True to his word – a set list we will never be blessed with again.
Sun shone out over Hyde Park,Oh god, it could get cold tonight,Because here in our Capital City,We were treated to a pure delight,He sung us all a set list,He’s never done before,As all his loyal disciples,Screamed out for more and more,
17 song by Rod, ……
Well, well, well, that’s enough of that then, stealing song tunes and lines can be an expensive business! What a night, what a week in fact. The man did what he promised and played us a set list never dreamed of.
I may have miss judged my time of arrival given that my wife is not a lover of mass tight crowds, but I do question why do the organizers stress no chairs will be allowed in – then when you walk in and find a mass of people sitting on their seats having their picnic with a rug stretched out over 20 yards of ground and the only thing missing appeared to be their caravan! Had they searched my bag and confiscated the two metal spoons I erroneous placed in my hamper bag I might have lost the plot.
Anyway we found a spot with plenty of room to the right of the stage – not far in front of the VIP area where some of the filming was being done,perfect to dance and sing the night away. Plus if you needed it, not too far from the toilets! I did see Mary walk past at one point (But not with "Rock Stewart" after Rod's match making attempts on Wednesday appeared to fail!) – again she was mixing with the crowd rather than a particular VIP spot. Love and Bless her from the Smiler family to.
Put together you could not have a more contrast set of artists – sorry but the X Factor duo will not cut it with me, given a choice Will Young and his “bouncing balloons” out strips Leona, the lass from Barnsley had a good voice, but all a bit Pam Ayers songs from down on the farm… then we came to the acts that have done a turn with Rod before, The Corrs they tell us had not performed together for 10 years – but all those sing-a-longs came back to my memory, and the girls still look as lovely as they did back in the ‘noughties.
Next enter the Groover from Vancouver – I had seen Bryan twice before at Wembley having 7 of his early albums, then he went and spoilt it all with his duet with "sporty" spice – but apart from his introduction song the
rest were pure classics. Rockers and ballads but the sound quality was erratic and I was fearing “what if it’s like this when Rod comes on”?. For me the DJ part to fill the time between Bryan and Rod would have best been served if the Corrs had come on and sung Ooh La La with Rod and Bryan had sung All For Love with Rod …I’m no lover of dance music and it’s too noisy to have a quick nap to!
At 8:20 Chris Evans starts the build up – and what a fiasco that was – so Rod (as he said) had to cut two numbers because we can’t start before 8:30 instead we have fillers with half a video of Mick & Bowie dancing in the street cut short for Chris Evans to add lib for another 5 minutes – but any wait was worth it’s weight in gold. As Mike has already supplied a set list I won’t go too over the top – well come on this is me, maybe I will… opening with Every Beat Of My Heart reminded me of the final time all 5 Faces appeared on stage Wembley 1986 – but that day it poured down. Must admit I was beginning to get a little uneasy when he followed it up with Motown
Song as that has been done on some of the recent tours, plus I became even more concerned when he said I’ve promised to play songs that I would not usually do, so don’t expect Maggie May, Da You Think I’m Sexy and Sailing – so here’s one from 1983 – Baby Jane ….. no only kidding …and launched into What am I gonna do – which I cannot remember hearing him sing that before – great touch. As I have noted from the message board, by this time there were people heading for the exit – WHY! – short minded people come along I guess just to say “they were there” plus you do wonder if that’s the mind set – I hope the touts trying to sell us tickets as you make your way there also got disappointed …. Enough said, mention then of The Faces and a brilliant version of Losin’ You – followed by that song that the wife and I love – You can make me dance, sing or anything …when did you last hear
that? (Okay, last Saturday @ Hurtwood your going to say – sadly I could not attend). Gasoline Alley next up, followed by “Georgie” probably one of Rod’s most brilliant story line songs – sung to perfection both parts 1&2.Ooh La La to follow then Tom Traubert’s Blues – a beautiful Tom Waites number and we were swaying too and fro ..
The first time of hearing Please live was next up and he pulled it off well – having seen the video, I was convinced he would struggle with singing the high notes “Pleeease” but it came off brilliantly. Rod next launched into Angel – another Faces classic sing along – even though it was part of Never a Dull Moment (and to the chosen Tartan army) – the only possible dull moment is when the backing singers assist Rod for a costume change. The next two were shockingly amazing picks – Rollin & Tumblin from his Steampacket days with Long John Baldry, followed by the awesome In A Broken Dream. Another treat was Love Is (again first time heard live in the UK –maybe anywhere!). The classic final two tracks of Can’t Stop Me Now followed by the introduction of “our Jim Cregan” to play that riff on I Was Only Joking – absolutely blinding, with of course those famous closing lines –“The principal has to leave the stage, because this crowd will understand” (I will have to check the red button to be precise on that one later!).
What a night – what a day, ending a week for me that included a small TV appearance on Loose Women with the fantastic Smiler group, a night with Ronnie and a few “faces” to chat to after – and guys Ronnie also said,a Faces reunion seems more likely given the knowledge of the interest that’s out there (how come they never knew – were they asking the musical delinquents that were walking out yesterday evening at 8:50?) – although
perhaps I should not repeat it – Ronnie said – Now that Rod can hear the ching, ching sound and it wouldn’t be for charity! We could get together if our schedules allow it– Tongue in cheek Ronnie the Rascal at his normal best.
Recharge the batteries now until Jim Cregan comes to the Boom Boom, Sutton on Friday 25 September when a rather noisy couple of hundred rather than 55,000 will appreciate another Rod set always worth hearing.
And to end Thank You Rod for being a man of your word, from all Smiler's that love you so.
Review by Colin Baker
Photos by Yve Paige
Montage by Tommy Kevitt