Velvet Revolver Live in London

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, February 7, 2005 @ 11:35 AM

Velvet Revolver Live at the Ca

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Fuck the Carling Apollo, Hammersmith… This place will always be known as the Hammersmith Odeon, as far as I’m concerned.

Last time I was here, it was like Groundhog Day trying to get into the venue -- so much security, so many queues, so many busy body arseholes. This time, no such problems…

But then, on entering you can’t get a fucking beer, as they were short staffed. And this in a venue sponsored by Carling.

Don’t get me wrong, I usually enjoy a beer or two at gigs, but VR are the type of band that make beer a pre-requisite. Recently described as a bunch of cartoon characters, they certainly looked that way in the magazines and newspapers that have been splashing them all over the place during their trip to the UK.

I imagined their shows to be a bit like the WWF: bare-arsed entertainment, no substance or reality – that would all be a bit of a myth – made up to please the fans, the bankers and the older, more refined headbanger, still living in the age when they had hair.

The crowd was a right old mixture of metalheads, poseurs, tarts and the plain inquisitive. I reckon a large section of the audience thought that this might be a GnR karaoke night.

Bursting on stage a full hour after some non-descript support had vacated the area, VR had some winning over to do, as gradually during the lull the assembled throng had gotten restless. The crescendo of booing and whistling was getting louder as the crowd grew impatient. Rumours started to spread… had Scott Weiland keeled over out in the back? Had his wife shown up – was he boning her? Worse still, was Matt Sorum still beating off his harem of rock chicks with a shitty drumstick?

Who knows, but at around 9.45 here they were – surrounded by bright blinking lights and shiny shirts. “Sorry we kept you waiting girls,” said Weiland… “We were busy saving the world.”

I knew I wasn’t going to get a deep and meaningful connection tonight -- I was there to be purely entertained, and that was what I got – fair and square.

My overall lasting impression will be that if GnR ever did reform, it would be huge -- as songs like “Mr. Brownstone” got a massive reception in comparison to most of the VR originals – although “Slither,” “Big Machine” and “Fall to Pieces” went down predictably well. The wry British crowd weren’t bothered about hearing the tales of drug abuse, depression and suchlike: on the contrary, this crowd were won over by Weiland’s excellent frontman tricks, the huge screens on each side of the stage depicting his every crazed angular movement. For a skeleton, he didn’t look too bad, although whilst he was here I would have recommended a large dose of fish and chips to sort him out.

Long blond-locked David Bowie look-alike Duff strolled around the stage, eyeing up the crowd, playing to the front rows, whilst the star of the show -- English-born Slash -- gave his signature licks and riffs, occasionally taking the microphone to chat to the crowd and looking entirely at home in his new place.

It was great to see him don his leather topper, stick a cigarette in his gob and play his twin neck – like the last 17 years hadn’t happened…

Sorum and Dave Kushner provided more than able support to the act, even if Kushner did look a little out of place in beanie hat and t-shirt, but hey who cares…

Overall, I got my money’s worth, I left happy in that knowledge -- and I expect a few of the inquisitive types will go out and buy Contraband on the back of this showing.

Love and hugs to Janine, cheers to pit reporter BigJon and the BLS UK Chapter.

Setlist (approximate):

Sucker Train Blues
Do It For the Kids
Illegal I
Dirty Little Thing
Fall to Pieces
Big Machine
It's So Easy
Sex Type Thing
Set Me Free
Used To Love Her
You Got No Right
Drum Solo (featuring You Could Be Mine intro)
Mr. Brownstone

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