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Hugh Cornwell Newcastle 13th Nov Gig Review

Posted on November 16, 2009
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hugh cornwell

I'd lost interest in Hugh Cornwell post-Stranglers career as he'd ventured into a more acoustic/AOR direction. I saw him at Rebellion a couple of years ago with the a three-piece and enjoyed it so ther opportunity of seeing the Rattus album performed in it's entirety was too much to resist. Judging by the attendance it was a smart business move as there were a lot of people there.

The show was two sets, the first part was the new album Hooverdam played from start to finish. It sounded pretty good, better than expected, a couple of duff tracks including an instrumental that didn't really work, but overall most enjoyable.

The second part was Rattus played in full, in order. From the first notes of Sometimes the crowd were really up for the show and despite the average age of the audience there was quite a lot of dancing.

Full credit has to go to the band for effort, but there's no escaping that the absence of keyboards left a gaping hole in the sound. Why they didn't take out a keyboardist is beyond me.

Some of the songs worked quite well without such as London Lady or Straighten Out (encore), Down In The Sewer was hopeless without the melodrama of the keyboards, Golden Brown (encore)was devoid of melody and some of the arrangements were changed to try and adapt such as Peaches which had an unrecognisable intro and a faster Hanging Around that was interesting.

The low point of the show was Princess of the Streets which had bassist Caroline singing. She may be a fantastic bassist but she sure can't sing and that song was especially painful.

Those I know who went all had high hopes and were all disappointed.

I know they're working on No More Heroes next. I won't be going to see that unless Hugh tours with a keyboardist and I suspect many others will say the same.


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