THE PLOUGH INN – 15/04/05

If the Rockardinal Festival performance is anything like this gig, then Brussels is in for one hell of a treat!

For me, this was one of the best live shows the band has done for quite some time. (and there have been some belters over the last 5 years
Gone was the laid back jazzy vibe which graced the Bull’s Head, Golden Fleece, & The Bedford. Gone was the ‘stripped down’ set of the Borderline…
BACK was the wonderful electric showcase which, at times, shook the Plough to its very foundations.
The customary banter between Mr Roberts & the crowd was ever present throughout the evening, and everyone seemed to loving every minute. The atmosphere was superb and you could tell the band were enjoying playing as much as we were listening.

The band – as always – were as relaxed and chilled out as ever (particularly Brad who, at one point, I actually thought was ‘sleep-playing’ his Bass - he was so laid back!). Noel Watson made his full debut on drums tonight (having given us a teasing glimpse at ‘The Bedford’ the previous night) and was superb. It was hard to believe he’d had less than month to learn the set. Top Drawer stuff!
Andy also came into his own tonight, and shone, whilst Richard, well …. can this guy get any better?

Oh, and that bloke from The Stranglers did pretty well too!

The show itself – to quote Paul – was a ‘steamer’. This as in the HOT sense, not as in a type of turd, I hasten to add!
The two highlights of this show for me were Sinister & 8 Days. Played as a three piece, Sinister is just stunning. A few weeks ago, this track blew a few of us away at The Borderline when Paul performed it with just Richard on the piano. At the time I thought that performance couldn’t be topped. I was wrong. Tonight’s rendition was awesome, the keyboards were stunning, and the guitar & vocals were spot on. This has really become a Soulsec song now, and outshines it’s ‘Father-piece’ on the Stranglers’ About Time album ten fold. Easily one of the greatest songs Paul has written. The arrangement of 8 Days tonight was also superb. This track just rocks, and tonight it was a boulder … if you get my drift. Great stuff, and a great way to end the set too!

It’s funny how things turn out. A few weeks ago we organised a gig down at The Borderline for the 5th Anniversary. You’d have thought that a fairly well known and advertised venue would have pulled in a reasonably decent and lively crowd, however, the turnout was a tad disappointing and sections of the assembled company were, at times, fairly subdued to say the least. (This was a great shame as the gig itself was highly entertaining, as the faithful will concur)
As for The Plough Inn, I didn’t quite know what to expect. What we got was a really pleasant surprise!
Extremely gracious staff, a very welcoming atmosphere and, more importantly, a great turnout/crowd.
It was nice to see a few familiar faces loitering in amongst the revellers, and there a few who had travelled a fair ol’ way too. Respect to you all!

This was what the anniversary gig should have been.

Next stop Belgium………


Face, In Heaven She Walks, Sinister, Chasing Rainbows, In A While, New Mourning Town, She Gave It All, Postcard, Lady Grinning Soul, Fried, Grateful, Wrong Connection, 8 Days.
Encore: Shy, Shame Of The Father

Phil Johnson

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