I have closely followed
Heep since 1983 & seen them live on numerous occasions but I though
the set list on sun at Manchester was the most interesting, varied &
entertaining I have even seen them perform, old & new mixing
brilliantly. A great gig.
DAVID R. BELL
Demons and Wizards in Manchester
It's Halloween night,
and Uriah Heep came to town.
This is the second 35st
anniversary tour I seen this year; makes me wonder how many of today's
flavours of the month will still be around in a generation's time. The
venue was Manchester Academy 2, part of the Manchester University
student's union. But the age profile of the audience suggested there
were very few students in attendance.
Support was a
local band called
I'd never heard of before. Their appearance was a one-off for the
Manchester show, which for some reason was arranged by a different
promoter from the rest of the tour. Don't ask me why! Coldflame played
bluesy hard rock with some very Tull-like flute playing from the
singer. A good sound mix and some excellent musicianship made them the
best support act I've seen for a long while. They do in fact moonlight
as a Jethro Tull tribute band, which explains the flute. This time,
though, they were playing their own material.
The mighty Uriah Heep
hit the stage at nine. One thing I've always noticed about them is how
much they clearly enjoy being on stage, especially guitarist
Mick Box. Many, many years on the road, but it's clear this is not
bunch of jaded has-beens going through the motions. While they went
through a lot of lineup changes in during the 70s and 80s, the band
has now been stable for something like half their 35 year history.
Mick Box (the only remaining founder member!), Lee Kerslake and Trevor
Boulder have been around since their 70s heyday, and joining them are
Phil Lanzon on keys and Bernie Shaw on vocals. All five of them were
on excellent form. The sound perhaps was a little bit muddy, but not
enough to spoil the show.
With an extensive back
catalogue they tend to vary the setlist a lot from tour to tour; this
time the early part of the set mixed relatively recent material by the
current lineup from the 'Sea of Light' and 'Sonic Origami'
albums with some less well-known older songs such like "Year and a
Day" and "Rainbow Demon". They even dipped into the 80s
with "The Other Side of Midnight" from the previously neglected
Mick Goalby years, plus a couple of songs from 'Raging Silence'.
It's noticeable how some of their 90s songs have become standards in
their own right now; "Between Two Worlds", with the poignant
line 'And those no longer with us' (referring to the late David Byron
and Gary Thain) and the epic "Love in Silence" with some great
acoustic playing from Mick Box and Hammond organ flourishes from Phil
Lanzon. The final part of the set brought out the obligatory classics
from the early 70s era of David Byron (RIP) and Ken Hensley; "Look
at Yourself", "Gypsy", "July Morning", and the encores "Easy
Livin'" and "Lady in Black", which turned into the