|Subject||Europe @ Shepherds Bush Empire|
|DateCreated||12/10/2012 8:43:00 AM|
Unfortunately, unlike Adam Ant Europe aren't playing in St Albans, so I have to make the trek down to Shepherds Bush.
A crafty drink or two in the pub on the corner ensures I can survive in the venue for an hour or so without dying of thirst or having to pay well over £4 for a watery beverage in a floppy plastic glass. That aside, I don't mind Shepherds Bush Empire too much - apart from when it's really crowded. Which it is tonight.
Europe continue on the comeback trail and are building on the success of their excellent 'Last Look At Eden' album with their new one 'Bag Of Bones'.
The band are good live and have re-invented themselves in a more stripped down and raw guitar based form. The keyboards are still there, but are more in the background now to provide atmosphere and fancy intros.
The now perm-less Joey Tempest is a natural and engaging frontman - looking like he is still genuinely enjoying what he does.
The setlist spans the Europe's whole career with all the hits (lets face it - there were only really two) from the band's first couple of albums, through some more obscure songs from the band's wilderness years and then bang up to date. And of course we get 'Rock The Night' and that song.
Apart from those two early songs that everyone knows, the rest of the band's strongest material is from their most recent couple of albums - particularly 'Last Look...' 'Catch That Plane', 'Gonna Get Ready', 'U Devil U', and 'The Beast' are particularly good tonight.
Highlights from the current album also feature heavily, particularly 'Firebox', 'Doghouse', 'Drink And A Smile', 'Not Supposed To Sing The Blues', 'Demon Head' and of course the title track 'Bag Of Bones'. It's a strong setlist and a polished performance by the band to an enthusistic crowd. Interesting to note that the newer songs are going down really well with the audience - something that not many older bands seem able to manage.
The band give good value for money by playing for nearly two hours. The sound is better than average, and the lighting is unusually good - something I'm sure that was particularly appreciated by the 'proper' photographers present. I'm sure no one goes home disappointed. And also the 'cheese' factor was much lower than many would expect - apart from when they played 'The Final Countdown' of course!
A quality night all round. Then it was back to the pub for a swift one before jumping on the train home - or at least that was the plan. The security at O'Neils were turning people away saying the pub was closing - it was only 10.50 and there weren't many people in there.
Imagine the cash they could have taken off the crowds leaving the venue next door?