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Return to Shepherds Bush – The Only Ones

March 14, 2012

First published February 2009

A select crowd witnessed a terrific performance from the Only Ones when they played at the Shepherds Bush Empire on February 6th. A freezing night with treacherous travelling conditions undoubtedly reduced the turnout but those who turned up were vociferous in their appreciation of the bands performance.  Kicking off with a new-to-the-set ‘Immortal Story” it was clear this was to be no repeat performance of the June 2007 performance, subsequently released on DVD. Previous gigs on this short tour had featured an unplugged segment but there had always been technical problems so tonight the accoustic numbers were played electrically. Six new numbers featured in the set. Whilst ‘here’s one from our next album’ is usually exactly what you don’t want to hear the new Only Ones numbers are integrating well with the older material. ‘Transfixed’ highlighted the strength of Alan and John’s backing vocals and the train rhythm laid down by Kellie in the closing ‘Magic Tablet’ produced an almost rockabilly feel. On this showing the new LP when it emerges will be a worthy addition to the first 3 LPs.

Footnote: Something I have never ever seen at gig before. Front row stage left, hard up against the crash barriers was a guy with a large sketch pad drawing pictures of the band. If you’re reading this Mr Artist then please get in touch and share your art.

Support came from Strange Fruit, the new vehicle for Peter’s two sons. The addition of a female co-vocalist has made them a more agreeable proposition than their predecessors Love Minus Zero. The opening version of ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ was excellent and the remainder of their well-received set contained some good tunes.

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