Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Bellowhead (& AYMs) - Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Review

On Thursday 15th August, Bellowhead played the Snape Maltings Concert Hall to a sold out audience, joined by the Aldeburgh Young Musicians. It was an unforgettable gig for everyone there. The show began, not with a song from Bellowhead, but a with a beautiful rendition of the song 'General Taylor' from the band with the AYMs. From the back of the darkened hall, they slowly came down the steps lead by Bellowhead's own Sam Sweeney and Paul Sartin, making their way to the front, below the stage, where they stopped and stood under spotlights to finish the song. It was quite a performance to experience, and I'm so glad I was there to have seen it. 

Bellowhead began by playing '10,000 Miles Away' (their first single from their latest album 'Broadside') which got most people clapping along, and many singing as well - which is obviously expected with Bellowhead's infectious choruses. After this, frontman Jon Boden expressed his wishes for people to stand up, which a few did and as soon as they started 'Whiskey Is The Life Of Man' a few songs later a few more audience members had made their way forward bouncing and dancing at the bottom of the stage (myself included). Unfortunately not as many people were dancing and clapping as the average Bellowhead fan would have liked, but what can you do, people go to seated venues to sit down! . 
The second half (yes, there was an interval!), Jon Boden said, would involve a lot of dancing, and it definitely did! The foot stomping 'Yarmouth Town' was popular and known by many in the audience, as Great Yarmouth is not far from where we were. After each song, more and more people made their way to the front to join in the dancing and singing along.
Well into the second half, the hall went dark and a group of the AYMs appeared and beautifully sang a part of 'Thousands Or More', hypnotising and captivating audience until Bellowhead suddenly began playing, making everyone jump and start madly dancing again.
Every song Bellowhead played was faultless and utterly incredible, everything you would expect from one of their shows. Highlights for me, included 'What's The Life Of A Man' where Jon Boden's magnificent voice was particularly shown off; 'London Town' where even those who didn't seem to be major fans were clapping along; and frankly, anything involving the AYMs. The energy on that stage, with all that talent, was unreal, something I feel very lucky to have experienced.

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