Friday night starts off with an excellent quality show by The Ruts, live at The Marquee Club in London on July 19, 1979.
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"If these whole-album playbacks are all about bloodless nostalgia, no one has told Ian McCulloch. During a lull in the title track of tonight's offering, Ocean Rain, he orders the bouncers to turf out a pair of chatty punters for disturbing the contemplative atmosphere."
"A jarring reminder, then, that Echo and the Bunnymen's frontman remains the bristling autodidact who brought swagger to an early-Eighties new-wave scene in Liverpool that already brimmed with characters. His band arguably reached their peak with the escapism and aching romance of this, their fourth album."
"Having already revisited Ocean Rain three years ago, and after recently playing earlier works Crocodiles and Heaven up Here, the band should now be about ready to disinter 1999's misfiring What Are You Going to Do with Your Life? Instead, they play two sets, opening with a mixed bag that takes in both ends of their career. Of more recent material, though, only a driving "Stormy Weather" can hold its own with an impassioned "Rescue", Macca's wracked vocal sounding better than his attempts at smooth crooning."
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Thank you Steve!
"Amy Winehouse- brilliant rock and roll star, a voice like gloopy syrup and an bunch of songs that makes you weep with pleasure. Her jazz-tastic 8 piece band brought the songs from ‘Back To Black’ to life- the Brit award winning singer played to a packed house, closing the set with a surprise cover of The Zutons ‘Valerie’."
"Her eight-piece band are all suited and booted. Two jiving male backing vocalists keep up terrific dance moves to the right of the stage. A couple of brass players honk atmospherically on the left. The set is studded with red lampshades and ruched curtains, like some Prohibition-era jazz club. Winehouse arrives into this vintage set-up without fanfare and just opens her mouth and starts to sing."
"Her voice is a thing of wonder. Unlike all the ghastly, ululating soul manglers out there, Winehouse doesn't care about showing off her range. She just chews up syllables to suit her mood, reducing 'Addicted', her playful weed ode, to a kind of soulful Klingon tonight. Her rich, murky, weathered voice follows her instincts without effort or obvious manipulation. She is offhand, almost unpremeditated, crooning out 'Wake up Alone' in a waltz-time blur of words."
"Never the most salubrious of venues, the Astoria seems to have been transformed into a brothel for the night. Pearly-grey satin hangs in swags down the back of the stage, illuminated by red velvet lamps. It's a glorious setting for Amy Winehouse's impeccably suited backing band, who could have arrived here from the 1965 Motown UK tour. In fact, the only person who hasn't dressed up for the occasion is Winehouse herself. Beneath a vertiginous beehive she wears a greying T-shirt, faded jeans and trainers. Maxine Powell, head of Motown's finishing school, would be horrified."
"Still, Winehouse can afford to be blasé. It apparently requires no effort whatsoever to produce the seductive, furious vocals that last week won her the best solo female artist award at the Brits. Between songs, she scampers about the stage like a child; singing, she sounds decades older, reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, yet entirely herself."