Review by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
As a one off show in the UK to kick off their European tour, Foreigner decided to make it a little special and one that was not to be at any of the more usual event locations, it was held at the London Palladium on the 7th June. Special guest for the night was supposed to be John Parr he but had to withdraw from the event and the last minute replacement for him was Deborah Bonham.
Deborah Bonham –Yes, sister of John Bonham and Aunt to Jason Bonham !!…who writes and sings rock /blues songs. She has several albums to her name with ‘Spirit’ being the latest, released in 2014. The bare footed singer was joined on stage with her guitarist (Peter Bullick) and keyboard player (Gerard ‘G’ Louis). They played a forty minute set and it was very clear that she did have some very loyal fans in the audience and gave a super, very passionately sung, opening set.
Foreigner: is a British-American band consisting of seven members and were first formed back in 1976. The only original, and founding, member of the band left is Mick Jones ( guitar). They are best known, I believe, for their 1981 album titled ‘Foreigner 4’, their fourth studio album, which was a huge success for them with over 6 million sales of the album in the USA alone….
Well what can I say..it’s Foreigner!!…a super band that I think most people have heard of. They might be an old name band from the 80’s era, but my word they come on-stage very fresh and with the excitement as if it was their ‘Very First time’..They opened with ‘Double Vision’ from the same titled album from 1978 and then followed this with ‘Head Games’ again from their same titled 1979 album. before going back to their very first album ‘Foreigner’ to play the classic ‘Cold as Ice’.
Carrying it on with classic hit after classic hit the enthusiasm from the band (and the audience) didn’t diminish all night. With Kelly Hansen (vocals) leaping from the stage and darting into the audience at one point. The band only taking a short break for a keyboard and then a drum solo at around the two-thirds mark of their performance. Having had great feedback from their 2016 Live album ‘In Concert Unplugged’ they played ‘Say You Will’ acoustically and I have to say that it was a great version of this song from 1987.
It’s a real credit to Mick Jones that Foreigner do have such a repertoire of super songs and it’s really not surprising that Mick was inducted into the ‘Songwriters Hall of Fame’ back in 2013. During the show Kelly introduced the band members to us, with Mick being introduced last, to great applause from the audience. He then handed the mic over to Mick, who introduced and thanked Kelly for wearing a keyboard as a jacket!! and for his ten years with the band with Kelly then quipping back to correct Mick to say that he had actually been with the band now for twelve years!!…
They finished their standard set with ‘Juke Box Hero’ , which I think everyone in the audience sang along to…Their encore comprised of ‘Long, Long Way from Home’, ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ , where they bought on the children’s choir from Notting Hill Preparatory School to sing with them and also bought back on-stage Deborah Bonham to sing with Kelly. They finished the evening off with ‘Hot Blooded’.
What a super evening and one that left the whole audience, I think, going home on a high from such an excellent show..Just brilliant..
1: Double Vision
2: Head Games
3: Cold As Ice
4: Waiting for a Girl Like You
5: That Was Yesterday
6: Dirty White Boy
7: Say You Will (acoustic)
8: Feels Like the First Time
10: Juke Box Hero
11: Long, Long Way from Home
12: I Want to Know What Love Is ( with children’s choir and Deborah Bonham)
13: Hot Blooded