Friday 28th October 2016
It was great to welcome the grrrreat Brian Wilson back to the UK since he last graced our shores at the gig in Southend on Sea in September.
The joy about his gigs is not just the actual show, but the pre and post show social gatherings of the fans. A chance for like minded, passionate people to share thoughts and memories of the last fourteen years when we have always said.... "we have to buy a ticket because Brian might never come across again!!!"
|Alex Mac's Red Jacket is legendary|
The fans had travelled quite a way, some from as far away as Scotland - could this be the last UK appearance of the legend that is Brian Wilson?
Our seats were first row circle slightly left of centre....... good seats as we had a great view of the stage and we didn't have to stand if we didn't want to (getting old now!). The fun of Brian Wilson concerts is spotting where our friends are sitting so as the venue started to fill it was a case of "spot our friends!".
|The Drewett's spot "friends"|
|Dave and Kerri "spot" us|
|Darian Sahanaja and Gary Griffin|
Speaking of the set list, it was broadly the same as we had experienced during the May/June dates. New additions were "California Saga" (which we had been treated to at Southend), "Salt Lake City", "You're So Good To me" and a surprise addition of "Sail Away" from the last Brian Wilson album "No Pier Pressure" - a welcome addition given that Blondie Chaplin and Al Jardine who were prominent on that album were part of the band. Obviously to make way for these songs, something had to go, so we were missing the traditional opening of "Our Prayer" following with "Heroes & Villains", Brian opting to go straight into "California Girls".
The Blondie Chaplin showcase was also shorter with no "Funky Pretty".
|The "left" side of the stage|
|The "right" side of the stage|
The drum off on "Pet Sounds" between Nelson Bragg and Mike D'Amico was strong, the vocals from Matt Jardine who provided the falsetto flowed much more easily with Brian than they had earlier in the UK tour, although Brian did drop a few early words which Matt did not cover. The question is whether he should be expected to cover - Jeff did (just saying).
|Probyn was going for the "Brexit" look!|
Brian is certainly more fragile now. This tour has been brutal and he has been on the road essentially most of the year. He tends to "speak" his lyrics rather than sing them now and he is getting short of breath. Does this matter? We guess reaction would be mixed. You have one camp that is just pleased to have him involved and another that expects him to be the main man. Us? We love the music, we love Brian Wilson and we love his band. The combination works for us!
The whole Drewett family did the "Surfin' USA" dance and you can watch it here......
Darian's fabulous rendition of "Darlin'"
Al Jardine on form for "Wake The World" and Probyn on trombone
Blondie took the lead on "Sail Away"
"Pet Sounds" includes a great bit of guitar from Nicky Wonder and a fantastic drum off between Nelson Bragg and Mike D'Amico
And here is the 8 minutes of footage with Paul Von Mertens introducing the band!