The Flowerpot - Derby

Friday 22 March 2002

APOLOGY: In the review of the previous night's gig at the Witchwood I suggested their range of beers was 'peerless' for regular Man venues. Having attended the Flowerpot, I now know this to be a rash and inaccuarate statement. I shall try to avoid such misleading pronouncements in future.

Flowerpot ticketI had a quick word with Martin prior to the performance, and he confirmed that the band had been less than satisfied with the gig the night before at the Witchwood. Not his exact words, but you get the gist. So we hoped for better things tonight, in the Flowerpot; it was my first visit here - it's a multiple roomed pub, the concert area being in a separate room at the back. This room is L shaped, and that, together with the sticky carpet, rather made me nostalgic for the Duchess in Leeds. The stage is small, and a low beam stretches across the front, so visibilty is not the greatest - Bob was probably only really seen by those at the very front, but a sight of the odd flailing arm was enough to confirm that the Man band percussionist does seem to go about his business wearing gloves these days.

The setlist was indeed exactly as the previous night, so I won't go on at length about each and every song.

Not a good venue for taking photos.The good news is that the evening was mercifully free of any technical problems, so the band were able to concentrate on the music. This is of course just as it should be, and the result was a much better performance all round. A good litmus test is probably the Ace chat factor, and whereas he was quiet 24 hours previously, tonight he was back on form. The only real impediment was perhaps the stage size, which made any sort of movement tricky, but musically, there were no grounds for complaint. Again, the quiet ending to Love Isn't Love was a highlight, though it does seem to take the crowd by surprise - or maybe they are just being respectful, and not showing their appreciation until they are sure it's over. Whatever. I still have reservations about Face to Face as a live piece, but I did get the impression that Micky was trying to find something new with some of his guitar lines.

Asylum did seem punchier, and that is probably down to Gareth and Bob getting more familiar with it; Deke's soloing in MACBFGU continues to impress, and again the two encores were of a high standard.

A good gig. The band were clearly enjoying themselves more than the night before, and when the guys on stage are having a good time, you can pretty well guarantee that the punters will do likewise.

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