Artist:  Bob Catley

Venue: Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle 

Date:  18 December 2000 

Taking to the stage in front of a packed room Bob Catley and his band were welcomed by rapturous applause from the fans. I say fans because that's what every single person in the room was tonight. Fans every single one of us, people who have faithfully followed Bob through thick and thin, firstly in Magnum, then in Hard Rain, and more recently in his own band.

This was the first time we had seen him on the road with a proper backing band, not so much a backing band even, this is his band, the musicians he proudly calls his fellow band members.

Made up of former Hard Rain members Paul Hodson on Keyboards and Al Barrow on Bass, we were also introduced to the new faces in the shape of Colin Alltree on drums, and last but not least Vince (dodgy) O'Reagan on lead guitar.

Bob quipped that this was the first time ever he had ever had someone smaller in the band than himself and indeed Mr O'Reagan is slightly smaller. But as with Bob we always knew that good things come in little bundles and this is definitely the case with this new guitarist.

It still takes some getting used to not seeing Tony standing at his side with that big black hat on and long beard, but what this man lacked in beard he made up for with a somewhat hairy body!

The set opened with the song 'The Light' which is taken from the Legends album. Although it has been out for a year now it is still Bob's current release. The next tour which shouldn't be all that long to come around will be the one to promote the new album Middle Earth. Then it was straight into another track from the same album 'The Pain'. After this one Bob let the crowd go wild and clap and cheer their selves silly. We never forgot him or stopped believing in him and he has over the years never let us down.

Quite apt really that his present album should be called Legends as that is exactly what he is, a Classic Rock legend, a true gentleman and a wonder to behold in concert. He has always remained true to his fans and them to him. You see someone like this and you have to admire them for their professionalism and down to earth approach to the legions of fans who want to shake his hand and hold him up as some sort of rock saviour.

The set was peppered with songs from both his solo albums Legends and also The Tower, but it was the Magnum tracks that had the loudest responses. Who could fail to be caught up in it all when he started the opening chords of 'Vigilante'.

His new music is top notch and as with Magnum he thinks carefully before deciding what sort of music he would like to perform and what the fans would like to hear. Being the tease that he is he only performed one song from the new album - 'The Fellowship', which went down a treat.

If this is anything to go by then we will all be adding yet another one off his albums to our ever growing collections. The show went so well that we would have kept him there all night if he would have let us. The band did however perform a three song encore which topped off the set marvellously.

It is hoped that Bob continues on for a great many years with the type of rock we have come to love so much. We appreciate the music he performs and I think he could tell by the way the crowd took to him that we will always be here to listen for as long as he's able to perform for us.

This new band of his are a lovely bunch of lads. Where as some musicians might feel threatened working with such a mighty artist of whom his history is well documented and carved in the great stone of rock history, these lads obviously admire him and really gave it their all.

They are all both excellent musicians as well as lovely natured lads who thought nothing of talking to the fans both before and after the show. I truly hope he doesn't change any of them as they make such a great band with him at the helm. When you've had such a magnificent band as Magnum it must be hard finding the right musicians to create another top quality band, but with these lads Bob's managed just fine. If you didn't know better you would have thought this had been his line-up for years as they worked so well together and sounded so right for the songs they performed.

Towards the end of the set Bob promised that he would be back on the road with the band to promote the new album, and then he went on to say that there would be a Magnum reunion with him and Tony next year and that a Magnum anniversary album would follow and quite possibly a tour as well!

Well, what more can you say than hurry back lad, the sooner the better.

It will be fantastic to hear Bob and Tony back in the guise of Magnum again, but I really do like this new band he has, as did a lot of other people who were there that night, so please Bob, keep them both going and do remember to come back up here next year with both your bands!

SetlistThe Light, The Pain, Dreams, Scream, Far Away, Too Late, Vigilante, Start Talking Love, Lonely Night, Storytellers Night, Fear of the Dark, Les Morts Dansant, The Fellowship, Just like an Arrow

 

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