Quadrophenia Live – The Goldhawks.
This world-class, eight-piece band is fronted by Doug Freeman, who is widely regarded as the world’s greatest ever live tribute to Roger Daltrey. With three different shows Quadrophenia – the album, LIVE! Tommy – the album, LIVE! and Then & Now (the greatest hits) The Goldhawks are acclaimed as the world’s number one tribute to The Who with many accolades from friends and family of The Who themselves. Working in various outfits, touring and meeting up once in a while they realised they were all ardent fans of the best band in the world – The Who.
From there it was an easy decision, ” Let’s play only our favourite music and fu*k everything else!”
I rarely revisit these shows, but this time I made an exception due to the pure quality of what they do, and that unique experience they provide. And so, one year later, to the exact date, The Goldhawks were back, and so was I!
It was a Bank Holiday Weekend in Brighton, and it was Quadrophenia Live. Perfect timing as it was the long standing Brighton Mod Weekender. Brighton was bathed in sunshine and 30 degree heat. A sizeable crowd had gathered outside for this event. A wide range of ages, both young and old filled Madeira Drive. A great spectrum of clothing on display, and outside some finely dressed scooters parked up running pretty much the entire length of the sea front.
They took to the stage as the backdrop displayed a video of the sea with the appropriate sounds. The Goldhawks were back and this time to a SOLD OUT Concorde 2. They have to be the UK’s No.1 tribute bands that play the music of The Who. With their authentic sound and staging they truly capture that moment in time when the world believed that The Who were the greatest rock band on the planet.
Quadrophenia: The Band
Doug Freeman – vocals, harmonica / Marco Cape – guitar / Dan Selway – bass guitar / Fabio Parisella- keyboards, musical director.
and …. Steely Thatcher – drums / Ivan Williams – guitar / Kas Lipkowski – brass/keyboards / Colin Jones – brass
Quadrophenia: The Set
The set opened with I Am The Sea and straight into an absolute crescendo of an opener with The Real Me. If you know the album, then you will know the set list! I think after the opening song The Goldhawks had set the bar high. From the outset, these guys are relentless, with Freeman moving about the stage, swinging the mic by its re-inforced cable, Marco slicing at his guitar with his trademark moves and rushing about the stage..
The heat in the venue seemed to take its toll on the projection system as it ground to a halt, which was a real shame as it does serve as a back drop to the album and the music, but actually it did not diminish or detract to this fine set. No distractions – just pure Goldhawks.
They put together an authentic, exciting recreation of the sound of the album. Doug was a powerhouse, he gave us everything. You could kind of know when a mic swing was coming as everyone quite wisely moved to the sides of the stage area. There was a lot of them packed onto the stage with a swirling microphone weighing a fair bit, it was dangerous up there! Fabulous to watch…. from a safe distance!
A small break, to coincide the end of album one and the band were back on stage. The film Quadrophenia starred a young Sting, Phil Daniels, Ray Winstone, Trevor Laird and Lesley Ash. Two of the stars were on hand tonight! Phil Daniels and Trevor Laird. It became one of the key British films of its age.
Back on stage we had the mighty 5:15 served up, with the gentle keyboards perfectly played as Marco (guitar) sang “why should I care” – then the band kicked in, mic swinging and a fine sound from the horn, sax section piercing through and the keys came through the sound created by the guys up front.. This was perfectly executed. The band had stepped it up a notch after the break. Doug owned the stage as he delivered his jaw dropping performance. He also delivered some fabulous harmonica playing. The musicians, were totally on point with some terrific guitars, a pounding bass working with the fine drummer. The track 5:15 as I say gave a chance for some damn fine rock and roll vocals, keys and horns!
The second set flew by and before you knew it it was the the finalé of Quadrophenia – Love Reign O’er Me. The concert continued after a short break and screams for more from the Brighton audience was rewarded with a few more Who favourites, such as Who Are You (with some fine backing vocals from the 600 strong Brighton crowd), and the storming My Generation and a shortened version of See Me, Feel Me really did bring the evening to a most memorable close. These additional songs from The Goldhawks provided an excellently performed slice of memorable hits for the crowd.
Concert-goers and those who stayed on for the after show evening were able to have their photos taken with scooters, members of the band and also two of the stars of the film.
A Video – a moment in time.
The Goldhawks, are close, real close… If you are not a Who fan, or never been part of the Mod movement, it really doesn’t matter as this is a great, down to earth rock and roll show for everyone. You are going to know some of the songs, trust me. You got a feeling after this show that this band are great at doing what The Who did.
They do not go for the “look” per se – but they have the sound nailed down perfectly. Their music never grows old and thanks to The Goldhawks it can continue to be enjoyed in a live setting.
Quadrophenia – and finally
It really is as this touring performance comes to an end with only a couple of shows remaining… A year since it all started in Brighton at Concorde2!
Backstage after the show the champagne corks were flying as the band took a few minutes to unwind. Here we have Trevor Laird, Doug Freeman, Jane Horrocks (Ab Fab) and Danny Webb (alien 3, Dr Who amongst many other roles) and on the end the fabulous Phil Daniels.
A message to The Goldhawks: Thank you guys so much for your time and also to give me a second opportunity to experience what you do so well. I cant wait to see how you guys put together Tommy – Live! And also the rumour surrounding what your next project after that will be! To spend time and chat with you guys and also some of the cast from the movie was incredible.
I hope this item on this little blog serves as a reminder of what a tremendous evening you have given so many people over the last year, almost 80 gigs! Thats a lot of venues and a lot of people. Congratulations on that achievement. And then to bring it back all back to Brighton to pretty much end the tour where it all started, to again deliver an exciting evening of live music. I, and I am pretty sure, the sold out Concorde 2 crowd enjoyed every second. Roll on TOMMY – LIVE!
Last time I reviewed this show they got a rare 5 out 5 stars, you just earned 6 out of 5 stars! The whole night was THAT good. Well played Goldhawks – a superb night.
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