Graham Bonnet • Wakefield March 2014

Graham Bonnet / Wakefield Warehouse 23 / March 21. 2014

Graham Bonnet wakefield 2014

Graham’s first UK tour for several years, this time doing a full Rainbow set backed by the tribute group Catch The Rainbow. And as well as some of the tracks he sang with Rainbow, Graham bravely had a good go at some of the other classics including Stargazer. I think overall I preferred the mixed set he did last time (which ranged across more of his career) but I was probably in a minority as the decent crowd were very much up for hearing this material – many of them for the first time. It’s easy to forget that the Rainbow hit singles turned a lot of people on to the band in the first place. Singer and band had a rehearsal the day before the tour started, and as back-up some of the less familiar lyrics were plastered across the stage so Graham could take a peek if he felt unsure. I have to say in his situation I would have given myself a couple of days off during the tour, instead of going back to back from start to finish but you can’t fault him for giving it everything despite problems with the vocal monitors and a lingering cold. And rather than rest up afterwards he and the band came out to sit and sign sleeves and chat with fans for ages.
Graham Bonnet wakefield 2014

An honorary mention too for one of Cozy Powell’s enormous Yamaha kits which was on loan for the tour. This was introduced by the guitarist and Graham commented on how strange it was to be stood in front of it again after some thirty years. I’m not sure who owns this.
Not a bad venue either, they seem to be trying hard to get a good variety of live acts into a town not hitherto known for much rock and roll action. Given how organised they are maybe the town council could get them to sort out the utterly meaningless one-way system which they’ve imposed on the whole place?
One other reason for me going up was to try and finally meet Steve Wright, who has written a massive biography of Graham Bonnet, and it was good to discuss this project properly. The result is that Easy On The Eye books are going to take the project on and aim for a publication date later in the year. More details on their site.
Graham is due back for more live shows in December. Thanks also to Tim Summers for his help with photography. Frustratingly all the spots facing the stage were off for the show so Graham was in darkness for most of the evening!

6 Responses to “Graham Bonnet • Wakefield March 2014”

  1. Roy Davies Says:

    I caught the tour in nearby at Bilston near Wolverhampton on 17 March.
    “Eyes of the World” naturally opened proceedings and it was obvious immediately Bonnet was struggling. The faulty monitors didn’t help. Graham introduced each song and his croaky talking voice showed up what sounded like a horrendous cold and repeated apologies did nothing to improve his vocal performance as the show went on. A lack of rehearsal was also evident, and Bonnet’s voice caused the set be to chopped and changed. The band bashed though an entertaining instrumental version of ‘Kill the King’ while Bonnet drank lemon tea stage left, and in ‘LLRnR’ a crib sheet stapled to the floor was employed to almost embarrassing lengths. Finally after an hour the show was terminated altogether. Bonnet looked well pissed off as he exited stage, though it was cold comfort for those attending.
    One bright part was indeedy drummer Bob Richards. The Welshman certainly did the business, every nuance of Powell’s work respectfully reproduced- and a good drum solo to boot!

    Setlist: Eyes of the World/Loves No Friend/Since You Been Gone/Bad Girl/Kill the King (instr.)/Makin’ Love/Long Live Rock n Roll/All Night Long/ Lost in Hollywood.

    Apparently his voice recovered a mite by The Hard Rock Hell AOR2 festival in Wales the following Saturday, but several attending mentioned Bonnet’s disparaging remarks about Ritchie!!

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’d heard this show was curtailed due to his throat. Apparently it’s laryngitis, which is going around a bit at the moment. But apparently the London shows were great and York. Just a shame on such a rare visit to get poorly.

  2. Tom Says:

    Agree with all of the above comments – saw GB at Bristol Bierkeller… an intimate venue to say the least. He didn’t do Stargazer, but (with lyrics on the floor) he did a good rendition of ‘Catch the Rainbow’. Well worth the trip – even though I didn’t get home until gone 1 a.m. & had to be out for work at 5 a.m.
    On the book front, if Steve is short of some issues, I still have every edition of “Under the Bonnet” – his great newsletter of some years ago. Copies available if either of you need them.
    I will be ordering the book as soon as it is available. Good luck!

    • simon robinson Says:

      Thanks Tom – hopefully Steve’s archives are up to speed! But the work he’s done on the book is great, and with a very open minded approach from Graham too (who has also loaned rare photographs).

  3. Allan Heron Says:

    The drums are owned by Bob Richards who was the drummer in Graham’s band for this tour.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Thanks for that Allan. I did see Bob after the show but the “disco” was so effing loud it was almost impossible to have any sort of conversation.

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