The last date of the Spin Doctors three date UK visit re-arranged from last autumn. It was a decent turn out at the Garage, although the curse of the 10pm curfew to allow for the nightclub after badly hit openers Dodgy, who were reduced to a thirty minute set. Dodgy had a decent run of success in the UK album and single charts in the 90’s and have a new album due later this year. Their vocal harmonies were spot on with the hits ‘In A Room’ and ‘Staying Out For The Summer’, the latter a classic ‘feel good’ song sure to put a smile on your face. Newer songs like ‘Shadows’ had a blues edge and some tasty slide guitar playing. Vocalist Nigel Clark (looking uncannily like David Hasselhoff!) looked slightly thrown when the band were told they only had time for one more song and that could only be ‘Good Enough’, which got the whole audience joining in. An excellent set given their limited time and as they said they normally play for longer and are a lot wittier between songs as they had no time to really draw breath between songs. They headline the Borderline in London on March 28th.
The Spin Doctors hit the big time with their multimillion seller album ‘Pocket Full Of Kryptonite’ and the massive hit single on both sides of the Atlantic, ‘Two Princes’. As singer Chris Barron proudly boasted this was the original band performing tonight, plugging last year’s blues based album ‘If The River Was Whiskey’. They played a balanced set mixing the well known tunes like ‘Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong’ (played early on as the second song of the night) and the newer songs like the excellent ‘Traction Blues’ and ‘About A Train’.
The band’s musicianship was top notch as you’d expect, although a couple of extended guitar/drums led blues jams did see my attention span start to wander.
Chris Barron, in between showing his dexterity with this onstage moves and singing, proved a witty frontman reminiscing about ‘The Goodies’ and even finding time to sing happy birthday to a member of the audience. There was also a running joke over bass player Mark White being moody and mean, a typical quote from Chris Barron being ‘beneath this tough exterior lies another tough exterior. It was all done in good spirit though.
Needless to say ‘Two Princes’ went down a storm as expected with the crowd heartily joining in on the choruses.
Two fine bands, both as good as if not better than their respective glory days and both I’d definitely go to see play live again.
Review by Jason Ritchie
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Power Plays w/c 14 October (Mon-Fri)
SANGUINE Ignite (Odyssey Music)
GOODBYE JUNE Switchblade Heart (Earache)
SAINTS OF SIN Nasty Love (indie)
SCARLET REBELS Heal (indie)
FLYING COLORS The Loss Inside (Mascot)
KEYWEST C’est La Vie (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 14 October (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DANGER ZONE Don’t Count On Heroes (Pride & Joy Music)
12:00-13:00 ECLIPSE Paradigm (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 GALLAGHER & LYLE Live at De Montfort Hall, 1977 (The Store For Music)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
ROBIN TROWER In The Line Of Fire (1990)
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