Second time seeing Mick Undewood’s band who play mainly Gillan tunes, with a couple of songs from Quatermass, his earlier band.
Arriving at the cricket club to find the car park packed I thought maybe Mr Gillan himself was performing! Alas, it was merely parents picking up their kids after cricket practice. Luckily though the turnout was a good one (including a fan who was the spitting image of the late, great Sweet vocalist Brian Connolly!) and made a little more special as it was Mick Underwood’s birthday.
Since last seeing them play in Twickenham they have a different vocalist, Luka Ravase who is a young bundle of energy and can sing the high notes too. He has a great stage presence as was witnessed when he led an impromptu sing-a-long after the band had blown the electrics by playing too loud!
He seems much better suited to the band and I am sure allowed some gems like ‘If I Sing Softly’ and ‘Bluesy Blue Sea’ to be aired. The rest of the band remain the same, with the birthday boy Mick Underwood joined by Gary Summers on bass, Roy Shipston on keyboards and guitarist Jeff Summers (Weapon/Statetrooper).
The set has the staples like ‘Unchain Your Brain’, ‘Sleeping On The Job’ and ‘M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction)’, ‘Mr Universe’ the latter featuring some good soloing from Roy Shipston and Jeff Summers. Looking back Gillan produced some classic songs that have stood the test of time and still sound great all these years later.
Two Quatermass songs made the set, ‘The River’ and the excellent ‘Black Sheep Of The Family’ (covered by Rainbow on their debut album).
A real treat to hear ‘New Orleans’, a song I can still vividly remember Gillan performing on ‘Top Of The Pops’ and tweaking my interest further in hard rock music at a young age. A couple more classic rock ‘n’ roll covers in the Gillan style rounded off the set ‘Trouble’ and ‘Lucille’.
There is no-one out there playing these Gillan classics live and thank goodness Mick Underwood and his band still are. Go and see them as it is a top night of classic hard rock, played by musicians who just love the chance to perform these songs live.
Review by Jason Ritchie
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