Monday, July 13, 2015

Belated review of Fleetwood Mac in concert. Manchester Arena, Wed July 1

Don't Stop (Fleetwood Mac song)
Don't Stop (Fleetwood Mac song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ages ago I managed to get hold of some tickets for  one of the Manchester dates for Fleetwood Mac in concert.

They're a band with an interesting history. Originally a 1960s blues band, with its own great sound and history, it lost the genius of Peter Green and the band had to reinvent itself to survive.

They became a key part of the mid 1970s soundtrack when Steve Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined, and before too long, tracks from 'Rumours' became almost inescapable. That's a long time ago, and there has been more music and plenty of comings and going since then. Nothing was likely to top Rumours, though

Christine McVie retired from touring in 1998, so it looked unlikely that a full Rumours-era line-up would ever tour again. However, she agreed to come out of retirement for a full tour, and so we grabbed what might be a last opportunity to hear some of those songs performed by the people who recorded them.

With Debbie's illness there was at least a question mark over whether we would get there at all, but we incorporated the gig date into a mini-break in Manchester to allow plenty of rest beforehand. That way we could walk to the Arena and back with no problems.

The gig was great. There was no support, so they came on around 815/820pm and as Songbird closed the second encore, I think it was about 10-50pm. Not bad for a bunch of people in their 60s and 70s. Stevie Nicks prowled the stage for most of the time, the tone of her voice perhaps a little harsher, but still all there. Christine McVie - (72 yrs old yesterday) features on all of my favourite songs from that era, and she still sounds great too. Her solo at the end was very special. Meanwhile Lindsey Buckingham danced round the stage like a 25 year old and reminded me that not only can he sing, he's a much better guitarist than I remember.

The two guys who give the band their name kept the whole thing running. John McVie quietly got on with playing bass, as many bass players do. Meanwhile Mick Fleetwood managed to include some little speeches, a solo slot, and also a few songs on a second smaller drum kit closer to the front and his band-mates.

We got most of 'Rumours', a few from 'Fleetwood Mac' and the best of what has come since. It was a great performance of a crowd-pleasing set-list by a group who knew exactly what to do, and that seemed exactly right for something that may well turn out to be a farewell tour for this particular configuration of the band.

However, there's talk of a new album, so you never know...

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