13 December 2007

Max Maxwell was Framed

I know that Max was Framed because he told me, and a few others, that this evening at the Islington Academy.

This was the penultimate date on the Sensational Alex Harvey Band's Hail Vibrania tour and this was a special show that featured the Framed album in its entirety, albeit with major updates to most of the songs. This was something of an experiment but it worked really well.

The music was all you would expect from a band in form and even the sequence of slower songs (Buff's Bar Blues, I Just Want To Make Love To You, Hole In Her Stocking and Big Louie) rocked.

It helps that Framed has some seriously good tracks that have remained part of SAHB's live repertoire throughout the years, i.e.Hammer Song, Midnight Moses, Isobel Goudie and St. Anthony. Isobel Goudie has long been a favourite of mine and tonight's performance of it was just magic, and the way that the band adjusted to the technical problems at the beginning of the song showed how in control of things they were.

It was a barnstorming performance from the whole band but I must single out Max Maxwell for a special mention because of the passion, drama and excitement that he put into the songs. I can't even recall any of his trademark mistakes with the words! Max has matured as the front man this year dropping some of the sillier things (like the Indian head-dress) and has the confidence to deliver the songs without these props for support. Max is Max now and is not trying to be somebody else.

I have seen the new incarnation of SAHB something like ten times in the last three years (this is waaaay less than some of the familiar fans that I spoke to at the gig) and this was their best performance yet. My only regret is that I cannot get to the SAHB Xmas Party in Glasgow on Friday.

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