Saturday, 17 June 2017

Here & Now @ Unit 23 Totnes 17.6.2017

Ah, the Here and Now Band. Since I first heard Here and Now's 'All Over The Show' album in the early 80's, the bands music has remained a constant on the soundtrack of my life.  The bands line up may have changed over the years, though a consistent throughout has been the quality of musicians and the quality of the music, both have remained very high.  The current line up of Keith da Bass, Mark Robson, Andy Roger, Andy Burrows and Gem Quinn is fantastic, and together they have an amazing chemistry, the energy created fair crackled across the stage tonight.  Andy B on guitar and Gem drums are newbies, though you'd never know it, so tight is the band sound you'd think they'd been there forever; credit to them as musicians, you should see them in their other bands too, Andy with MOTA and Gem with Kangaroo Moon, wow.  As for the other band members, well, Keith's Keith, a bass legend who deserves the title, a man with Vibranium fingers; Mark, no matter in what manifestation (H&N, Kangaroo Moon, Magic Brothers) a multi instrumentalist par excellence; and Andy R, a master of the electronic universe, a wizard of soundscape creation.  Naturally, our expectations were high, Here and Now have set themselves a high bar over the years and have never failed to reach beyond it, other than... only kidding, of course they've never failed to produce the goods, they're feckin ace! Tonight the set list was outstanding, a smorgasbord of tracks from the bands extensive back catalogue; some tracks that when we were first seeing them we could could only dream of hearing (they weren't included in the live sets at the time), like 'Surgeons Knife' and 'little things' (two particular favourites of mine), and then there were tracks of the 'Secrets' and 'The Mega Number' period, aw, man, the 'The Mega Number', a track I remember blissing out to at so many gigs through the 80's. The band delivered every track perfectly, and with gusto and panache. But that's not all, no, there were new tracks! Yup, we thought we heard one during Here and Now's Avalon Ballroom set at the King Arthur, but tonight, there were more! All good strong stuff too, one in particular, a long number, was outstanding! That's an exclamation mark at the end of the last three sentences, if that's not an indication of how good the evening was, then I give up! We the audience were loving it, man, you couldn't help but move; the band too looked like they were enjoying it, which is when the magic happens. And, magic was happening. Each time I looked about, everyone was smiling, people dancing and moving (there was some great moves on show too), people were really feeling the energy. Life can kick the shit out of you, and it's bands like Here and Now who can put the wind back into your sails, and for that we thank them and love them. And, there was certainly love in the room this evening. Now, we've seen Here and Now many many times over the years and it would be fair to say that tonight their performance ranked with the very best of them, and as I said, that's a high bar. They finished with, of course, 'So Glad You're Here', the joy in the room was palpable. Every member of the band had brought their best game. Special credit though needs to go to both the Andy's who'd already performed a stella set this evening as MOTA, bravo fellows. What a stunning performance, and one that will raise a smile for a long time to come. I can't wait for the new album, yeah, that's right, that's what I heard from a reputable source, and if that doesn't excite any Here and Now fan, I'd check your pulse. Finally, a big thanks to Mike (I'd found out from a friend that Mike was the guy who put the gig on), when ever I'd seen him he was bobbing about beaming, and why not, he'd put on a beautiful thing, nice one, man. And thanks to the venue and sound guy, both top draw, big up. 'Till the next time, thank you Here and Now.

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