Friday 4th March, 2016. Michael Head, once front man of Pale Fountains and Shack returned for a rare live appearance in the capital. Co-incidentally, I moved to London earlier the same day, bringing with me little but records and a Titanic hangover from the previous evenings celebrations…
Trailing a nasty cold but looking and sounding reassuringly good, Mick and his (Red Elastic) band took little time in reminding us just how great Michael Head songs really are. It’s incredible to think he’s been writing in the same tradition since 1982, back when the Pale Fountains celebratory ‘ Thank You‘ (very nearly) set light to the world.
Since then Michael Head has composed a steady stream of great lost albums and tonight the band delivered mementos from many. Over the course of seventy-five spell binding minutes classics such as ‘Comedy’, ‘As Long As I’ve Got You’ and ‘Undecided’ are emphatically dispatched and lovingly hollered back at the stage, whilst ‘Meant To Be’, complete with its Mariachi horn break, steals the show and sees grown men hugging each other in misty eyed reverie. This highlights the unifying feeling which is instilled in those who fall for Mick’s music-don’t forget Noel Gallagher once set up a record company around this man. Other highlights included The Strands’ ‘Something Like You’ and Shack’s ‘Streets Of Kenny’ which took me back to the late 1990’s when my own band Fruit Machine were fortunate enough to have supported Mick on the Brighton date of the ‘HMS Fable’ tour. Nostalgia indeed.
The evenings newer Red Elastic Band material blended subtle jazz with baroque pop-Miles David by way of Love’s Arthur Lee. ‘Artorius Revisited’ and new crowd fave ‘Velvets In The Dark‘ illustrated this perfectly. Glorious!
At the end of the show I made my way back to the tube station and suddenly realized I was completely devoid of that pesky hangover. Now isn’t that something…?!