The game on Saturday wasn't the best start as we only drew but that wasn't going to dampen my enthusiasm and after a spot of shopping in Oxford Street I hopped on the Tube and made my way towards the appropriately named 'Assembly Rooms' where the others on this forum were gathering. On entering I recognised Gary from Edinburgh and was introduced to Smeeg, Spike, Jojo, Tim, Andy, Gary et al. Lovely bunch of people and the islands were well represented with fans around the table from England Ireland Scotland and Wales!
We were joined later by Laura and Jane and after some stimulating conversation we made our way towards the Forum. There was quite a long queue which we reluctantly made our way to the back of but it moved quite briskly and soon I was making my way to the front of the hall and managed to get to within one of the front! Eugene Francis Jr. gave his usual polished performance including his rendition of 'Dream' and was politely received. Everyone was there for one man and one man only and he duly strode on to the stage after nine and launched into 'Love In Action'. The set list is well known but for me it was such a pleasure and privilege to see Todd playing 'LIA' 'Black Maria' and 'Open My Eyes'. I haven't heard the first two of those songs since 1979 and had pretty much given up hope of ever hearing them again!
Todd seemed pleased with the crowd and gave us some good old fashioned guitar heroics even ending up on his backside during one ill advised manoeuvre!
It is impossible to pick out a single song from the show and Arena is just made for live performance!
The encores are just heaven. A high kicking 'Couldn't I Just Tell You' followed by a spiritual and uplifting 'JOV'. I wished it could last forever but ...... it didn't!
The band looked so happy on stage and they really are accomplished musicians! The four voices combined are rich and powerful and the precision of the percussion on stage highlights the limitations of the drum machine on the album. The keyboards seem to be unnecessary too. I don't think I heard them at any of the shows I attended.
I missed the after show which was the only downer of the evening but already I'm looking forward to next year and 'AWATS'. Too much to expect? Hopefully not!