doesn't get to these shores nearly as often as I would like I always
have a huge sense of anticipation and joy when a tour is
announced...This time was to be no exception and was to better my
already high expectations
time round he had a band in tow instead of the multifunctional ever
present Aaron MacDonald...This was going to be a special evening...
Roger walked onstage to huge applause and the show kicked off in style
with 'Take The Long Way Home'. This was closely followed by
'School', 'In Jeopardy', and 'Hide In Your Shell'. Grown men
were openly crying and we were only four songs into the show...
fortunate to have written so many superb songs over his career that he
has an enormous wealth of material to draw from for his shows. We
all have personal favourites and I'm so pleased to say he played all but
one of mine and that was left out for a very special reason tonight.
Next up we
were treated to many more tracks including the sublime 'Along Came
Mary', 'Sister Moonshine', and 'Soapbox Opera'. Whilst I have seen
and been mesmerised by his last three visits to this country, I was
blown away by the rich, full sound that was flowing freely and easily
from the stage.
Dare I say
that what I heard was even better than the performances on the
Supertramp live album Paris (and that's saying something)...The Logical
Song closed the first set to huge applause and rambunctious shouting.
Roger opened the second set with 'Child Of Vision' and then came 'Lord
Is It Mine' which I think just about every single person in the Hall
sang along to and almost drowned him out with their sheer enthusiasm.
We were soon
treated to a real gem...Roger announced that because of his love for The
Beatles and in particular John Lennon that he would play 'Across The
Universe' The place went nuts, you could feel the whole building
shake with the noise being made by the partisan crowd...
chants of "Roger is a Scouser" rang out at the end of the song and I
think he was visibly touched by the outpouring of happiness and joy in
the full house... 'Dreamer' and 'Fools Overture' closed the set to more
He came back with a huge smile and sang 'Two Of Us' (this boy had a tear
in his eye by now), 'Give A Little Bit' and 'It's Raining Again'
Hodgson was taken to the heart of everyone in the place and every Man,
Woman and child went home with a warm glow in their hearts knowing that
they had been a part of something exceptional that evening...
hoping Roger returns very, very soon.
Set list: Take The Long Way Home/ School/ In Jeopardy/ Hide in Your
Shell/ Lovers in the Wind/ Easy Does It/ Sister Moonshine/
Breakfast in America/ Along Came Mary
Soapbox Opera/ The Logical Song
Child of Vision/ Lord is it Mine/ If Everyone Was Listening/ Across the
Universe/ Know Who You Are/ Donít Leave Me Now/ Dreamer/ Foolís Overture
of Us/ Give a Little Bit/ Itís Raining Again
photos by Lee Millward (except where indicated)
Leslie Linyard writes:
Royal Albert Hall 26 May 2011
Incredible as it seems, Roger Hodgson left Supertramp as long ago as
1983 following the release of the critically acclaimed (weren't they
all!) Famous Last Words album. He turned his back on the band and
devoted himself to a simple family life albeit with his own state of the
art studio built on-site.
Famous for his introspective grown-up lyrics set to
beautiful and catchy melodies contrasting the sometimes heavier songs of
Rick Davies (for the most part the two wrote separately though they
shared writing credits a la the Beatles) Supertramp had amazing success
in selling over 60 million albums, Breakfast in America selling over 20
Ever since, Roger has released the occasional album
(3 in total), normally to further critical plaudits and ventured out on
the odd tour or two (mainly it has to be said since 2004 with his
children fully grown).
This latest tour alongside his three Canadian, one
American band members took in 4 English venues commencing in the stately
surroundings of The Royal Albert Hall.
Finding himself preaching to the converted, Roger
milked the occasion beautifully as his multi-cultural audience (there
were people in from far too many countries to mention!) were held rapt
in his eloquent presence for well over two hours.
In fact I don't remember ever witnessing a quieter
more respectful audience during the playing of the songs. Roger of
course, is too clever an individual to venture too far away from his
Supertramp hey-days and 17 of the 21 songs were from those halcyon
Starting with the epic 'Take The Long Way Home',
Roger switched regularly between acoustic guitar and piano, gently
introducing some and blasting straight into others, the tunes rolled
back the years underpinned by that still slightly vulnerable, yet almost
teasing vocal and a sublime level of musicianship, particularly it has
to be said from the saxophone of Aaron MacDonald (also keyboards and BVs),
though none of Bryan Head (drums), Ian Stewart (bass) and Kevin Adamson
(keyboards, BVs) are what you could describe as slouches.
You can't exactly fail with a collection of songs such as these popular
classics and interspersed with his solo ventures of which 'The
Awakening' and 'Along Came Mary' were rightly best received the classics
were indeed rolled out Ė each one it has to be said with heartfelt
passion by the band.
Of course there are favourites and 'Breakfast In
America', the magnificent 'The Logical Song', 'Hide In Your Shell',
'Dreamer', 'Give A Little Bit' and the splendidly catchy closer 'It's
Raining Again' will remain long in the memory as will the sense of
occasion the evening instilled in those lucky enough to be present. Come
back again soon...
Set One: 1. Take the Long Way Home/ 2. School/ 3. In
Jeopardy/ 4. Hide In Your Shell/ 5. Easy Does It/ 6. Sister Moonshine/
7. Breakfast In America/ 8. Along came Mary/ 9. A Soapbox Opera/ 10. The
Set Two: 11. Child Of Vision/ 12. Lord Is It Mine/
13. If Everyone Was Listening/ 14. Puppet Dance/ 15. The Awakening/ 16.
Don't Leave Me Now/ 17. Dreamer/ 18. Fool's Overture
Encore: 19. Two Of Us/ 20. Give A Little Bit/ 21. It's Raining Again