The Gov – Thursday 16 December 2021
Words – Geoff Jenke
Photos – Geoff Jenke
Emerging from lockdown, The Angels decided to put something big together to reconnect with their fans and it doesn’t get bigger than a greatest hits tour.
I saw The Angels only two weeks ago accompanied by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and while that show was really good, this is where The Angels really belong, in a pub with a (unfortunately seated) capacity crowd. Will we ever be allowed to stand up at gigs again?
While the bill advertised as a “Greatest Hits” tour, The Angels were not afraid to throw in the occasional album track. Ivory Stairs, from the No Exit album, commenced proceedings, and while good, an arousing reception for the second song, Straight Jacket, showed what the punters wanted. While the two Brewster brothers remained firmly in place, vocalist Dave Gleeson was prancing all over the stage.
During the the first half, the band played hits and album tracks. Shoot it Up would be followed by Shelter From The Rain, followed by Escape, a track from a recent E.P, then No Exit. You have to admire a (let’s face it, nostalgic) band who like taking chances by throwing in the slightly unknown songs or album track. The Angels did and they certainly got away with it, with a very appreciative audience.
My Light Will Shine is a magnificent song from one of The Angels later albums, Skin & Bone and the song stands up with all the early classics. Face the Day closed the first half with Dave announcing “We will be back soon’.
And they sure were, pounding into After the Rain, followed by Let the Night Roll On. The second half was almost all hits and no “misses”. Be With You, Long Line, Mr Damage and a surprisingly early appearance of Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, Dave letting the audience fill in THAT line. I Ain’t the One, Shadowboxer and Mareilles thundered to a loud and powerful end.
Encore commenced with a dedication to Doc and Chris Bailey from just Rick and John Brewster on acoustic guitars, in the song Love Takes Care. A touching tribute to the past members.
The finale was a long, almost blues jam with Can’t Shake It from Beyond Salvation, giving Sam Brewster (bass) and Nick Norton (drums) a chance to show their skills on their instruments with short solo’s.
The Angels have been around in one form or another since 1976. Even longer if you count their previous bands, Moonshine Jug & String Band and The Keystone Angels. During this time, they have released many classic songs, way too many to play in one show, as shown tonight with many hits missed. But this is not a complaint. Tonight’s set list was almost perfect, except this was a Christmas show, maybe we should have got a Christmas song in there.
And by the way, Dave Gleeson cannot dance. He tried all night, always with a sly grin on his face. But we loved his effort.