Wow, I would love to see Jeff Beck again. I only got to see him once on the Who Else tour with Jennifer Batten, House of Blues in New Orleans and it was tremendous
Gateshead Sage - 2nd June....
Well; that's a big off my "bucket list", even if I did have to wait a further 2 years for it to happen. What a tremendous evening though at a [long] sold-out Sage.
It's certainly been a long while since I've felt that almost electric tingle in a hall, the moment the house lights go down, just as the band take their positions and then the stage lights erupt as "the man" walks on. Opening number was Star Cycle, which has a bit more than the usual resonance in this corner of the UK as it was the theme tune for 1980s alt-rock (as you call it now) rock show that was broadcast from just the other side of the Tyne. Next eye-opener, or ear-opener was Jeff's working of Nadia before plunging back through the decades for a ripping cover of the old Link Wray standard The Rumble and a crowd pleasing Big Block
Should mention the band here, and they were absolutely superb in every way; Rhonda Smith – Bass, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith – Cello, Anika Nilles – Drums, Robert Adam Stevenson – Keyboards. The cello added a haunting undertow to the slower numbers, and the bass & drums were outstanding.
The next stage of what turned out to be an 80 minute set, saw Jeff accompanied on stage by resting actor and erstwhile Hollywood Vampire, Johnny Depp for several songs, kicking off with a new number, Heddy Lamar, before a series of covers. It was fun, from my vantage point in the balcony, looking down into the stalls; through the earlier part of the show, one or two phones were out while jeff was doing the more recognisable numbers but then, as Depp walked out, there was a phone out in more than every other seat. However, by Depp's third number they'd all but disappeared - a measure of how good a singer, or tired arms....? Where you stand after the Depp/Heard court case is up to you, but either way, to hear him trying tender love ballads did kind of rankle, but not as much as the way he murdered Let It Be Me; Rod Stewart he may not be, but this was more Shane McGowan. There were two highlights to this part of the set though, a thunderous, industrial take on Killing Joke's Death & Ressurection Show and the thrill of Jeff Beck's take on Little Wing: still got goose-bumps.
Can't help feeling that despite the "love-in" vibe between Beck & Depp, there must have been some little irony as Beck launched into 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers to close the main set, as Depp left the stage...
And so to encore; and what sounded like Corpus Christi Carol and A Day In The Life, which received a due, and one of the longest standing ovations I've seen at a gig for many a year,,,
No doubt, footage will be appearing on YouTube, but the set-list was something like:_
You Know You Know (Mahavishnu Orchestra cover)
Stratus (Billy Cobham cover)
Nadia (Nitin Sawhney cover)
Rumble (Link Wray & His Raymen cover)
Mná na héireann (Ceoltóirí Chualann cover)
Brush With the Blues
Heddy Lamar (with Johnny Depp)
Isolation (John Lennon cover) (with Johnny Depp)
Time (Dennis Wilson cover) (with Johnny Depp) think this was swapped for Let It Be Me..
What's Going On (Marvin Gaye cover) (with Johnny Depp)
Little Wing (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover) (with Johnny Depp)
The Death and Resurrection Show (Killing Joke cover) (with Johnny Depp)
'Cause We've Ended as Lovers (Stevie Wonder cover)
A Day in the Life (The Beatles cover) (with Johnny Depp)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...