So you have an idea to play a whole album from back to front, ”kicking your arse for over 25 years” the female intro tape voice tells you. Well, you should expect that to be plus another hour or so after this.
Sail Away is the first song which starts with a bass and drum groove from Chris Childs and one of the original members drummer Michael Arbeeny before some shredding from the impressive Chris Green. Then the main man starts us on the journey with his acoustic and instantly recognisable voice. I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck spark into life....just like the band once that groove kicks back in. If you are not grooving in your seat while listening to this opener then all hope is gone.
Over 26 years since the album Don’t Come Easy was released and these songs still have a timeless quality in them, as Strip Me Down demonstrates. Boy these guys knock this one out the park with a tightness that shows you how good musicians they all are.
Nothing But Love gets the crowd in Milan clapping along, this show is gathering a bit of pace here, with the crowd joining in on the Whoa Whoas. A brief acoustical intro before the boys hit that grooving beat again on Walk On Fire, bass and drums again locked in to a beat that’s as tight as my spandex from 1986. Chris Green’s guitar on this is sounding as large as a large thing...just awesome.
Straight into Lay Your Body Down with that intro line that everyone there knew and sang along to.....STAND UP GET DOWN......WON’T YOU LAY YOUR BODY DOWN..... just a great song. This song is where Chris Childs gets to showcase why he is playing in this band, solid bass player perfect for all these songs. We get a brief interlude when Danny tells us about the writing of the song and it then kicks back into gear with the energetic crowd singing along.
In every album there is a bit of a break, here it is tonight...Standing Alone. One of the bands most recognisable songs, with the exception of that other one, you know the one, we will get to that later on. Some western style acoustic leads us into Seasons and the party gets going again, before Ged Rylands starts our next offering Burning Down Inside with some luscious keyboards and then Danny gives us another lesson in how to sing before Mr Green gets the crowd up and running with the guitar, and before you know it, it’s back on. You can feel the crowd jumping about at this point. Crowd participation on the chorus and the train keeps a rollin’.
Ok I forgot about this one, another instantly recognisable tune....WINGS....its got all the feeling of driving with the top down and the music blaring on a summers day. I’m reviewing this and singing along........IF I ONLY HAD THE WINGS TO FLY....brilliant......Whoooooaaooo whooooaaoooo at the end to finish this masterpiece of a song before you know what. Yes, that one that the band are going to be forever remembered for.....yes it’s time for FOREVER YOUNG.....”blow the roof of this f**ker” as he says. It’s a classic, and this is played impeccably, you can’t not love this song. This is the stellar moment for Chris Green, plays out of his skin on this one, the crowd love it and you can hear them aplenty here.
A couple of songs for the encore...something a little newer for the Milan crowd....Rescue Me and Reach, that keep the feel good party atmosphere going just that little bit longer.
I was around in 1986, still have that CD and was lucky enough to see the band play the first time around and also see them at the start of 2017 and must say that Danny and the rest of the band still have it....in bucket loads....he can still sing and hit those notes. For me this live recording just shows you what you can achieve when you write great songs and are able to play them live. This for me is a must buy addition to the collection.....and yes I have had the DVD pre-ordered for a while now. Released 13th October.