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Legend Of A Band

Venue: Civic Centre
Town: Rotherham
Date: 24/07/16

Last night Rotherham played host to "Legend Of A Band." Promoted as a tribute to the Moody Blues, this band and concert is so much more!

The band consists of six members, two of which Gordy Marshall and Paul Bliss performed on stage with the Moodies for over twenty years. The other band members are Mick Wilson, lead singer with 10CC, Malcom Moore, bass player for James Blunt and West End musician, Nick Kendall a young and extraordinarily talented guitarist and finally flautist Lindsay Goodhand who adds all the "Ray Thomas" parts without which it would not be the Moodies' sound. All terrific musicians and singers!

The two hour set, played to a small but enthusiastic audience opened with the very appropriate "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" and finished with the perfect driving song "Ride My Seesaw." In between are some numbers that I have never heard the original band play live and I have seen them a number of times. "Go Now" was the first hit for the Moodies but is rarely played by the current band, if ever, as it featured Denny Laine on the original version. The whimsical "Dr Livingstone" shows the writing talents and humour of Ray Thomas but is certainly a song that I have not heard for at least forty years. A number of other tracks from the Moodies' back catalogue helped to show new fans what a legacy of music Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Ray Thomas have left. I know Graham Edge wrote a bit too before anyone jumps in here!

Clever synthesiser programming by Paul Bliss enables the original Mike Pinder Melotron sounds to be reproduced. Paul played for the Moodies for longer than Mike Pinder so really does understand what the music should sound and feel like. He also acts as the MD for the band. Gordy, who also played drums with the Moodies and is just about to start a solo tour with John Lodge, regaled many stories about the original band and music in general. Informative and entertaining!

The set includes two tracks from "The War Of The Worlds." "Eve Of The War" opens the second part of the show with a version that is quite stunning and is followed by the beautiful "Forever Autumn." A two song unplugged session includes the magical "Never Comes The Day" with two flutes and a version that I have not heard bettered. "Legend Of A Mind" gives Lindsay the chance to show off her skills on the flute as does the fabulous "Tuesday Afternoon.". The version of the seminal song "Nights In White Satin" is as good as the original and completely nerve tingling. "Question" provides Nick with the chance to show his guitar playing skills to perfection and is a song that I am convinced that requires the guitarist to have elastic wrists. If you know the song you will know what I mean there. One of my favourite Moody songs is the simply beautiful "Are You Sitting Comfortably" which was played with accurate and stunning simplicity, bringing back memories of long ago listening to 12" LPs on an old turntable.

A fantastic evening of classic songs originally made by the band that I still rate in my "all time top five bands." "Legend Of A Band" deserve to be recognised for so much more than a tribute act and if you have never seen the Moody Blues and are unlikely to ever do so, this is just about as good as it gets. My wife and I agreed that it was one of the best shows that we have seen in recent years and we do go to a lot. We will most certainly be off to see them again when we are able to. If you get the chance, make sure that you "Go Now!" Check the tour dates on the website.

Rory Stanbridge

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