Sensational Alex Harvey Band
This Scottish band were regarded as possibly the finest live band in Britain at the height of their success in the mid 70's, and they opened for Cheap Trick and Def Leppard at two shows in the UK (Sheffield and London) in June 2006. But the link with Cheap Trick went back much further than that, as Alex Harvey joined CT on stage on 5 Nov 1980 at CT's Hammersmith Odeon show, helping to perform "Shakin' All Over".
Sadly Alex passed away in 1982, but his band have continued to perform, off and on since then. The current line up see's the remaining four original members (Zal Cleminson, Ted McKenna, Hugh McKenna and Chris Glen) joined by fellow Scottish vocalist Max Maxwell, and this three year old lineup are busy re-making a name for themselves. Max is another "in your face" singer with stage presence but is not trying to be Alex, whilst Zal has morphed from the playful Pierrot made-up, harlequin outfit wearing figure in the 70's to a harder edged and more sinister character, sort of a demented goblin on crack... but he still plays killer guitar! And Hugh, Ted and Chris are all excellent musicians, together making this band a very solid lineup.
SAHB held their first Fan Convention in the West Midlands on 23/24 Sept 2006 (titled "The Bilston Tea Party"), and after seeing them at the Def Leppard/CT shows in June, particularly the one in London, I was keen to see them again. The two day event at the "Robin 2" venue was a fun event, with various sets, not only by SAHB but also groups that included SAHB members. There were also very funny Q&A sessions, an auction, and screening of some wonderful vintage video. The setlists were:-
Sat 23rd Sept
UK Tour - December 2007
Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria - 1st Dec 2007
The opening night of the pre-Christmas tour saw what some termed as a "warm-up" show at the Canteen Arts & Media Centre in Barrow-in Furness (my 8th SAHB show since June last year when SAHB opened for Def Leppard & Cheap Trick). Despite the moderate crowd, I didn't detect any rustiness in the band, and they performed a fine set, comprising:- Faith Healer, Midnight Moses, Dance To Your Daddy, Dolphins, Hail Vibrania, Framed, Isobel Goudie, Give My Compliments to the Chef, Who Murdered Sex, Tomahawk Kid, Action Strasse; (encore) Vambo, Hole in Her Stocking
Holmfirth, Yorkshire - 4th Dec 2007
The fourth night of the tour saw the band perform in front of a good sized and enthusiastic crowd at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth. The crowd energy, plus the previous nights shows helped the band play a notch above their show at Barrow (if that was possible, the performane at Barrow had been great), and this was possibly the best SAHB show I've seen. Fantastic stuff! The setlist was:- Faith Healer, Midnight Moses, Dance To Your Daddy, Dolphins, Hail Vibrania, Framed, Isobel Goudie, Give My Compliments to the Chef, Tomahawk Kid, St Anthony, Action Strasse; (encore) Vambo, Delilah
Sheffield - 7th Dec 2007
Another terrific show in front of a pretty full Boardwalk in Sheffield, proving once again that you can't beat great live music. Again the band delivered a terrific performance, despite Zal again having some technical problems, as at a few other shows during this tour. My photo's aren't great from this show but I thought I'd share the "best" of them, and I hope you like Max's boot that caught my fingers on the on-stage monitor at least once! The setlist was:- Faith Healer, Midnight Moses, Dance To Your Daddy, Dolphins, Hail Vibrania, Framed, Isobel Goudie, Give My Compliments to the Chef, Tomahawk Kid, St Anthony, Action Strasse; (encore) Vambo, Delilah
Glasgow - 14th Dec 2007
A triumphant end-of-tour show in front of their hometown fans at the ABC in Glasgow. A sell-out 1250 crowd saw the band play a wonderful 110 minute show that was literally perfect, no one put a foot wrong the whole night. The sound was great, and the highlight was definitely the show closer, "Anthem", which saw the band joined onstage by two pipers, a drummer and a young woman with a terrific voice for the haunting female vocal. The setlist was:- Faith Healer, Midnight Moses, Dance To Your Daddy, Dolphins, Hail Vibrania, Framed, Isobel Goudie, Give My Compliments to the Chef, Tomahawk Kid, St Anthony, Action Strasse; (encore) Vambo, Make Love To You, Hole In Her Stocking, Anthem
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