Review and photos by Rich Ward
Warming up the Leamington crowd tonight were Blurred Vision who turned in an interesting opening set. The Canadian band are led by Iranian born brothers Sepp and Sohl Osley and their music twists and turns in styles that covers everything from indie rock, psychedelia and prog. They really hit their stride by third number ‘Promise’ which rocked considerably more than the opening numbers..
During the set Sepp cites both Jim Morrison and David Gahan as influences so it gives you some idea of their style and mix that with some Eastern inflections and ‘The Keeper’ makes for a proggy delight, and by now the crowd has warmed to them. They finish their set with their take on Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ classic; ‘Hey Ayatollah, leave them kids alone’. A song which demonstrates that they have some affinity with the political and human rights stance of Roger Waters. This heavy wall-of-sound take went down well and afterwards the band were seen to do some good business at the merch stall.
Having just released the Live At Koko CD / DVD, Uriah Heep are out on the road to promote it and tonight is the second of 10 UK dates on their European tour. They open with ‘Speed Of Sound’ and it becomes evident that there is still plenty of Outsider material in the set. This is no bad thing as it’s a cracker of an album.
“1971 seems a long time ago, but the important thing is we’re still here and you’re still here and we’re having a great time” guitarist and founding member Mick Box states before one of the older songs in tonight’s set. It’s a sentiment that rings true, and age is really irrelevant when bands like Uriah Heep produce albums of the quality of The Outsider and still perform with such passion, and obvious enjoyment.
Bernie Shaw works the stage and is rarely still, while Mick Box is never too far away from his Wah-Wah and plays much of the set with a fixed grin. Phil Lanzon’s Hammond sounds on ‘Stealin” and Mick’s glorious, extended solo on ‘The Magician’s Birthday’ epitomise the band, and both tracks are outstanding tonight. However, the next couple of songs, ‘What Kind Of God’ and Planet Rock’s favourite ‘One Minute’ stand equally as tall. While many of the crowd have clearly aged with the band, there is also a healthy number of younger fans in the audience which shows the timeless appeal of the songs whenever they were recorded in the band’s 45 year history.
The main set draws to a conclusion with ‘Lady In Black’ which sees Mick Box in acoustic mode and features some interplay with bassist Davey Rimmer. The encore sees two timeless classics, Phil Lanzon conducts from behind his whirling Hammond and Russell Gilbrook displays a tremendous amount of energy as he powers the band through ‘Easy Livin’’.
Uriah Heep are a band you can always rely upon for an entertaining evening and tonight was no exception with them effortlessly making a Sunday night seem like a Friday with a superb evening of rock n roll.
1. Speed Of Sound
2. Hanging Tree
3. The Law
7. The Magician’s Birthday
8. What Kind Of God
9. One Minute
10. Can’t Take That Away
11. July Morning
12. Lady In Black
14. Easy Livin’