Tuesday, July 04, 2006

FOREIGNER gig review

Shepherd's Bush Empire, London 30th June 2006

Looking forward to seeing Foreigner for the first time and although Lou Gramm has left after recovering from his brain tumor and finding religion, the reviews of 'newboy' Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) have been glowing. But first up Deborah Bonham and her band (who featured ex-Humble Pie man Jerry Shirley on drums). They played a
tight set of blues based rock and in Deborah Bonham they have a very powerful yet melodic vocalists. Sadly though this band are out if time in that had they been around in the early 70's they would have been massive with their brand of music. Still very enjoyable and a band worth seeing live (Jerry Shirley on drums was a joy to watch).

Now Foreigner 2006 are a different beast than the last time they toured the UK in the 90's. Gone is original vocalist Lou Gramm leaving guitarist Mick Jones as the sole original member. Joining him are long time Foreigner sidemen Jeff Jacobs (keys) and Tommy Sobel (guitars/flute/sax) with newboys Jason Bonham (Bonham/UFO/Virginia Wolf) on drums, Jeff Pilson (War & Peace/Dokken) on bass and Steve Tyler doppledanger Keyy Hansen (Hurricane) on vocals.

Were they any good? Just a bit & them some! Playing a very rocky set (mind you Foreigner were never a ballads band it was more the record company after hit singles) including 'Cold As Ice' (complete with spot on harmonies), 'Headgames', 'Starider', 'Feels Like the First Time', 'Double Vision', 'Urgent' and 'Blue Morning Blue Day'. Yes we had a few slower moments like 'Waiting For A Girl Like You' and an acoustic run through 'Say You Will' which gave the song a whole new lease of life. The band clicked from the off and in Kelly Hansen they have a frontman who not only gives the songs justice but works the crowd well. Jason Bonham and Jeff Pilson fit together hand in glove and Pilson is like a jack-in-the-box bouncing all over the stage. These three new members have given the band a whole new lease of life and I for one hope they record new music.

The extended 'Jukebox Hero' was the only slight lull as the band slipped in Led Zep's 'Whole Lotta Love'. Encore time bought a nice surprise as original bassist Rick Price (since his Foreigner days he's has toured with bad Comapny and is now in Kenny Jones' new band) came on for the closing number 'Hot Blooded' and with his tan he nearly outshone that of the Tango like Mick Jones.One of the best gigs I have seen in a long time and go see this band as they ROCK!


Anonymous Julia said...

Hey there,
I just stumbled across your blog in britblogs - nice to see there's another Stokie in Middlesex. Whereabouts in Stoke are you from?

9:11 am  
Blogger JasonR said...

I was born in Crewe and lived with my parents in Baldwins Gate (just outside Newcastle-u-Lyme) until I moved down south.
I always say Stoke because if yuo say Newcastle everyone thinks you are a Geordie :)

3:18 am  
Anonymous Julia said...

Yeah, I expect they do. Although I have had to explain where Stoke is to more than a few southern types since moving to London. Turns out it's not the centre of the universe after all.

3:08 am  

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