Review of Ronnie Scotts gig

Review by Peter Collinson (Switch to

Like the other gigs on this European tour, the gig was billed as 'the greatest hits show that the fans have always wanted'. With promo like that, what is there not to look forward too? And to see Todd at such a prestigious, intimate venue could only be every fans dream. So we booked our tickets, train and hotel and headed off to London thinking this was going to be the show of a lifetime. As always with Ronnie Scott's there are two house sets and given that the first show is restricted by the start-time of the second, we thought the later set would be the one to see -- after all that's normally the way things work out at Ronnie Scotts. As people came out of the first house show the comments were consistently of the highest order and the set list seemed pretty much what I expected.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Only that Todd decided to change the show completely for the second house and play a Blues set. Worse still was that the band (who we all know are of the highest calibre) didn't seem to know the numbers or be able to 'feel' the Blues coherently -- often looking at each other in complete confusion when breaks and endings didn't work. I am not being unkind when I say that I have heard tighter and better blues bands down at the local pub than what I heard on Saturday night. It was not only very disappointing, but at times it was a shambles.

Halfway through the show various people in the audience started shouting for Todd to play something better known -- someone shouted for soul - so he apparently grudgingly announced they would play the I'm so Proud Soul medley -- and it briefly looked like things might pick up -- but Todd decided he'd had enough after the first two numbers in the medley and stopped the band mid-flight, once again returning to unknown blues territory.

I heard a number of shouts of 'Rubbish!' around the house and many shouts for ' Real Man' and various other 'expected' songs but Todd had decided we weren't going to get it. There were a couple of brief interludes with I saw the Light and Black Maria but even when it came to the encore we got yet another Blues number with Todd making some arrogant comment about those who hadn't made it to first base yet were never going to make it. We didn't even get Hello It's Me!

So thanks Todd for shattering a dream and wasting £500 of my hard-earned money. I waited 35 years for 'the greatest hits show the fans have always wanted' -- might have been nice if you'd actually publicised that you weren't going to play it in the second house set at Ronnies. -- and next time you want to rehearse the band, it might be better if you didn't do it with an audience. I never thought I'd be so negative about a Todd gig but this set was misplaced and well below an acceptable standard.

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10/08/2011 - Ronnie Scott's - London, UK

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