MICK UNDERWOOD’S GLORY ROAD Cabbage Patch, Twickenham

Thursday August 30th 2012

A new rock night is being launched at the Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham, already home to blues and folk clubs and they had former Gillan drummer Mick Underwood’s band to launch proceedings.

A decent turn-out considering it was Thursday night and a new venture. Support came from Malf, whose songs were okay but they had a top draw guitarist who switched from blue to hard rock and rock ‘n’ roll with ease.

Mick Underwood’s band featured former 24 Carat Purple vocalist Rob Cooksley, guitarist Jeff Summers (Weapon/Wildfire/Statetrooper), along with his brother Gary on bass/vocals and on keyboards Roy Shipston (Carl Palmer/Peter Green). Vocalist Rob Cooksley managed to match Ian Gillan’s vocals, including his famous screams down to a tee none more so than on a superb run through ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’. Mind you song of the night had to be ‘Mr Universe’, close your eyes and you’d swear it was Gillan in their prime. Guitarist Jeff Summers lays down the solos with ease and really seems to be having a blast on stage.

Mick Underwood’s other bands get a look in, Peace, a band he formed with Paul Rodgers left Free, had ‘Heartbreaker’ and there were two songs from Quatermass, including the excellent ‘Black Sheep Of The Family’, famously covered on the first Rainbow album.

Good to see the Gillan backlist plundered for some rarer gems like ‘She Tears Me Down’. Due to time constraints no time for ‘New Orleans’, so Led Zep’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ complete with drum solo closed off the set.

Only two small quibbles, the stage was very small so not much room for the band to strut their stuff plus the keyboards were often drowned out and Colin Towns’ keys were an important part of the Gillan sound. Apart from that a great gig and a real treat for me to hear Gillan songs played live as they had split-up by the time I was old enough to go to gigs! Hopefully the rock club can go from strength to strength and with bands like Four Wheel Drive and Andy Scott’s Sweet lined-up I am sure it will prove successful.

Jason Ritchie

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