Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel @ Town Hall, Birmingham – Thursday 21 October 2021

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It’s a real joy when you go to see a live show from an artist that you never previously knew you liked and such was the feeling when the Midlands Rocks Editorial team witnessed a superb performance from Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel at Town Hall. And with a set that nudged towards two and a half hours there was plenty to enjoy as Steve and his band delivered all of the usual suspects and many more from his gold plated songbook.

Steve Harley & The Cockney Rebel

Although he remained seated throughout, Steve performed with passion and vigour, at times seemingly overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection from the audience, many who have been with him on the long journey from the 1970’s to the present day (although perhaps not too many were at Barbarella’s in 1963 as suggested – he himself would’ve been twelve years old…). The band were in terrific form, providing their front man with the perfect platform to weave his magic on sublime moments such as ‘Mr Soft’, ‘The Coast of Amalfi’ and ‘Journey’s  End (A Father’s Promise)’ and there was some inspired soloing from violinist Barry Wickens and guitarist Robbie Gladwell.

Steve Harley & The Cockney Rebel

The set list moved through the eclectic ‘Judy Teen’ to the huge rousing anthems ‘Sebastian’, ‘Tumbling Down’ and ‘The Best Years of our Lives’, evidence enough that their creator is one of the most inventive songwriters of the past half a century. And as the show moved to its climax it was, of course, the evergreen ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)’ that got the crowd to their feet for a celebratory singalong. The thrill of getting back to experiencing live music in 2021 is all about nights like this. Sorry we’ve missed you for so many years Steve, looking forward to the next time already.

Set One:-

How Good It Feels

The Alibi

All Men Are Hungry

Compared With You

Friend For Life

Nothing Is Sacred

The Last Feast

Mr Soft

Riding The Waves

Promises

Set Two:-

Coast Of Amalfi

Journey’s End

Rain In Venice

The Lighthouse

Victim of Love

Judy Teen

The Best Years of Our Lives

Tumbling Down

Sebastian

Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)