Last night I finally made good on a promise I made to my kid brother 18 years ago. However I must add that it wasn't me that held up the making good...lol. Many years ago a friend and I used to avidly follow a local rock band called Little Angels. Now they supported Bon Jovi and many other good rock bands. But after a few albums and many years touring they called it quits and went their separate ways after playing The Royal Albert Hall, London. My kid brother who was only in single digits then was gutted as he really loved them too and hoped to one day see them live..after hearing about all our tales of going to see them. I made a promise to him at the time if the Little Angels ever reformed and toured...we would go see them together.
For years it seemed to be a promise I would never fulfil. My kid bro grew up to be a major music fan and Little Angels always held a special place in his heart. So when he turned up at our house with news of a rumour that they may be reforming to play Download this year, it was a happy day. We couldn't make it to Download but there was the hope they would do a small tour together. And then this was announced....
We were beyond happy....lol
Not only were they touring...their support act was going to be one of my all time favourite rock bands and singer. Skin...how I love them. So tickets were purchased in the hope that I would be feeling much better when it came to the time of the gig.
OK so I failed miserably at the hope of feeling better as I am currently feeling worse than I ever have. Making it to the venue alone was a trial, with accidents and bad weather holding everything up. But I did make it...and thanks to a very kind and lovely security guy who took me in the back way, through the back stage area...chose the best view in the venue for me and got me a comfy high stool to sit on..I made it through the entire gig. Thank you fella..I wish we'd gotten your name because you really did rock!
Now the first support act were a band from Ireland...and both of us agreed they were probably a lot better than they sounded last night. But personally I felt their songs were a little too a like and the singer mumbled into the microphone so the lyrics was lost too. Shame because they really put in a great effort...didn't even catch their band name.
Then these very excellent guys blasted onto the stage....
SKIN...oh my goodness..so good lol
There is just never enough time with theses guys. Even when they are headlining...it's always over too soon. They come on stage and whip you up with great classic rock tunes...mellow you out a few times with heartfelt ballads and whip you up again until they are way taking a bow and leaving the stage. Nev aka rock god...has one of the best voices in the business and it's a pure pleasure to listen to him..and the band as a whole are tight and in my kid bros words....They are outstanding!!!
They played all my favourite tunes so when they did leave the stage...I was so blissfully exhausted. lol. When the intro for this tune played I flipped..lol... House of Love ...I really hope they continue to get together and do tours...world would be a sadder place without them.
Then it was the painful waiting for the next band...lol. It was great to see so many Angel 'lifers' in the audience below. Some I recognised from past gigs...but also the many younger fans..which was delightful to see they still had new fans joining even today.
Little Angels ~ Mark P, Mark R, Toby, Jim and Bruce
The boys came out onto the stage with the same energy that they did many years before And yes, they did look a little older but then didn't we all? Gone was Bruce's mop of curls but his flares remained. Mark P was rocking the stylish older rocker and Jim was most definitely greyer. Toby still had his mane of hair and although commented about his old knees he still managed to bounce across the stage a couple of times with Bruce lol. Mark R had the biggest transformation as he had morphed into a chap called Dom..who was an incredible drummer.
They all had smiles...all seemed to be astounded that the fans would once again show up for them...after 18 years. But there we were and they really did put on a show as they blasted and rocked their way through a good selection of their greatest tunes. There was a *gulp* moment when they dedicated Don't Prey For Me to their original drummer Michael Lee who had passed away. But that is the beauty of the Angels...their tunes all tell tales and can lift you up and hold you as you ride the emotive tunes and lyrics and then have you screaming/shouting/singing with them on the next tune. I had no voice left by the end of the night...but really couldn't care..lol.
The boys back in the day ~ Mark P, Bruce, Micheal, Toby and Jim. Don't they look young? lol
At one point in my life I would've have had tickets to almost every show on the tour and put my life on hold to follow them around. But I wasn't a groupie before you jump to that conclusion! For me it's always been about the music..not clocking up notches! And for this reason, that is why the main reason I was so happy to see them again, was for the very excellent lead guitarist Bruce John Dickinson. He was, for me, always 'Little Angels'...and I greatly enjoyed the band he formed after the Angels split. So it was great to see him enjoying himself on stage and smiling.
Bruce back in the day...he came on stage with this guitar...I was so happy to see both of them...lol.
I respect and enjoy all the other members of the band and it really was great to see them all..but it was Bruce and the deep smile he was wearing for most of the show that will be the thing I remember most...
And although all the above made for a great evening...the high point was watching my kid bro's reaction when the Angels finally came on the stage and kicked off the gig. Priceless and it was worth all the pain and yuck I am going through today whilst recovering from doing something that I really shouldn't have attempted. But dammit..I made a promise and I was going to keep it. lol.
Now I've been peeking into Youtube for some clips from last nights gig...and so far only come up with these...but thank you to whomever is responsible for the sharing of them.
So a huge thank you to all of the guys for doing the tour...to ML for being our chauffeur...the security guard at Rock City for his kindness...and for my kid brother for never stopping believing they would reform and we would get our chance to see them together.
Thanks for stopping by and listening to the ramblings of this slowly ageing rock chick (hey I'm only 40!) and I hope your weekend is filled with fun and happiness...
NB: Photos where all found online so they are not my creation and I take no credit for them but send out many thanks to those that did. And also the clips from the gigs are thanks to Neodirewolf007 via YouTube...thank you.