'another very special night'

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Graham Day & The Forefathers at The 100 Club London February 08th

The Forefathers, Graham Day, Wolf Howard & Allan Crockford by Paul Slattery

It took until February 08th to get out to my first gig of 2014, and what a gig it was...Graham Day & The Forefathers were back in London, this time at the legendary 100 Club. It wasn't so long after their last London show at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, Retro Man Blog's gig of 2013, but you know how the saying goes...you live in hope for years for a Graham Day gig and then "blam!" two come along in quick succession...! It turned out to be another very special night, setting down a marker for the year of live music ahead and if any band can top this I will be pretty damn impressed. So, a packed out 100 Club was treated to another faultless choice of classics from all periods of Graham Day's career, kicking off with "Hurricane" and then straight into a crunching version of "You Want Blood", there was no let up. The set-list was similar to the Bethnal Green show with a few exceptions, in came the soulful "Thinking of You", and a storming version of The Solarflares' "Open Your Eyes", and they finally got round to playing The Gaolers' "Begging You" which was sadly sacrificed due to time restraints at Bethnal Green.

Graham Day by Paul Slattery

The band struggled against a poor sound system in the beginning which caused a few issues with timing and a couple of false starts, however the crowd rallied around and gradually the band hit their stride and slammed out gem after gem. At a lot of gigs there is generally a bit of a lull in proceedings at some point in the show, maybe a badly conceived set-list or the section where a band throws in some new material and it's time to head to the bar. It could be the acoustic spot or the meandering extended jam that suck the life out of your favourite song. Worse still, it could be the embarrassing "hey, everybody at the back clap along" audience participation bit, I bloody hate that. But no chance with The Forefathers as they seem hell bent on a mission to dispense with all that nonsense and deliver "the perfect gig", to strip it all back so the songs shine through in a supercharged performance with a set list crammed full of fan's favourites played in the manner they deserve. There's a constant cheer of gleeful recognition after pretty much every song starts up, as the crowd realize they are getting just what they want. Things get nice and rowdy down the front as the encores crank up the energy even more, a wonderful version of "Deceiving Eye" and the inevitable "Melanie" leave the crowd happy and completely satisfied and hoping that the next show comes around again very soon. Anyway, that's enough chat let's allow the music to do the talking, here's "Better In Black" followed by a selection of exclusive Paul Slattery photos.

Steve Worrall