "This one's from ten years ago. I know that because I was celebrating my thirtieth birthday!" The latter brought derisions of laughter from the partisan audience. Spike showed a real touch of class when he paid homage to the late, great Bernie Tormé (not Taupin as my wife misheard) with the title track of their third studio album 'This Is Rock 'n' Roll'.

New songs 'Seven Deadly Sins' and 'The Original Black Eyed Son' from the soon-to-be-released album 'Amazing Disgrace' sounded good on first listen, but it was the old favourites 'Misled', 'Mona Lisa Smiled', 'Hey You', 'Sweet Mary Ann' and main set closer '7 O'Clock' which drew the biggest crowd reaction. The band returned for a one song encore with 'Sex Party', by which time I was talking to Vega at the back of the venue (out of earshot of those still enjoying the show, a thing that far too many ignorantly disregard).

That sums up a thoroughly enjoyable evening of quality Melodic Rock. If one of these four-band shows comes to a venue near you in the future, then do yourselves a favour and get on down there; but, make sure you arrive early!


The Quireboys Sheffield 2019 Live

Setlist: I Love This Dirty Town / Misled / There She Goes Again / Seven Deadly Sins / Mona Lisa Smiled / Hello / Whippin' Boy / This Is Rock 'N' Roll / Hey You / The Original Black Eyed Son / I Don't Love You Anymore / Fool To Cry / Sweet Mary Ann / 7 O'Clock
Encore: Sex Party

Review and photos by Mark Donnelly

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