GIG : Brian Wilson
Venue : Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Date : Sunday 11th September 2011
Cost : £45 plus the booking fee
Our Verdict : Blinding
The Pre-show meet up was in a music bar called The Bay in West Regent Street, and it was here that a few of the fans congregated ahead of the show, including some that had made the journey from Australia and Boston. We got there about an hour after it all kicked off, only to learn that Brian Wilson himself had popped hi s head around the door (with Jeff Foskett and Nelson Bragg). Natch, we had missed the great man. Nelson came back later and mingled with us all.
Once at the Royal Concert Hall, we had the chance to meet more of the fans, and then headed into the auditorium to take our seats. The show started with the complete “Brian Wilson Imagines Gershwin” album, from start to finish allowing only short breaks for appreciative applause. The harmonies were perfect from the very first note, but some of the songs really stood out, including, “Summertime”, “I Loves You Porgy”, which had a lovely sax solo from Paul Mertens. “You Can’t Take That Away From Me” was a really upbeat number, and the band seemed to like playing this one.” I Got Rhythm” had a great rolling drum beat from Mike D’Amico and after “Someone To Watch Over Me”, Brian looked really satisfied – the band had obviously nailed that one. The strings were provided by the Apollo Strings, from Glasgow, directed by Paul Mertens.
|Paul Von Mertens|
How the time flew..... as the last notes faded, Brian left the stage for the interval. Minty was pleasantly surprised at how much she enjoyed the 1st half. Not being a big Gershwin fan, nor a big fan of the album, the live presentation of it was actually really awesome.
The second half kicked off with the songs we all know and love, beginning with “California Girls”, “Dance Dance Dance”, “Surfer Girl” and “Please Let Me Wonder” where Jeff Foskett played a rather nice Elvis Presley acoustic guitar. Brian did a bit of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and The Beeb made a sheep’s “baaaaaa” noise, which cracked Scott up on stage!!!
We heard “Salt Lake City” performed for the first time tonight and that sounded really tight. Scott got everyone up to dance to “Do You Wanna Dance” and after that no-one sat down for the next 60 minutes + ......... even when the tempo slowed down a bit. The set included “Little Girl I Once Knew” which is a song we haven’t heard in the live shows for a while and were delighted it was included tonight. “Breakaway” still needs a bit of work – Minty felt there was something missing from the mix tonight on that song. “God Only Knows” was dedicated to the 9/11 victims
|Nicky Wonder plays "Pet Sounds"|
There were two encores, the final one beginning with Mike D’Amico beating the drum and then the band stepping on stage, one behind another (like the Madness walk) in time to the drum beat, and then after taking their positions behind their microphones and instruments, launched into “All Summer Long”.
And so our first Brian Wilson concert of 2011 came to an end. Reaction among the fans afterwards was really positive – Great Sound, fantastic harmonies, terrific, brilliant...... you get the drift.
After the show, a bit of a party had been arranged in a bar not far from the venue, with an invite for everyone..... that was a brilliant 3 and a half hours of Brian Wilson/Beach Boys tunes being spun and some live spontaneous acoustic sets from the many muso’s in the room, which included four of Brian’s band (Scott Bennett, Nelson Bragg, Probyn Gregory and Brett Simons), Pugwash, Duglas T. Stewart, Laurence Reid and The Beeb of course.
|Post Show Party|
|Nelson & Probyn have a jam|
|Duglas & Jill|
Cocktails flowed all night and it was just past 3am when we finally toddled off back to the hotel....... leaving Nelson & Probyn (aka The Duracell Bunny) still partying!
Night one over...... another five to go!