The New Roscoe - Leeds

Sunday 14 April 2002

ticketTime was, any Man band tour would include a visit to Leeds and The Duchess; but that fair lady is no longer with us, so into the breech steps The New Roscoe. Not quite in the very centre of Leeds, but close enough. I used to work just down the road in Sheepscar, but give credit to the Planning Department, they've figured out how make the road system confusing enough so I can drive past the place without it being clear how you actually get there. No matter, it's a Sunday and time isn't a problem.

It's a sizable venue, with several rooms, and once the scene of the action is opened, you find a stage big enough for all five performers; the bar is serving decent beer, there are a few tables, and ample standing room. The set was just as expected from the last few gigs, though Micky Jones seemed more animated than usual early on, and there were a few new twists in his solo in Conflict. The stage look rather dark to me, and after the second number Deke requested the lighting be increased, in case anyone should think there had been a death up there. Fiat lux.

Deke in the darkFreshly illuminated, Walrus followed, an excellent version; the organ was very prominent here, and actually the Hammond was well to the fore all night. Incidentally, ignore the ticket - it really was Gareth on stage. This was turning out to be a top class performance all round, and could well have become a classic, but, and there's usually a but, technical problems again cropped up. This time it was Deke's guitar during Face to Face that was unco-operative, but luckily it didn't cause too much damage to the flow of the evening. If anything, it seemed to make the band more determined. Wings, (MJ on SG) and Popemobile were both performed to a very high standard, and Asylum featured Micky throwing in the amended lyrics and vocal lines. They didn't drop the pace for MACBFGU, and again Deke really made the most of his opportunity to solo.

The place was pretty tightly packed, and the crowd loved it. When they returned for the encore, Martin apologised for taking so long - apparently they got lost on the way back to the stage. The band were still red hot for the encores of Spunk Rock - a virtuoso solo from Micky here - and Romaine. It was obvious that the band had enjoyed themselves - I don't think I've previously seen Gareth grinning so much. Mine host got up to thank all concerned, (and made a crack about his Welsh barman and a sheep); he seemed to have enjoyed the night as much as the rest of us, and with his encouragement, another encore was demanded, and was provided. Bananas has been dropped from the base set, and I reckon that this is where it ought to be - a rare performance, reserved for special occasions only.

A first class gig, the best I've seen on this current tour.

There are pics from this gig in the Gallery.

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