This was the first time I'd been in a Brannigans, never mind seen a band there. Brannigans is a chain of 'theme pubs' scattered the length and breadth of Britain, which seem to be bringing music to the masses. The Brannigans slogan is 'eating dancing and cavorting' - strange that it fails to mention live music as there seem to be live bands provided several nights a week. Most of them are, as seems to be the norm these days, cover bands, so tonight we were fortunate to see an original band perform, T'Pau. Despite this being a bar/niteclub there is a proper stage area, raised 3 steps above the dancefloor, allowing everyone a chance to actually see the petite but still lovely, Carol
This is not the T'pau of the late 80's or early '90's though, only Carol Decker remains from those halcyon days. The other band members are a much younger, fresher, set of musicians are; Jez on Guitar, Dan on drums, Dave on bass and Jen (?) on keyboards. They performed with plenty of energy and, apart from the rather sombre looking female keyboard player, had wide smiles for most of the set.
After a big introduction from the house DJ the band appeared on stage, donned their instruments and led us into the first track, Island. Carol entered after the instrumental introduction to a large cheer, with noticeably longer hair than on the promo flyers scattered freely around the premises. the sound was initially a touch on the harsh, tinny side, though did improve slightly during the set, though never improving dramatically. I guess the oddly shaped roof was to blame for part of the sound problems, nicely patterned though it was. Island segued seamlessly into the following track, Monkey House so it wasn't until after that that Carol said hello to the keen and loudly cheering Reading audience between chews on her gum!. Only a few words, mind, and then the band sped into With A Little Luck. During this track Jez and Dave gave us their Status Quo impression, legs astride and swinging guitar and bass forwards and back, just to prove that they are a rock 'n' Roll band. Heart and Soul slowed the pace a little while Valentine took it down another notch.
things up again, the next track,
I Will Be With You, really showed
the power of Carol's voice, though it did tend to get a bit lost in the
noise and echoes of the sound mix at times. She's certainly not lost any
of her vocal ability over the years since T'Pau's first hits, hitting all
the high notes and sustaining the lengthy ones.
Before Secret Garden, Carol asked
us "How's my hair? I spent hours on it." followed by "You know how it is
girls, you spend hours putting your make-up on, and ten minutes later it's
running down your face."
Sex Talk followed with some
phallic symbolisation care of the bass and guitar - the guys kneeling down,
stage front, guitar necks raised between horizontal to almost vertical
during the second chorus. They finished the main set with Whenever
You Need Me.
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