PP Arnold at The Rocket
Following her successful show in Margate in August 2004, PP was back in the UK again for another show with The Teenagers,this night with a couple of special guests.
The Rocket is part of the London Metropolitan University on the Holloway Road. Seemingly small from the outside, the venue opens out into a large basement area with the stage to the right. The gig was part of The New Untouchables 7th Anniversary Party with PP taking the stage at 11.45pm.
After The Teenagers had played three songs, PP came on and kicked off with a perfect version of Angel Of The Morning. It's clear that since Margate, PP and The Teenagers have been refining and improving their performance. I'm So Thankful followed with Everything's Gonna Be Alright, both clearly sung with great passion and note perfect.
Then onto a couple of the Mick Jagger produced tunes - Am I Still Dreaming and Though It Hurts Me Badly. The first a rocking version that had the crowd dancing all over the place, especially the woman in the hat at the front. The second a beautiful ballad with a nice bluesy feel. With this it was clear to hear that PP's voice is still completely capable of all that's needed of it. Hitting both the top and bottom end without any problems or the need to warble.
How Strong Is A Woman was belted out to the packed crowd often straining the PA to breaking point. At this point, guest guitarist, Tony Remy's guitar clearly shone through. His amazing ability to fill the spaces without over burdening the song shows what an incredibly versatile guitar player he is.
The Teenagers then left the stage for a stripped down version of Yesterday with just PP and Tony Remy on electric guitar, followed by a new song written by Chip Taylor called Break These Chains with just PP, Tony Remy and another guest on Hammond Organ - Andy Wallace (who also played on the recent Roger Waters Tours). This was followed by both playing acoustic guitar on The First Cut Is The Deepest. This was an unusual version but fantastic to just hear it so clean and sung like a gospel song. Widely accompanied by the crowd, PP's voice still sailed above everyone. Worth the entrance fee alone.
Back with The Teenagers the show continued with If You See What I Mean and (If You Think You're) Groovy, both rocking numbers played to perfection filling the small venue of fans and many friends with a perfect sound.
Following some quick drum repairs, Every Little Bit Hurts slowed it down but kept the crowd enthralled, as did Afterglow, which was note perfect as on the album. That was meant to be the last song of the night but with the crowd noise so loud the organiser arranged for one more. A lengthy version of Understanding with some great solo work during the band introductions, especially the horns, and more thanks to PP's friends in the audience, this rousing song ended the night perfectly.
As a side note, a number of Pink Floyd/Roger Waters links peppered the night - Andy Wallace on Hammond Organ and guitar with Jonathan Parks (Pink Floyd Set Designer) and Andrew Zweck (Roger's Tour Manager) in the audience.
Once again, our thanks go to our UK Correspondent jce for the great report and pictures.
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