Artist: Bob Catley 

Venue: Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle

Date:  23 may 2001 

The time was near and very soon the man we had all been waiting for would take to the stage.

The lights were dimmed and the crowd stood silent as they waited for the band to appear. Like footballers taking to the pitch we watched Vince, Colin, Paul and Al run in and take their positions onstage.

The lights suddenly flooded the stage with red and gold and the crowd erupted into loud cheers and clapping.

It was only a couple of minutes later when 'Oor Bob' took to the stage as well, but it was timed to perfection. The crowd went wild and the noise was deafening.

Smiles crossed the faces of both fans and band alike with the realization that tonight was going to be one hell of a night. Five months had passed since the lads had graced us with their presence. To many of us it seemed like only yesterday as they launched into their opening song 'Return of the Mountain King'. They were back, they sounded fantastic, and we were ready to share the rest of the evening with them and them alone.

Bob cut a fine figure in his tight black leather pants, studded leather biker jacket. Not forgetting of course that wonderful black hat complete with feathers and red and gold scarf which he wore for the insert of the new album cover. Not many men his age could bare their midriff and look as finely toned as he did.

Standing on his right we had guitarist Vince looking like a pirate from the seven seas. This proper little scally-wag played it up for the crowd and gave them plenty of showmanship throughout the night. Behind Bob we saw a half naked Colin on the drums showing us just how good he is at keeping up a good rhythm.

Yes it was hot, and things were going to get hotter now that the band had taken to the stage. To the left of Bob we saw Al peeping out from under his floppish blonde locks. Last but most certainly not least we once again saw Paul take the helm of the keyboards.

Poor lad he must have been knackered after doing a full set with the support act Ten. Is there such a thing as repetitive finger syndrome? Standing under all those lights for so long he must have been about ready to pass out.

The room was so packed by this time that you would have needed a jemmy to move anywhere now. Good job we were all here for the full duration as there was certainly no escaping now.

Like a character out of Fantasia, this singer who stood before us, waved his arms around as he cast a spell over everybody in the room. We were truly captivated. The audience was totally transfixed in what this man had to say to us tonight.

After each song the crowd erupted once more and like the true gentleman he is, Bob let them show their admiration for him and his band before carrying on.

 The songs came naturally from all three of his solo albums and a selection of old favourites from his reign in the kingdom of Magnum. The fans lapped each and every note up and knew the words of each song as if etched into their very souls.

As he sang the songs we adore so much a mix of emotions ran through us. It was so intense we had to keep reminding ourselves to breath every now and again.

As he sang the songs we adore so much a mix of emotions ran through us. It was so intense we had to keep reminding ourselves to breath every now and again.

Early on in the set we saw a dubious looking character take to the front of the crowd. Looking like a character out of a Harry Enfield sketch with his thick dark hair and a stuck on black moustache we saw Vinnie Burns flexing his muscles.

It took a few moments before he caught the bands eye but once he was spotted the band and crowd alike were in an uproar of laughter.

For someone that always looks so intense and straight-faced onstage it was good to see this human side to him. Bob thanked Vinnie for all his help and also gave a special thanks to Gary Hughes for all his help with his solo albums.

Having been in this business for such a long time Bob knows how to read and play a crowd. He knew we were there with him and the lads 200% during all the songs. Throughout the set he took off from the stage and jumped down to dance with his fans loyal and true. One middle aged female fan with bright pink hair shimmied as he got her to dance with him to the centre front of the stage.

A surprise special guest to the band was Bob's hat that started off on one young ladies head and found itself soon making it's way around the room as both men and women alike posed for their friends to photograph them in THAT HAT!

Bob looked fleetingly at it in bewilderment and amusement as it danced across the heads of the audience as if it had a life of it's own.

The set flew over and by the time the band broke into the rousing 'Vigilante', the crowd were wild and jumping up and down like crazed loons.

Where the old Magnum line-up were deep and mysterious for much of their performances this new band of Bob's really seem to enjoy every second of the gigs as much as the fans do. They do the songs both old and new proud and put on a magnificent performance.

Songs ranging from 'Scream' which had everyone singing at the top of their voices, to the new favourite the very delicate and very beautiful 'Stormcrow and Pilgrim', they played a flawless set.

We all knew when they told us that the set was finished that this would not be so, you can't wind up a room full of people and then leave them high as kites and buzzing like an electric pylon.

The room erupted once more when they came back to play a magnificent encore consisting of two totally different tracks. The first was 'The Fellowship', a song about comradeship, which is something that we certainly felt here in this room tonight. The second was 'Days of No Trust', which nicely finished off a wonderful evening's performance.

In a world so full of woes and hate it's good to be able to lose yourself for a few hours and travel through times and worlds with this band of 'merry' men.
 

Setlist: Return of the mountain King, City Walls, The Pain, Dreams, Scream, Stormcrow and Pilgrim, Vigilante, Start talking Love, Lonely Night, Storytellers Night, Fear of the Dark.  Encore: The Fellowship, Days of no Trust

 

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