Tonight’s gig had an early start due to the 10pm curfew to allow the regular club night to happen afterwards. Sometimes it’s actually quite nice to have an early finish, and given the crowd tonight is slightly more mature than for most of the gigs held here, an early finish was probably a popular thing.
First up were Von Hertzen Brothers. The Finnish band kick off their all-too short set with “War is over”, the title track of their most recent album. The band are heavier and more Prog than Uriah Heep but there’s enough in the music to keep Uriah Heeps fans interested and enjoying their performance. It’s a strong start to the night.
Uriah Heep were introduced by Planet Rock’s Paul Anthony, who reminds us that next year, the band will be entering their 50th year. The band are currently touring in support of their latest album (their 25th album), “Living The Dream” – that’s a pretty consistent career – a new album every two years on average for 50 years.
Singer Bernie Shaw shows he’s in great form with opening tracks “Grazed By Heaven” and “Too Scared To Run. Bernie then takes his turn to bring up numbers and he lets us know it has been 27 years since they last played Rock City.
As they are touring in support of latest album, as expected the set is predominately made up with tracks from that, but still room for classics, stretching all the way back to their debut album “…Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble” for “Gypsy”. With so many albums to pick from it must have taken a bit of thought to work out what the setlist should be for the tour.
The sound tonight is fantastic. The sound engineer can make or break a gig and I’m sure most people have experienced crap sound at a gig that has spoilt the night for them. Thankfully tonight it’s all spot on – each band member can be heard clearly, especially Mick Box whose guitar skills are sublime.
The final song of the set, “Lady in Black” starts off with Mick Box on the acoustic guitar while Bernie was conducting the crowd like they were his orchestra. The crowd love it and there’s plenty of clapping and singing along. The band leave the stage to loud applause, but we knew this wouldn’t be the end of the night.
The band come back onstage for an encore of “Sunrise” and there are no surprises with the final track of the night, “Easy Livin’ “
A great night from a band that look like they are really enjoying themselves and show no signs of slowing down. Hope to see them back in 2019.
Grazed By Heaven
Too Scared To Run
Living The Dream
Take Away My Soul
Rocks In The Road
Look At Yourself
Lady In Black