Tuesday 12 July 2011

Blondie - Kew The Music, Kew Gardens - Live Review - 11th July, 2011

Though tonight it's a mild summer's evening in these Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the music is straight out of New York.
There's no doubt that Debbie Harry is a true rock and roll idol, Blonde hair, dark glasses and vampish PVC coat tails. Slowly during the evening she loses most of the paraphernalia and moves with angular energy like she is rocking the CBGB all over again. She still has most of her voice, and what she misses she makes up for with attitude and dramatic flair. Drummer Clem Burke plays with the energy of a fifteen year old and an exuberance that rings out in every beat. Highlight is when Clem does a couple of 20 ft stick spins. 20ft. Twice. Chris Stein is supported by stunt guitarist Tommy Kessler. Tommy is clearly enjoying himself and from time to time they let him cut lose with some great solo work. Foot on the monitor, head back, he whips into some mean sweep picking and two-handed tapping. It doesn't feel out of place. Blondie always manage to gel rock with with pop. From shred to singalong, it's all there tonight. Leigh Foxx on the bass keeps the bottom end in check while keyboard player Matt Katz-Bohen with his awesome Dave Hill style fringe gets to play a Keytar for one song. The Keytar even gets a little whoop from the crowd.

The sound in Kew is very good. It's not loud, but it's clear. There's little wind which keeps things focussed and the trees and glass house act as a little bowl to keep things tight. Atmosphere here is friendly. There's a lot of wine and picnics. There's a stall selling cheese. There's little shoving or pushing, just a lot of smiling faces and singing.

The set list is what you'd expect. Even if you've never owned a Blondie record you would have heard more than three quarters of tonight's songs on your radio over the years. They all sound exciting and fresh. Rapture sounds like it was written last week. Hanging on the Telephone will never grow old and the crowd goes wild when the telephone rings to introduce it. Blondie encore with 'A song they did at Abbey Road a week ago'. It's 'Please, Please Me' and it sounds fantastic. The crowd love it.


1 comment:

BartLennon said...

Excellent read. Sounds like a lovely evening.