As the year draws to a close, Roy Wood has the honour of being my final concert of 2015. What better way to end the year than by seeing the Wizzard frontman to get me into the Christmas spirit. It promised to be an unbridled night of light-hearted fun and it more than delivered on that promise.
I hadn’t expected a support act, and I was pleasantly surprised by local band Retroject. They took a while to work through their nerves and they fell victim to the same pitfalls as the vast majority of small bands (songwriting and refinement are key!), but they certainly have potential. The two contrasting guitars, both bright energetic indie sounds and harsh bluesy tones, really worked for me. The lads did an admirable job of covering Alabama Shakes which is no easy task. It just goes to show that you should support your local music scene!
I was even more pleasantly surprised by Roy and his rock and roll band. I recognised far more of his music than I expected. He talked through the history behind his songs with his string of number one’s and having the first ever song played on radio 1, I can’t help but feel that he deserves far more recognition. Even the songs I didn’t recognise were clearly hits, Roy is a man who loves to experiment but is well versed in writing a crowd pleasing song. He launched his way through some of The Move’s biggest songs including ‘Fire Brigade’, ‘I Can Hear The Grass Grow’ and Blackberry Way’.
The gig was intimate and full of character, it was quite simply a night of fun. The fact that he broke out a daft feathered hat and started playing the bagpipes certainly made it clear. The highlight though was obviously his Christmas classic from his Wizzard days. A Roy Wood lookalike in a picture perfect costume rushed to the front and was invited onstage by the man himself. It made both their nights, as well as mine and will be an enduring festive memory. But as I find myself still singing ‘See My Baby Jive’ and marvelling at what a genuinely lovely and talented man he is, I can’t help but think that Roy Wood is for life, not just for Christmas.