I saw the listing for Memento on LemonRock, saw that they were a new band and so classified their gig at the Fox and Duck as one to go to late if there was nothing better to do, something like a Steven Segal film on ITV. There was no Steven Segal film on ITV that night so I went to see Memento late, getting there around 10:30.
My mistake was immediately obvious.
Not only was the pub packed but there was a lively and happy atmosphere with everybody singing and/or dancing. The picture below is the best that I could do to get one of the band. In that crowd there were several people that I knew, including the famous Ralph who I often see at Hawkwind gigs. Most of the Fox and Duck regulars were there too.
I suspect that, unlike me, some of the people there had paid attention to the poster or knew of the band through some other means. The key words to note include Prezence and Rush.
I had seen Prezence play at the Fox and Duck a couple of times, in 2012 and 2014, and had loved them. If I had known that they had largely been reborn as Memento I would definitely have been there at the start of the evening. Rush are a band that I have loved since Permanent Waves in 1980 and while they can still sell out stadiums they do not often feature in cover bands' set lists.
The one band member that you can see at all clearly in the photo is lead singer Tamas Csemez who also fronted Prezence. Most, if not all, of the cover bands that come to the Fox and Duck are competent, or better, musicians but if there is a common weakness it is in the vocalists. Not here. I thought that Tamas made all the difference to the band and I was pleased to be able to tell him that afterwards. Of course the rest of the band had to play their parts too and they all did so magnificently.
I did not attempt to keep a set list but a few of the songs stuck in my head. We did have some Rush with Tom Sawyer, Rainbow’s Kill the King, The Final Countdown by Europe and Deep Purple's Mistreated. There were lots more like that and that is why everybody was singing and dancing.
It was a fantastic night and next time they are at the Fox and Duck, Saturday 8 October, then I'll be there early. It is already in my diary.
A couple of quick notes to close. One of the Fox and Duck regulars gave the gig three "wow!"s on Facebook afterwards, a record, and another friend told me that Tamas had been the original singer with prog covers band secondSight who I had seen several times. A couple of little touches to make a great night even better.
It's nights like this that I live for.