Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
Bad Company has just finished a UK tour, titled ‘Swan Song Tour’ comprising of eight dates, with their last date being at ‘The Bluesfest’ event at The O2 Arena London on the 29th October.
Support for the evening was from ‘Richie Sambora and Orianthi (RSO)’.
Richie Sambora and Orianthi (RSO): I have followed Orianthi for a number of years now from when she first joined Alice Cooper’s band and then saw her again with Richie Sambora a few years ago when they played at the Calling Festival in London, so I was quite looking forward to seeing them play again together. I was hoping to hear a few new tracks from Richie, but all we got was a covers setlist ( with the exception of one song from Richie and two from Orianthi..) They opened with the U2 song ‘When Love Comes to Town’ and followed this with ‘I’m your Hoochie Coochie Man’ from Willie Nelson.
Whilst many fans were clearly here tonight just to see Richie, it did think that the set didn’t really flow and Richie was struggling a bit vocally. The Bon Jovi covers of ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’ really for me, were not very good and the only thing that helped ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ was the fact that they bought guest guitarist/singer Steven Van Zandt (aka Little Steven) onto the stage for this song, but even then it wasn’t brilliant…
I have to say it has been a few years since I have been to a gig that left me feeling a bit underwhelmed, but this set from Richie and Orianthi left me being very disappointed in their performance and showmanship on the night.
Bad Company: Were formed way back in 1973 by Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke , Mick Ralphs and Boz Burrell. Unfortunately, Boz passed away some ten years ago, but the other original members are still in the band, which reformed in 2009. They have had twelve studio alums released, with their last being back in 1996, but have released a two-disc live album this year titled ‘Live in Concert 1977 & 1979’.
I have to say I was just a little bit excited to be going to see Bad Company again, but from the title of the tour could this also be the last time of being able to see them in the UK or was it just simply a reference to their original record label?? The O2 Arena was pretty well full, with only a very small rear section on level four curtained off, so clearly there were quite a few other people who were also looking forward to tonight’s performance.
The band was on-stage at about 9:15 and they opened with ‘Live For The Music’ which is also the first track from their 1976 ‘Run with the Pack’ album. they then followed this with ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’ from ‘Desolation Angels’. The next song got most of the audience that weren’t already singing along up on their feet to sing to ‘Feel like Makin’ Love’…
By this time it was very obvious that Paul Rodgers’ voice was still in excellent shape and it just took me back to those days many years ago just chilling out with a few mates listening to their albums sitting on extra large bean bags in the friend’s bedroom…Wow.. just fantastic.
The evening continued with some great songs from them and they finished their seemingly all too short standard set, (even though they had actually played for about an hour and a half) with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy’. After which the band said their thanks and farewell’s and left the stage. They were soon back though for their first encore, which was their self-titled ‘Bad Company’ song and then left the stage again..but were back for a second encore playing ‘Seagull’ from their 1974 self-titled album.
Wow , wow, wow, well I could have stopped another couple of hours listening to them play, but unfortunately, it was not to be and that was the end of a fantastic performance from the band. I do hope this is not the end for the band and I for one would like to see them back touring in the UK again soon.
1: Live for the Music
2: Gone, Gone, Gone
3: Feel like Makin’ Love
5: Burnin’ Sky
6: Run With The Pack
7: Ready For Love ( Mott the Hoople cover)
8: Crazy Circles
10: Movin’ On
11: Shooting Star
12: Can’t Get Enough
13: Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
14: Bad Company