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 - Backstreet Symphony - UK - 12" picture disc - £15.00, $19.35, €17.55 (New Item) (arrived 14-Feb-2020 10:46)
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 - River Of Pain - UK - 12" picture disc - £10.00, $12.90, €11.70 (New Item) (arrived 13-Feb-2020 09:57)
THUNDER River Of Pain (1995 UK limited edition 3-track 12" picture disc single including Move On and a superb live version of Mott The Hoople's classic, All The Way From Memphis. Also comes with a stunning fold-out poster featuring live shotsof each band member. Unique custom die-cut picture sleeve 12EMPD367)
Thunder - Laughing On Judgement Day - EX - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £30.00, $38.70, €35.10 (New Item) (arrived 13-Feb-2020 09:56)
THUNDER Laughing On Judgement Day (1992 UK 14-track double vinyl LP manufactured in Germany for the UK market, including the singles A Better Man, Low Life In High Places, Everybody Wants Her and Like A Satellite, with a glossy surrealist design gatefold picture sleeve complete with original lyric inners. The sleeve shows light wear with a split to one inner; aside from a few light surface scuffs, the vinyl shows few signs of play and remains in excellent condition EMD1035)
Thunder - Behind Closed Doors - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £50.00, $64.50, €58.50 (New Item) (arrived 13-Feb-2020 09:45)
THUNDER Behind Closed Doors (1995 UK limited edition 12-track double LP set pressed on Red & Blue Vinyl. The the third album by English rock group featuring the singles Stand Up, Castles In The Sand and River Of Pain. Numbered gatefold picture sleeve complete with inner lyric sleeves. Apart from a small seam split to the top the sleeve is superb, the vinyl is immaculate with minimal sign of play EMD1076)
Thunder - Like A Satellite - Etched + Numbered - UK - 12" vinyl - £8.00, $10.32, €9.36 (New Item) (arrived 13-Feb-2020 08:55)
THUNDER Like A Satellite (1993 UK 4-track one-sided 12" vinyl EP with an ETCHING on their autographs on the b-side, also includes a live version recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon plus The Damage Is Done and a cover version of the RollingStones' Gimme Shelter. Issued in the individually numbered glossy picture sleeve, the vinyl appears barely played 12EM272)
Thunder - Stand Up + Poster - UK - 7" picture disc - £12.00, $15.48, €14.04 (New Item) (arrived 13-Feb-2020 08:53)
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 - Dirty Love - UK - shaped picture disc - £15.00, $19.35, €17.55 (New Item) (arrived 12-Feb-2020 13:15)
THUNDER Dirty Love (1990 UK limited edition Shaped 7" Picture Disc with the classic 'Thunder' logo on the front and a fantastic lightening storm picture on the back, also including Fired Up, clear PVC sleeve with picture back insert. The disc shows some light cosmetic surface scuffs but looks barely played EMPD126)
Thunder - The Greatest Hits - Sealed - UK - 3-LP vinyl set - £39.99, $51.59, €46.79 (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 - Love Walked In - UK - 12" picture disc - £15.00, $19.35, €17.55 (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 - She's So Fine - UK - 12" vinyl - £12.00, $15.48, €14.04 (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)