Let me take you to two concerts by the same artist, playing the same album, thirty five years apart.
Peter Frampton: Frampton Comes Alive
Wembley Empire Pool – Saturday 23 October 1976
Cambridge Corn Exchange – Saturday 12 November 2011
Well what can I remember of that night back in 1976. Peter Frampton was at the height of his worldwide fame. Almost every home in the western world that loved rock music and owned a record deck, would have had a copy of ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ in their collection.
Wembley Empire Pool (now Arena) was packed (imagine the scene with the Artic Monkeys playing the same venue today). More long hair in the place in those days, sweet smoke (that’s not dry ice) filled the place. Support was keyboard maestro Garry Wright ex- Spooky Tooth, who had a popular album out at the time called Dream Weaver but Frampton got all the God like treatment. A full on 70’s Rock Show and a band in their prime. Ticket price £2.40 (yes, Two Pounds and Forty Pence).
Fast forward Thirty Five years, No support this time but a three hour show none the less. Peter has bass player Stanley Sheldon in the band who would have been at that Wembley show as well. Peter’s long blonde curls have gone, receding hairline and turning grey like most of the (this time around, seated) audience from that era, he still plays a mean guitar.
The almost two hours Frampton Comes Alive section of the shows flashes by like a time machine, with some great video backdrops from that 70’s peak. The 2011 band gels extremely well, Adam Lester on guitar is a great foil for Mr Frampton and the album is enthusiastically reproduced. A great two hours!
The second set is a bit patchy, but there is a Humble Pie highlight, a decent cover of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun and some great musicianship throughout and, a few years on, its £27.50 for the ticket.