Ian Brown. Live at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend - 30th November 2009.
As quite a big Stone Roses fan (both at the time and still now), it's still a mystery to me as to why I've never got particularly excited about Ian Brown as a solo artist. I bought his first couple of albums and found them both... just OK to be honest.
For me something is missing, although I never could quite put my finger on it (actually I wouldn't mind betting that the all important missing ingredient was a certain Mr John Squire... and funny enough I've enjoyed all of his post Roses work).
For this gig Ian played a selection of songs from his 6 solo albums... a few that I recognised, and a large chunk that I didn't. It doesn't really matter though as I can't help but come to the conclusion that the ones I'm unfamiliar with sound very much like the ones I do know! It's an alright gig... Ian Brown isn't the most enigmatic artist (and certainly not the greatest singer!), and doesn't command the stage like some do... but he's stood the test of time, so I'm sure it must be me.However the encore is my lasting memory of this gig. A truly fabulous rendition of Fools Gold (the only Roses track on offer all evening), along with another couple of tracks that I don't know... but are much better that the other tracks I didn't know!
This last 20 minutes or so redeems the whole evening for me, and I come out more impressed than I expected to be... even more so when one of my friends (who is a much bigger fan) informs me that the other encore tracks were all from his latest album. Well bugger me! There's life in the old dog yet!!