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Guildhall, St Ives, 13 September 2008
A good dose
of rock and roll in what must be one of the most scenic seaside towns in
the country seemed to me to be a very good combination so while on holiday
in the town for the September Festival taking in the Live/Wire AC/DC
tribute show was a no brainer.
Guildhall in St. Ives is a smashing little venue just off the sea front
consisting of a fairly good standing area on the ground floor and a small
balcony, it has one unusual feature the bar underneath the stage, even
better they have real beer on tap with a couple of kegs of Tribute Cornish
the venue the first thing that is obvious is how seriously the band take
this tribute show with a huge stack of Marshall amps at the rear of the
stage, a Live/wire back drop and even two cannons on top of the speakers
at each side of the stage.
play two sets with two singers John Belford as Bon Scott and as regular
Grant Foster has left the band to join a german AC/DC tribute band Pete
from tribute band LetThereBeRock as Brian Johnson in the trade mark cloth
several atmospheric tests of the dry ice machine it's lights down and we
are off into the Bon Scott part of the set with a superb choice for
opening track It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
impressions are that the rhythm section of Andy Tinker - rhythm guitar,
Eddie Clarke - bass and Daz Wood - drums run a very tight well oiled
machine at the back leaving the manic Lorne Shippen - as Angus on lead
guitar, and the charismatic John Belford as Bon to entertain and run
things front of stage. The looks, moves and sounds of AC/DC are spot on
and as quoted in The St. Ives Festival guide "close your eyes you hear
AC/DC, open your eyes you see AC/DC."
favourites from the Bon Scott years are here including Dirty deeds done
dirt cheap, TNT, Highway to hell, Hell ain't a bad place to be and Bad boy
boogie to name a few and as a special treat possibly a surprise choice
from the Powerage album Downpayment blues.
really knows how to work the crowd including passing the microphone along the
front row during Dirty deeds, encouraging crowd sing-a-longs during The Jack and
inviting a couple of young lads of about 12/13 to continue their headbanging up
on the stage in a scene that could have jumped straight out of The school of
another possibly surprising addition to the set Jailbreak, John leaves the
stage as Pete (our Brian Johnson for the evening) walks on taking up the
track from where our Bon left it (very smooth).
Pete gives a
very different kind of performance from John but then so are Mr Johnson's
performances different from Bon Scott's replacing the cheeky boy crowd
interaction with Brian's growling vocals and prowling the stage like a man
As with the
previous set all the favourites from this era are show cased including You
shook me all night long, Hells Bells, Heatseeker and Thunderstruck with
the surprise inclusion of the fairly recent Hard as a rock and the Bon
Scott era tracks Sin City and High Voltage.
its time for the big guns (pun intended) a rousing Whole Lotta Rosie the
anthem that is Let there be rock and the regular AC/DC set closer, For
those about to rock is there really any other way?
take part in the encores, at times both on stage together swopping verses,
and we had the famous crowd walk with Lorne Shippen (Angus) being carried
around the crowd on the shoulders of John Belford (Bon) during Let there
be rock a real show stopper. Of course the famous cannons made there
presence felt firing over the crowd during the climax of For those about
to rock, leaving so much smoke in the air that shortly after the show the
venue fire alarms went off.
conclusion really nice venue, helpful staff, great beer, fantastic two and
a half hour set by a superb band and meeting a couple of them after the
show they seem very nice guys as well and if you love AC/DC and need
something to keep you going until the Black Ice tour hits the UK check out
Live/Wire tour dates at the band website.
Live/Wire I salute you!
Review and photos by Andrew Lock
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