By Phil Ashdown.
These Christmas shows have always been a bit special as they are a more relaxed affair with both an acoustic, sit-down set followed by their full electric show. As vocalist Danny Bowes put it ‘…first of all we sit down and you all sway from side to side then we stand up and you jump up and down’
Opening with a laid back version of Serpentine to get everyone in the mood, the band are soon joined by two female backing singers and an extra keyboard player. Thunder’s forthcoming album Please Remain Seated features re-imaginings of some of their best songs, all given a total reworking and tonight we were given a taste of what to expect with Just Another Suicide, Loser and Higher Ground.
What really makes these evenings special are the band’s take on other artist’s songs which tonight featured Hall & Oats’ She’s Gone, Free’s My Brother Jake and a superb take on Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, in this first part of the evening.
After a short break Thunder returned with their full rock set. It is now that singer Bowes really comes into his own as a consumate frontman, he has such boundless energy and commands the crowd so well, controlling the tempo and the crowd’s participation, and making them laugh with his comic quips in between songs.
Tonight is not about being perfect but more to do with having fun and trying new arrangements and songs never performed before. On a couple of occasions Bowes had to re-start to reach the top notes to prove he still had it! This is not to fault his voice because it sounds superb throughout but more that the band were a little ring rusty and had only rehearsed for a couple of days.
More cover songs were played throughout the set, including Who’s Behind Blue Eyes, Small Faces’ Lazy Sunday, Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark and Golden Earring’s Radar Love. Each one being lapped up by the energetic, sold-out crowd, some of whom were wearing Santa suits, Christmas jumpers and assorted Santa hats.
After a brief break guitarist and chief songwriter Luke Morely introduced one of his favourite players onto the stage, Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham to play a blistering Jailbreak. Another guest in the form of Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor joined for The Faces’ Stay With Me and finishing off with a rousing sig-a-long for Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody as giant inflatables fill the stage and snow falls from the lighting gantry.
Thunder may not be household names, but their following is strong and it is easy to see why they continue to garner such loyal support after nearly 30 years in the business. They are the embodiment of British rock at its bluesy brilliant best.
Just Another Suicide
She’s Gone (Hall & Oates cover)
This Forgotten Town
My Brother Jake (Free cover)
Once in a Lifetime
The Chain (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Electric Stand Up
The Devil Made Me Do It
Pilot of My Dreams
Behind Blue Eyes (The Who cover)
Lazy Sunday (Small Faces cover)
Dancing in the dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
On the Radio
Radar Love (Golden Earring cover)
Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group cover)
Until My Dying Day
Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover) (with Scott Gorham)
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
Stay With Me (Faces cover) (with Andy Taylor)
Merry Xmas Everybody (Slade cover) (with Andy Taylor)
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Thunder - The Greatest Hits - Sealed - UK - 3-LP vinyl set - £39.99, $48.79, €44.39 (New Item) (arrived 27-Sep-2019 12:08)
THUNDER The Greatest Hits (2019 UK limited edition triple vinyl compilation LP comprising twenty eight tracks of 'all killer no filler' hits from their extraordinary 30 year career, featuring all the hits including Dirty Love, Love Walked In, A Better Man, Low Life In High Places and more plus the previously unreleased Your Time Is Gonna Come. All three discs are BRAND NEW & unplayed housed in the tri-fold picture sleeve which remains sealed within its hype-stickered shrinkwrap BMGCAT386TLP)
Thunder - Stand Up + Poster - UK - 7" picture disc - £12.00, $14.64, €13.32 (New Item) (arrived 24-Sep-2019 09:33)
THUNDER Stand Up (1995 UK Limited Edition 7" Picture Disc including a band interview on the B-side about the new album and line-up. Housed inside a 12" size PVC cover and including a superb giant double sided poster of the single artwork on oneside with 1995 calendar and full band picture on the reverse! EMPD365)
Thunder - Love Walked In - UK - 12" picture disc - £15.00, $18.30, €16.65 (New Item) (arrived 24-Sep-2019 09:30)
THUNDER Love Walked In (1991 UK limited edition 3-track 12" Picture Disc single, one of the stand-out tracks from the Backstreet Symphony album, also including a demo of Flawed To Perfection & a live recording of Until My Dying Day; die-cut picture sleeve. The sleeve displays minimal wear and the disc looks barely played 12EMPD175)
Thunder - Backstreet Symphony - UK - 12" picture disc - £15.00, $18.30, €16.65 (New Item) (arrived 23-Jul-2019 11:19)
THUNDER Backstreet Symphony (1990 UK limited edition 3-track 12" Picture Disc single with a superb band picture on each side, also including a live version of An Englishman On Holiday & No Way Out Of The Wilderness, complete with the back picture insert 12EMPD137)
Thunder - She's So Fine - UK - 12" vinyl - £12.00, $14.64, €13.32 (Back In Stock) (arrived 18-Apr-2019 14:39)
THUNDER She's So Fine (1990 UK limited edition 3-track 12" vinyl single, also including 'I Can Still Hear The Music' and a live version of 'Back Street Symphony' recorded at Donington 1990, glossy picture sleeve with a giant double-sided poster featuring the Donington Photo Diary. The sleeve displays some general wear, whilst the vinyl barely appears played! 12EMP158)
Thunder - Dirty Love - UK - 12" vinyl - £12.00, $14.64, €13.32 (New Item) (arrived 18-Apr-2019 14:32)
THUNDER Dirty Love (1990 UK 3-track 12" vinyl single, featuring the Extended Version, also including Fired Up and the live version of She's Fine, glossy picture sleeve. The sleeve displays minimal wear whilst the vinyl shows only light signs of play 12EM126)
Thunder - Gimme Some Lovin - UK - 12" vinyl - £12.00, $14.64, €13.32 (New Item) (arrived 18-Apr-2019 14:19)
THUNDER Gimme Some Lovin' (1990 UK 3-track 12" vinyl single, also including I Wanna Be Her Slave and a live version of Dirty Love, glossy picture sleeve. The sleeve displays only light signs of wear whilst the vinyl shows only light signs of play 12EM148)
Thunder - A Better Man + Poster - UK - 12" vinyl - £9.99, $12.19, €11.09 (New Item) (arrived 16-Apr-2019 10:15)
THUNDER A Better Man (1993 UK limited edition 3-track 12" vinyl single also including 'Bigger Than Both Of Us' and a live version of 'Low Life In High Places' recorded at Hammersmith Odeon on 14th October 1992, issued in a glossy picture sleeve complete with the superb large fold-out 1993 calendar poster with lots of pictures of the band playing live and in rehersal along the award winning artwork for the 'Laughing On Judgement Day' album cover. The sleeve has some light wear mostly to the edges whilst the vinyl shows light signs of play 12BETTER1)
Thunder - She's So Fine - UK - 7" vinyl - £6.99, $8.53, €7.76 (New Item) (arrived 01-Mar-2019 16:50)
THUNDER She's So Fine (1989 UK 7" vinyl single, also including Girl's Going Out Of Her Head, glossy picture sleeve EM111)
Thunder - Raw Cuts Number 6 - Flexi - UK - 7" vinyl - Promo - £9.99, $12.19, €11.09 (New Item) (arrived 07-Feb-2019 09:43)
THUNDER Raw Cuts Number 6 (1990 UK 3-track flexidisc 7" EP issued exclusively with Raw magazine, featuring She's So Fine, Until My Dying Day and Fired Up THUNDER1)