Feb 15

Getting+there+for+sound+check+was+a+lot+of+fun+as+I+got+to+hear+Heep+rev+up+the+engine+with+what+turned+out+to+be+their+encore+“Easy+Living”+from+the+above+titled+album.+I+knew+that+Mick+Box+was+the+only+remaining+founding+member+from+the+glory+years+of+the+1970’s.+Founding+member+Ken+Hensley+had+left+the+band+in+1980,+other+founding+member+David+Byron+(Vocals)+died+in+1985+from+alcohol-related+complications+including+liver+disease+and+seizures,+Gary+Thain+(Bass)+died+in+1975+from+drug+overdose,+Lee+Kerslake+(drums)+left+the+band+in+1979+and+then+returned+only+to+finally+leave+for+good+in+2007+due+to+health+reasons+that+have+sidelined+him+from+drumming+ever+since.+In+between+the+early+70’s+to+now+the+band+has+had+a+roster+of +“who’s+who”+of+the+rock+royalty+world+come+and+go.

Since+2013+the+band+consists+of +lead+and+rhythm+guitarist+Mick+Box,+keyboardist+Phil+Lanzon,+lead+vocalist+Bernie+Shaw,+drummer+Russell+Gilbrook+and+bassist+Davey+Rimmer+–+so+as+a+fan+of+40+plus+years+I+was+anxious+to+hear+this+live.

First+off+though,+my+pals+in+Howzat+had+the+job+of+getting+the+packed+LMH+crowd+in+the+mood.+Add+to+that+my+friend+Brandon+Eedy+was+gracious+to+have+given+them+this+slot+so+I+was+nervous+for+them+as+well.

Backstage+Kevin+was+pacing+and+he+was+also+battling+a+3+day+onset+of+the+flu+so+his+vocals+were+going+to+be+put+to+the+test.+Greigg+Fraser+was+pretty+quiet+and+subdued,+Dan+Ransom+was+just+Dan+where+nothing+fazes+him+and+Dave+Buland+and+Dale+Penny+seemed+pretty+loose+about+the+whole+affair.+It+became+show+time+and+the+boys+hit+the+stage+to+a+very+warm+welcome+from+London+and+then+they+kicked+it+into+high+gear.+The+band+whipped+through+a+45+minute+set+of+original+material,+the+crowd+applauded+very+enthusiastically+and+with+all+sincerity+–+they+were+totally+into+what+the+band+was+playing+from+their+catalogue.+People+were+cheering+and+screaming+and+you+could+tell+that+Howzat+has+won+the+crowd+after+the+first+song.+They+sold+a+ton+of+merch+and+the+show+went+off+without+a+hitch+or+Kevin’s+flu+handicapped+vocals+missing+a+beat+–+it+was+a+great+success.

Then+came+the+main+event+–+Uriah+Heep.

Well+they+roared+out+of+the+gates+and+never+let+up+on+the+gas+from+start+to+finish.+Mick+Box+might+have+been+over+shadowed+in+his+day+by+the+comparisons+to+Ritchie+Blackmore+(Deep+Purple)+this+man+takes+guitar+playing+to+a+whole+new+level+and+frankly+as+I+followed+the+band+all+the+way+from+Demons+&+Wizards+I+always+felt+it+was+unfair+for+him+to+be+described+that+way.+Watching+him+during+sound+check+and+up+close+with+my+camera+during+the+show,+you+could+just+feel+the+man+was+having+a+ball+up+there.+Quite+a+few+times+he+caught+me+in+the+gated+off+section+of+the+pit+with+my+camera+and+just+gave+me+a+smile+and+a+nod+as+if+to+acknowledge+“Thanks+for+coming+out+to+our+show”.+All+through+the+night+he+had+this+immense+smile+on+his+face+while+interacting+with+the+crowd+with+hand+gestures+that+were+almost+Zen+like.+As+for+his+playing,+well,+the+man+has+totally+mastered+his+craft,+the+musicianship+was+unbelievable.

Bernie+Shaw+will+be+62+this+June+and+while+I+have+watched+guys+like+Coverdale+and+others+lose+their+range,+Bernie+still+has+the+range+and+the+power+that+most+guys+in+their+20’s+wish+they+had+–+this+man+has+lungs+to+spare.+Sure+he+has+a+few+pints+on+him,+but+he+knows+how+to+work+a+crowd+and+get+people+energized+and+fired+up+for+a+Heep+show+–+and+did+I+mention+he+can+sing+like+crazy?

Keyboardist+Phil+Lanzon+is+NOT+Ken+Hensley’s+replacement,+not+sure+if+he+can+write+hits+like+Hensley+did+but+this+man+is+a+wizard+on+keys+–+think+Rick+Wakeman+or+Keith+Emmerson.+Those+hands+are+very,+very+talented+and+while+his+being+anchored+behind+a+keyboard+arsenal+would+normally+restrict+a+display+of+high+energy+to+the+crowd+while+playing+–+it+doesn’t+inhibit+him+at+all.+He+reminded+me+a+lot+of+Jon+Lord+who+would+be+moving+around+while+playing+his+Hammond+and+as+a+result+becomes+one+more+visual+aspect+of+the+bands+stage+show.

Bassist+Davey+Rimmer+was+from+my+few+minutes+with+him,+very+very+gracious+and+accommodating.+Him+and+Dave+Buland+both+hit+it+off+as+they+are+both+left-handed+bass+players+which+is+not+that+common,+Davey+had+come+out+and+noticed+that+during+Howzat+sound+check+that+Dave’s+bass+had+fallen+and+one+of+the+tuning+pegs+had+broken+off.+Davey+(UH)+had+offered+Dave+(Howzat)+the+use+of+his+bass+for+the+show,+now+that+was+damn+impressive+for+not+only+someone+he+had+just+met+but+that+was+in+an+opening+band,+to+offer+his+bass+to+help+out.+That+kind+of+character+you+don’t+find+often.+As+for+Davey+Rimmer’s+playing,+the+man+is+the+absolute+foundation+of+the+band.+I+LOVED+his+style+of+playing+and+have+to+admit+the+bass+with+the+illuminated+lights+on+the+fret+board+was+kinda+cool+to.

Drummer+Russell+Gilbrook,+now+this+guy+is+not+human,+I’ve+never+seen+an+elite+level+drummer+play+that+hard+and+I’ve+seen+some+of+the+world’s+best+live.+The+highlight+of+Russell’s+playing+was+an+electrifying+duo+with+Mick+Box+wailing+away+on+guitar+and+Russell+accompanying+him+on+drums.+You+would+think+that+in+this+day+and+age+that+would+leave+a+crowd+rather+disinterested+but+it+had+the+opposite+effect.+People+appreciated+the+elite+skill+these+two+displayed+on+their+respective+instruments+and+loved+every+second+of+it.

The+only+disappointment+I+had+from+the+show+was+that+as+I+was+tracking+each+hit+from+the+bands+storied+career+and+it+came+down+to+encore+time,+I+figured+they+would+deliver+“Easy+Livin’”+from+the+sound+check+and+hopefully+“Sweet+Lorraine”+which+was+highlighted+on+Uriah+Heep+Live+(1973).+As+it+turned+out+after+the+show+many+of+my+friends+had+been+expecting+that+tune+too+but+the+band+never+played+it.

All+in+all+the+show+was+a+success+from+start+to+finish. +Huge+shout+out+to+Mike,+Lauren,+Dimitri+and+all+the+staff+at+London+Music+Hall+from+the+servers+to+Marty+and+the+sound+techs,+to+the+bouncers+who+time+and+time+again+do+their+job+with+excellence.+And+to+Brandon+Eedy+for+working+with+Howzat+to+insure+making+the+night+run+so+smoothly+for+the+boys+and+for+bringing+such+a+great+event+to+London.

Interesting+also+to+point+out+is+that+the+show+was+on+a+Sunday+evening+and+doors+opened+at+7pm+on+a+cold+winter+night+in+February.+When+I+stepped+outside+prior+to+the+doors+opening,+a+large+crowd+has+already+gathered+around+6:30pm+in+anticipation+of+getting+in+for+the+show.

Over+a+1,000+people+attended+this+show+and+the+demographics+were+in+the+35–60+span,+meaning+most+of+them+had+to+attend+work+the+next+morning+and+still+they+came+out+in+force+for+a+Classic+Rock+era+band+which+ended+by+11pm.

Now+if+London+venues+made+this+transition+to+a+more+suitable+time+for+that+age+demographic+to+attend+live+music+events,+then+they+might+not+have+near+empty+bars+at+12:15am+of+a+10-2am+show.

#Allstage+#TurnUpTheLiveMusic+#Howzat+#MusicLover+#LondonMusicHall+#UriahHeep+#LondonOntario

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