Firefest Friday night Jimi Jamison,Terry Brock,Houston,Serpentine Nottingham Rock City 21st October 2011

Our second visit to the annual festival that is turning into a must see year on year.

First up were Serpentine who set the bar very high as first band on. Led by Matt Black (now the permanent replacement for Tony Mills (Shy,T.N.T.)) and always grinning guitarist Chris Gould, they led us through a half an hour, 6 song set that was a superb showcase for them. Great vocals, backing vocals, keyboards and guitar had everyone enjoying themselves with the band appearing to not believe their luck in being added to the bill. Songs included "Philadelphia", "Cry", "Heartbreak Town" and "Whatever Heartache" with each getting a great response and one that I'm sure all in attendance will be looking out for.

Next up Houston who were like a double cheeseburger with added cheese. Singer Erik (it was on the back of his boxing robe he wore as he came on) has an OK voice but it was all too much posing. He said "you will get more keyboards than you have ever heard" yet he had 2 guitarists who you couldn't hear but had all the shapes. 40 minutes dragged on and when a new song was played they brought on their producer to do backing vocals!! Not enjoyed apart from the 3 loons jumping up and down to every note!!

Next up was Terry Brock who was very well received. With the band Valentine as his back up (Adam Holland on guitar, Gerrard Zappa on bass, Mike Morales on drums and Craig Pulman on keys) we went through a 50 minute set from his back catalogue. We had "Forever Again" from The Sign cd, "I Wanna Love Someone" and "Coming Home" from Back To Eden and then 4 off his latest cd: the title track "Diamond Blue" plus "The Rain", the very heavy "Broken" and "No More Mr Nice Guy" with the Valentine number "Soul Salvation" to end. Loved every minute of it with Terry sounding excellent and some superb guitar playing from Adam Holland too.I wish we could have had more.

Now the man I'd waited 25 years to see. Since buying "Vital Signs"on cassette I've wanted to hear the songs live and at last the time had come. A follow up to last years set (which was now available to buy on dvd at the show), the place was rammed and very, very loud. Backed by Tommy Denander on geetar (producer, player, songwriter et al), Jimmy Jay on bass, Jona Tee on keys (both from the band H.E.A.T.)and Magnus Ulfstedt on drums over the next 75 minutes life was perfect.

They played :

  • It's The Singer Not The Song
  • Burning Heart
  • First Night
  • Desperate Dreams
  • High On You
  • Chasing Euphoria (off the new Kimball/Jamison cd)
  • A Dream Too Far
  • Blood On Your Money (Cobra number)
  • I See You In Everyone
  • Oceans
  • Rebel Son
  • Didn't Know It Was Love
  • I'm Always Here
  • Eye Of The Tiger

Wonderful stuff. 4 from Vital Signs (I was word perfect!!), 2 from Too Hot To Sleep, plus a newie off the Kimball/Jamison cd (the only one that was a little rough around the edges) the Baywatch theme (with the Firefest crew invading the stage all wearing red Baywatch t shirts and carrying surf boards) and of course 2 Rocky songs and no one cared that Jimi didn't sing or write one of them!! An old Cobra number (Jimi's pre Survivor days band) and great to hear a rarity like "Oceans"too. He sounded great and the crowd sang along to every word. During "Didn't Know It Was Love" Jimi wanted the band to slow down so there could be a singalong but as the crowd continued to sing every word in the end the band had to catch up!!
Great extended solo from Tommy during "I See You In Everyone" too. I could go on all day it was that good.

By all accounts he was even better than last year and Kieran Dargan (one of the organisers) came on to thank Jimi and said "Tonight Rock City has had a new one ripped!!"

I couldn't have put it better myself. Top night and roll on next year.

ME 11/10

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