Ronnie Lane Memorial Concert
Angel Air SJPCD450
Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall on April 8th 2004 this 39 track 2CD set offers an encyclopedic overview of songs written by or associated with the much-missed Ronnie Lane. It’s a fabulous body of work, with equal emphasis placed on Ronnie’s time with the Small Faces, Faces and his solo career with Slim Chance. The expected classics are here but a spotlight is shone on overlooked gems such as B-side Done This One Before, here faithfully reproduced by Ocean Colour Scene. The atmosphere of the evening does not transfer to CD so we are left with the performances only. Unfortunately too many of these are respectful but pedestrian pubrock, the exceptions being the most experienced performers. Paul Weller fronts a careful reading of The Poacher, where the original intricate arrangement is accurately recreated live. Pete Townshend revives Heart To Hang On To from Rough Mix, the album he made with Lane, and it’s a fine passionate performance done here with Sam Brown. Steve Ellis manages the tricky Afterglow well whilst Chris Farlowe is an inspired choice to front an emphatic encore of All Or Nothing. Ronnie Wood revisits his Plynth intro for Stay With Me, but the rest of his performance lacks lustre. All credit to tireless Small Faces promoter John Hellier for pulling the evening together. If you were there this makes a great souvenir but otherwise it’s likely to drive you back to the originals.