Uriah Heep made a welcome return to the UK with some select dates on the back of the release of their well received Living The Dream album. The Heep fans turned out in force to a near sell out at Nottingham Rock City with Von Hertzen Brothers supporting to make it a really worthwhile bill.
Von Hertzen Brothers are afforded a forty minute support slot which in prog terms means just 5 songs. They choose to open with the lengthy ‘War Is Over’ from the album of the same name which is arguably the Finn’s most accomplished album to date. As if to prove the fact they continue with another fine effort; ‘Jerusalem’. ‘Kiss A Wish’ is a full on prog indulgence and contrasts with the shorter more straight ahead rock of ‘Sunday Child’. Von Hertzen Brothers have also been playing their own headline dates alongside this tour, and you can read our review of their Birmingham show elsewhere on these pages.
Uriah Heep’s previous tours have always seen the band add a fair chunk of their latest album to the set. Tonight is no exception and it helps to keep the set fresh. The first half of the show is dominated by tracks from Living The Dream, opening with the lead single, ‘Grazed By Heaven’ which find Bernie Shaw in fine voice as he darts around teh stage. This is swiftly followed with Abominog‘s ‘Too Scared To Run’ which sees guitarist Mick Box casting spells out from his guitar with hand gestures from behind sunglasses and ever present smile.
Subdued lighting and plenty of dry ice create an atmospheric experience as the band take us all the way back to 1972 with an unexpected, but delightful ‘Rainbow Demon’. Mick Box switches to acoustic guitar for the intro to ‘Waters Flowin” before the song develops into its full blown electric version. Meanwhile ‘Rocks On The Road’ is almost tribal with Dave Rimmer’s insistent basslines leading rhythmic clapping from the crowd as the song is shared between band and audience, receiving as good a reception as any of the older more well known songs. From here on in Heep move into classics territory as Box introduces ‘Gypsy’ with the story that David Byron never forgave him for ‘glueing shit on his face’ for the album cover of Very ‘Eavy, Very ‘Umble.
Phil Lanzon excels on ‘Look At Yourself’ along with some ferocious drumming from Russell Gilbrook and extended solos from Mick Box which receives a terrific response from the audience. ‘July Morning’ and ‘Lady In Black’ round off the main set in similar fashion.
An encore of ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Easy Living’ round off a superb evening. There are few bands that seem to enjoy themselves on stage as much as Uriah Heep and that in essence is probably why they are still here after all these years and as Mick Box points out that next year they will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary. Let’s hope that gives us another chance to catch them in the UK in 2019.
Grazed By Heaven
Too Scared To Run
Living The Dream
Take Away My Soul
Rocks In The Road
Look At Yourself
Lady In Black