Monday, December 25, 2006

Cry No More deliver the goods

Last night Cry No More did what they do every Christmas and gave a fantastic performance for their vociferous fans at the Turks Head in Twickenham. They never fail to deliver and despite Roy Hill's constant threat that this was their final reunion gig of all time, watch out for another sometime in the first quarter of 2007. My gig review is below but the photos will take a few days. In the meantime, here's one of Chas Cronk (left) and Roy Hill at their Dec 2005 reunion. To read about their previous gigs, click here. I recommend you get along to their next appearance - you never know it could be their last!

Review: Turkey, mince pies, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, the final Cry No More reunion gig of all time – each a Christmas tradition that we know and love and the 2006 version of the latter left no-one disappointed. The Cry No More formula for success is straightforward – excellent musicianship, a cupboard full of quirky, catchy songs, enough ad-libbing to fill Santa’s sack, guaranteed audience participation, all meshed together with the wit and repartee of Roy Hill and his fellow minstrel Chas Cronk. It doesn’t get much better than this, and all for a tenner, at The Turks Head in Twickenham.

So what did we get for our money? The first of the two sets was an hour long, consisting of ten kosher songs, half a dozen recognisable ad-libs, a Bob Dylan impersonation and a rousing version of Falling to take us into the break. Roy kicked off with his nefarious Sheep adventures and swept into his back-catalogue with Piccadilly Lights, recalling his solo days of the late ‘70s. Stories of Roy’s childhood and a letters section served as a breather between the rest of the musical gems on offer including one of my personal favourites, Don’t Leave Me Here, a slow version of Boy and that stirring rendition of Falling. The set-list (ad-libs in brackets): (Sheep/Tinkerbell); Piccadilly Lights; (Diggidy Dog); Keep Away From Me; (childhood/Bob Dylan); Just Too Late; Jenny Takes A First Look At Life; Don’t Leave Me Here; Man Overboard; (letters); Taller of The Two; Boy; Every Single Time; Falling.

The Turks Head crowd, old hands at these reunion events, really got into full voice for the second half of the show. Barber Jim began the set with Roy relying on the audience for the words to the first song, On Holiday. They followed it up with FASHION and a sackful of other CNM choice cuts with Steve Whalley joining them on stage for George’s Bar. Templar and Wooden Heart brought the gig to a close and the crowd to its feet – aside from those that were already dancing – before Roy & Chas returned for an encore of the Robin Song and I Like I Like I Like – a total playing time of 2 hours 20 minutes. Fantastic entertainment, and well worth the 200+ mile round trip. The set-list: (Barber Jim); On Holiday; FASHION; Trashy Doll; I Love Roxy; Cry No More; Lying In A Strangers Bed; (signed by EMI); Sleep; Forgotten Now; More; First Kiss; Caveman Rock; George’s Bar; (Life in Hollywood); Sixties Baby; Oh Sharon!, Templar, Wooden Heart. Encore: (Robin Song), I Like I Like I Like.

There’s talk of another get together in March or April 2007 to plug a DVD release and also some long-awaited Roy Hill solo gigs and CD releases from his extensive back-catalogue. Watch this space.

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