Paul Rodgers Newcastle City Hall 12th October 2006
I have already written about Paul Rodgers as a solo artist, as a member of Free, as a member of Bad Company and as a member of Queen. He remains, without a doubt, one of our finest blues and soul voices. He has stayed true to the blues and his roots; and he looks as fit, and sings as well, today as he did in the early ’70s when I first saw him perform live with Free. Rather than write about Paul again, I have reproduced the words of a letter which Rodgers had written to Paul Kossoff, a copy of which is included as a handwritten note in the 2006 tour programme. I found it today when I opened the programme.
“Dear Koss. When we were kicking around London together back in ’68 talking about the group we were going to form, who would have thought it would turn out this way. DVDs, digital even videos were a thing of the future. We loved the blues. Driving round town in your mini listening to B B King’s “Live at the Regal”, Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign”, Hendrix and Cream. I remember us laughing when they turned us away from restaurants because our hair was too long.
The first time we jammed together when you showed up with drummer Andy Borenius at my gig with Brown Sugar; you came right up to the stage and said ” I want to get up and jam” and I said “Do you have a guitar?” and you said “Yes I have a Les Paul out in the car”. And I said “Woa this is Finsbury Park man, you need to bring it straight in here or it’ll be gone”. We played B B King’s “Four in the Morning”, “Every Day I have the Blues” and “Stormy Monday Blues”. People came up after and said “You know, time stood still”.
For me in many ways time has stood still since because we made such timeless music.
Thanks for the heart wrenching solo in “Come Together in the Morning”. Thanks for the laughs. Thanks for doing all the driving – you were an excellent driver. Thanks for being a great friend and apologies if we somehow let you down.
See you again one day. Always your friend. Paul”
This was yet another great concert by Paul Rodgers. The set drew from his entire career, and included songs from Free, The Firm, and Bad Company along with a few blues standards. Support came from Paul’s son, Steve Rodgers.
Typical setlist from the 2006 tour: I’ll Be Creepin’; The Stealer; Ride on a Pony; Radioactive; Be My Friend; Warboys (A Prayer For Peace); Feel Like Makin’ Love; Bad Company; I Just Want To See You Smile; Louisiana Blues; Fire and Water; Wishing Well; All Right Now. Encore: I’m a Mover; The Hunter; Can’t Get Enough. Encore 2: Seagull
Archive for the ‘Paul Rodgers’ Category
Paul Rodgers Newcastle City Hall 12th October 2006
Queen and Paul Rodgers Newcastle Arena 3rd May 2005
Of course, it was never going to be the same. When I heard that Queen were going out on tour again with Paul Rodgers as front man, I could hardly believe it. How was that going to work? What would it be like? However, as an old Queen, Free and Bad Company fan I felt I should go along and support them, and see the new line-up for myself. Marie, David and Laura all came along and we were glad that we did. The way in which the show involved all members with video of Freddie was excellent. And a few Free / Bad Company songs were thrown in for good measure and worked well. You have to give if to them; they managed to pull off what many thought the impossible, to go out with a new front man and make it work. All credit to Paul Rodgers for the way in which he approached this. The show was slick, still relevant and a great tribute to Freddie’s legacy. It will be interesting to see what the new line-up, fronted by Adam Lambert is like.
Setlist: Reaching Out; Tie Your Mother Down; I Want to Break Free; Fat Bottomed Girls; Wishing Well; Crazy Little Thing Called Love; Say It’s Not True; ’39; Love of My Life; Hammer to Fall; I’m in Love with My Car; Last Horizon; These Are the Days of Our Lives; Radio Ga Ga; Can’t Get Enough; A Kind of Magic; I Want It All; Bohemian Rhapsody. Encore: All Right Now; We Will Rock You; We Are the Champions
Line-up: Brian May – lead guitars, vocals; Paul Rodgers – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, harmonica; Roger Taylor – drums, percussions, vocals. Touring musicians: Spike Edney – keyboards, backing vocals; Jamie Moses – rhythm guitars, backing vocals; Danny Miranda – bass, backing vocals
In the early 80s Paul Rodgers joined forces with Jimmy Page to for The Firm, a British rock supergroup which also comprised Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Uriah Heep drummer Chris Slade and bass player Tony Franklin. The band, played two UK gigs in 1984, one in London at Hammersmith Odeon, and another at Middlesbrough Town Hall. This was a big deal at the time, with two rock superstars coming back to the North East. In Paul Rodgers case, this was also a homecoming show, as he was born in Middlesbrough. The tickets went on sale from the Town Hall on a week day, and I was at work at the time. My mate Dave was on night shift that week and was able to go down to Middlesbrough and bought tickets for us.
We were really excited about the gig and full of anticipation. We were hoping for one or two Free, Bad Company or Zeppelin songs, but that wasn’t to be. The set consists of the new Firm album and some songs from Jimmy and Paul’s solo work. I remember Paul Rodgers seated at a grand piano for “Live in Peace” from his earlier solo album. Jimmy Page played songs from the Death Wish II soundtrack, which featured his trademark playing of the guitar with a violin bow while beneath the Zeppelin laser pyramid. They also played a great version of the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. It was a very enjoyable show, but I think we were expecting something more. The set list for the London show is listed as this: Closer; City Sirens; Make or Break; The Morning After; Together; Cadillac; Prelude; Money Can’t Buy; Radioactive; Live In Peace; Midnight Moonlight; You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’; The Chase; Someone To Love; Full Circle; Boogie Mama; Everybody Needs Somebody. I would imagine that the set at Middlesbrough was similar.
Free spin-offs gigs: Back Street Crawler, Andy Fraser band, Paul Rodgers; Bad Company
Having written about my Free concert experiences over the past few days, I thought it would be fitting to blog today about the Free spin-off bands that came about in the early to mid-70s, and the (relatively few) gig memories I have of those bands. I’ll start, for no particular reason with Free guitar legend Paul Kossoff. After Free split, I saw Paul Kossoff play at Sunderland Locarno a couple times. I think (but my memory could be playing tricks again) that one of these gigs was billed as The Paul Kossoff band, and the other as (the more familiar name of) Back Street Crawler. These gigs were, I would guess, in 1974 and 1975. Back Street Crawler featured local singer Terry Wilson-Slesser from Beckett. Although it was great to see Kossoff in action again, and some of the old guitar magic was still there, it was also clear that his health was not good. Sadly Paul Kossoff was to die on on an overnight flight from Los Angeles to New York in 1976. After leaving Free Andy Fraser formed Sharks along with vocalist Ships and guitarist Chris Spedding. He wasn’t with Sharks long; I saw Sharks in concert when they played Sunderland Locarno, but it was after Fraser had left the band. Sharks were a great live band, and Snips is a very under-rated singer. Snips and Chris have recently re-emerged as King Mob, who looked great, but were short-lived and have already split. Anyway, back to Andy Fraser. He next formed the Andy Fraser Band, a trio with Kim Turner on drums and Nick Judd on keyboards. I saw the band once at a gig in Sunderland Locarno in 1973; Andy took the front man role, but the lack of a guitarist seemed strange and didn’t work for me. The gig was poorly attended and I never saw the band again, although I do recall them playing Newcastle City Hall around the same time. Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke formed Bad Company. I have blogged separately about Bad Co in concert, who were just great, and carried the Free flag forward to some extent. However, they became a bit too much standard rock for me, and didn’t have the same emotional feel that Free had; they also moved to a more AOR style in their later days. Thats not to say that I didn’t enjoy Bad Company in concert; I did. But it was a very different band to Free, and although some things were gained and were better, some things were also lost in the transition. As usual, I did some searching to check my facts before blogging. I often discover something new, or I am reminded of something that I have forgetten. Today I discovered that after leaving Bad Con in 1982, Simon Kirke was briefly involved with a band called Wildlife who toured in support of the Michael Schenker Band. Now I saw Michael Schenker on most of his UK tours in the 80s, so will probably have seen Wildlife (although I have no recollection of doing so). I’ll finish today’s bog activity with a Postcript from my friend John who was lucky enough to see Paul Rodgers fronting his band, Peace, who were formed when Free split in 1971. This was at a gig at Newcastle City Hall (see programme right) which I sadly missed out on. Over to John: “I saw Peace play their only ever tour, supporting Mott the Hoople, November 5th 71 at the City Hall. They were a three piece, I liked them but remember think they sounded a lot like Free and so couldn’t understand why they had split up. This tour with Mott was to lay the foundations for Bad Company but that, of course, is a different story.”. I’ll complete my blogging on Free related bands tomorrow, by writing about The Firm, who I saw in Middlesbrough in 1984, and featured Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page.
Paul Rodgers Newcastle Metro Arena 18 April 2011
This show had originally been planned for the City Hall, and was moved to the much larger Arena shortly after it was announced, presumably because the promoter realised the demand to see Paul Rodgers would be much greater than the capacity of the City Hall could hold. For me this was a mistake. The atmosphere is always much better in a sold out (2,400) theatre as opposed to sitting with a crowd of (I would guess) 3-4,000 in an arena that can hold up to 10,000.
Paul Rodgers has been out on tour quite a bit over the past few years; playing solo, with Bad Company and with Queen. I’d seen most of his recent tours although I did miss out on his last outing with Bad Company. Not sure why I didn’t go along to that show, I regretted it straight away and decided to go along to make up for it.
I arrived in the interval, having missed the support Joe Elliot’s Down n Outz. Bought myself a programme and then took my seat. Paul started with Walk in my shadow, followed a bunch of old favourites: Wishing Well, Fire and Water. The rest of the set was a mixture of Free and Bad Company tracks, with a few new songs thrown in. At one point Paul brought on stage the guitarist from his very first band, Colin Bradley; “this guy taught me how to play”; and they played a great version of The Temptations Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. The man was in good voice and went down well with the crowd; however I still thin that the venue is too impersonal, and we all would have enjoyed it much more in the City Hall. All in all a good night, good to hear some great songs again.
Paul is joined by drummer Jason Bonham for this tour. Also in the band are guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Lynn Sorenson. The bass player for this Newcastle show was Todd Ronning rather than Lynn Sorenson. Markus Wolfe played additional guitar on some of the songs as well. Todd Ronning and Markus Wolfe are both members of a Canadian band named ‘King Karma’. Both have played again in Rodgers band when he did some shows in Canada recently. Thanks to Sir Bawls for the update.
Walk In My Shadow
Fire & Water
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Be My Friend
Run With The Pack
My Brother Jake
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (Temptations)
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Can’t Get Enough
Ride On A Pony
All Right Now
Queen and Paul Rodgers Newcastle Arena November 4th 2008
Almost didn’t go to this. I saw Queen and Paul Rodgers on their previous visit to Newcastle; thought they were OK, but wasn’t sure that I wanted to go again. However, as an old Queen, Free and Bad Company fan I felt I should go along and support them. Glad I did. The set has changed a little since the last tour; however the mix between Queen and Paul Rodgers material and the way in which the show involves all members with video of Freddie is still excellent. You have to give if to them; they have managed to pull off what many thought the impossible, to go out with a new front man and make it work. All credit to Paul Rodgers for the way in which he has approached this. The show is slick, still relevant and a great tribute to Freddie’s legacy.
The Arena was full, and the crowd reaction strong. I was pleased I decided to go along but I did leave during the encores, as I had to be up at 6am for an early train. Will I go next time? Maybe. Will there be a next time?
Intro (Cosmos Rocks)
Hammer To Fall
Tie Your Mother Down
Fat Bottomed Girls
Another One Bites The Dust
I Want It All
I Want To Break Free
Surfs Up…Schools Out
Love Of My Life
Bass Solo incl Under Pressure/Another One Bites The Dust
I’m In Love With My Car
A Kind Of Magic
Say It’s Not True
Bad Company We Believe
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
All Right Now
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions
God Save The Queen