Sunday, 25 November 2012

Mike Peters - Red Poppy Tour Islington Academy Friday 23rd November 2012

What a fantastic show in London (again!) ...Joe Silva was a great and most welcome addition to the tour and treated us to an all too short half hour set which mainly featured tracks from his new album "Blue" as well as his tribute to those who died in The Station night club fire in 2003 "97 Angels" before closing with his take on a Paul Simon classic. It was great hearing tracks from "Blue" stripped down into an acoustic form and I hope many people took advantage of the amazingly low price that "Blue" was at the merchandise desk! I would have loved to have seen a longer set from Joe but at least he confirmed he will be at the Gathering in January so we have that to look forward to.

Talking about the merchandise was a great idea to do a 3 for 2 offer which I took advantage of to pick up some long wanted DVD's as well as the excellent Tour T-Shirt. I would definitely have picked up more at a different time of year so hopefully they will repeat this excellent offer on the "Vinyl" tour or even on the web site.

Mike delivered an amazing set, the beauty of these shows is the unpredictable nature of the set list each night making each show genuinely unique. Coming on to the crowds "Blaze Of Glory" chants you knew it was going to be a great night from word go. After being hit by a technical issue with one of the two guitars he had (that would plague him all night - meaning only one could be used) Mike came into the audience to treat us to  "This Train" while it was being sorted - for the record I think the guitar was ok, it was the cable or the box it was going into that was the problem! So after 2 tracks Mike announced that he had played what he wanted to play so it was over to us to decide what else he played. A little different from the last acoustic shows in that he didn't just take shouted out requests but wanted to find out why the person wanted to hear it. It was good to see many Big Country fans turning out to support Mike as he helps to continue the Big Country legacy and it is obvious he is happy to play BC tracks but did change the requested track for one that would work better in an acoustic setting. Joe Silva came back to the stage joining Mike for what would normally be the encore but as the venue is under a strict 10pm curfew tonight no time is wasted in the niceties of going of stage to milk the applause. The night ends with a seasonal run though of the John & Yoko classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" before Mike announces he isn't finished but due to the curfew he will be taking the show to the plaza outside the venue walking with the exiting crowd to start an acoustic sing along outside of "In A Big Country" and "45 RPM". As the venue is part of a shopping precinct the sudden appearance of a Welshman touting a guitar and bringing a couple of hundred close friends with him it alarmed the precinct security somewhat! So Mike lets it stand at an impromptu open air two song encore and we go away happy after witnessing an amazing night!

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