PAUL RODGERS Free Spirit

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Quarto Valley Records/Icons [Release date 22.06.18]

Recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London last year this live set sees Paul Rodgers perform a set solely made up for Free classics. It comes as a two disc CD/DVD set, Blu-ray disc (which features Deborah Bonham and his daughter Jasmine Rodgers) and a 3LP set, all of which would be considerably cheaper than the tickets to the shows!

Backed by Deborah Bonham’s band Paul Rodgers is in fine voice still, full of blues, rock and soul – lets be honest this man could sing your weekly shopping list and still give you goose bumps. For fans it gives a chance to hear songs like ‘Love You So’ and ‘Catch A Train’ performed live for the first time as Free never got the opportunity to. The musicianship is top draw as can be heard on Ian Rowley’s bass lines on ‘Mr. Big’ or Pete Bullick’s guitar solo on ‘The Stealer’ – fitting tributes to both Andy Fraser and Paul Kossoff. Shame that Simon Kirke wasn’t behind the drum kit though as he is the only other surviving member of the classic Free line-up along with Rodgers.

A ‘must have’ for any fan of Free and Paul Rodgers. Paul Rodgers has tour dates this summer with Jeff Beck and a few fronting Bad Company, both in the US.

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Gig review: BOOTLEG BEATLES – Royal Albert Hall, 1 June 2017

The Bootleg Beatles were performing tonight with the Liverpool Philharmonic to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic albums of all time, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The sold out Royal Albert Hall provides a suitably grandiose setting for the evening.

The poet Roger McGough started the evening off with a potted history of the Beatles and their musical influences which led up to the making of the album. Of course Roger McGough is no stranger himself to the pop charts having been a member of the Scaffold (who also featured Paul McCartney’s brother Mike in their ranks). He had an easy storytelling style adding in a few one liners and some of his poetry.

The Bootleg Beatles have been touring since 1980 and feature none of the original members – perhaps that makes them a tribute act of themselves?!

Having a full orchestra was a master stroke as they played a series of snippets from songs that influenced the Beatles. After this the Bootleg Beatles took to the stage, each one dressed as the Beatles appeared on the album cover. Strange to think that for such a classic album the original band never performed it live.

Read the full review here