Tonight’s gig at the historic Roundhouse was to be a true music legend – Peter Frampton. The former Humble Pie singer/guitarist has had a long successful solo career, but somehow I’ve never quite got round to seeing him in concert until tonight. Tonight there’s no support act just Peter Frampton doing a two hour set, so with him on stage at 8pm that means an earlier night than usual.
The band came on stage and got the show off to an excellent start with “Something’s happening”. Right from the start I was hooked – superb guitar playing, great vocals and a cheerful mood combine to make it perfect. I really was impressed by his guitar playing in particular – it just sounded so impressive. For the vocals he mainly does clean vocals but for some of the songs he uses a talk box – a strange device that modifies the sound of the guitar so you get a strange half singing/talking, half guitar sound that can sound like a talking guitar, or just a strange mechanical voice. It’s not easy to describe really but if you’ve listened to much of his material then you’ll know exactly what I’m trying to describe. That strange distorted guitar/vocal sound is very distinctive and is used extremely well in the places where it’s used, while clean singing is used most of the time.
Towards the end of the set he introduces the next song as one written by Chris Cornell. It’s Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” which I have to say isn’t a song or band I’d have expected him to cover. The cover is done largely instrumentally and sounds great – very different to the original but very very good. The vocals come in quite a long way into the song and he uses the voice box to give a strange distorted vocal effect which works very well.
He then ends the set with “Do you feel like we do” – a great end to a superb set. Happily though that wasnt the end of the night and he and his band are soon back for an encore.
After “Off the hook” he talks about the fact that Humble Pie’s ‘Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore’ album has just been re-released in an expanded form and then brings out Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley to do a couple of Humble Pie songs with him. They do “Four day creep” followed by “I don’t need no doctor”, both of which sound great and are a real treat for the fans. Peter Frampton then ends the night with a Beatles cover – the fabulous George Harrison penned “While my guitar gently weeps”. It’s a beautiful end to a fantastic gig. As I left the gig at the end, there was just enough time to pick up a CD at the merch stand before heading for the train home.
If you’re a rock fan who’s never seen Peter Frampton live, then take my advice and go and see him next time you get the chance – it’s a concert you’ll thoroughly enjoy, and it’s clear why he’s had such a successful career.
Lines On My Face
Show Me the Way
Wind Of Change
Boot It Up
All I Wanna Be (Is By Your Side)
Baby I Love Your Way
(I’ll Give You) Money
Black Hole Sun
Do You Feel Like We Do
Off The Hook
Four Day Creep
I Don’t Need No Doctor
While My Guitar Gently Weeps