Saturday, 17 November 2012

Lynyrd Skynyrd - UEA Norwich

A somewhat hectic trip back from Within Temptation in Antwerp not helped by a rail strike in Belgium but I eventually made it to Norwich. This was an unplanned gig as I won the tickets courtesy of Planet Rock so it was all a bit hectic for my liking. Skynyrd are one of those legendary bands that it was just too good an opportunity to miss. Going from an 18500 sell out arena at the Sportpaleis to a 1500 rammed University hall was quite something. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get anywhere near the front or even a decent view that wasn't obscured by either low ceilings, pillars or people in general. Therefore you will notice a certain absence of photos apart from a few internet library ones.
Skynyrd formed in 1964 as the 'Noble Five' out of Jacksonville Florida. Disaster struck in 1977 when a plane crash killed three of the band right at their peak. The band re-formed in 1987 with Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny took over on vocals. The only original member in the band today is guitarist Gary Rossington. Before Skynyrd we had a large helping of the 'Red White and Blues' probably a lot more than they were expecting..... The performed a very good hard rock/blues set and then came back for an encore, followed by another encore. Then five minutes later they popped back out with 'just one more for you Norwich followed by you guessed it 'just one more'. Things became even more crazy when they started jamming and doing a few cover versions of 'The Kinks' 'You Really Got Me' and 'Ozzy's' 'Crazy Train'. Total farce was achieved when they then pulled a fat bloke out of the audience wearing a pork pie hat to sing Sabbaths 'Paranoid'. Unfortunately he wasn't so hot on the words but seemed to enjoy himself and it kept the audience amused at least. They then started their original set again from the beginning - Pure Spinal Tap and you couldn't make it up. Thankfully they were soon put out of their misery - Skynyrd had arrived !!!!
Johnny Van Zant

Rossington, Medlocke & Van Zant at the Classic Rock Awards night
The Southern rockers had picked up the Classic Rock Comeback Award during the ceremony at the Roundhouse in London the previous night and celebrated with a performance of their greatest hits including 'Sweet Home Alabama' and a 15-minute rendition of 'Free Bird'.

They finally took the stage just before 10 PM and explained that there had been an accident on the highway and then the fog had slowed them down. Without any further ado they launched straight in to 'Last of a Dyin' breed' from their new album of the same name.
Gary Rossington
We were treated to greatest hits set list of brilliant 'southern fried rock' from a band who were true professionals and highly polished. My personal highlights were 'Simple Man', 'Tuesdays Gone' and 'Gimme Three Steps'. No Skynyrd set would be complete without the classic and epic masterpiece that is 'Freebird' and all three guitarists in full cry and the house well and truly brought down.

Full Set List
  • Last of a Dyin' Breed
  • Whats your Name
  • Down South Jukin
  • That Smell
  • One Day at a Time
  • I Know a Little
  • Simple Man
  • Gimme Back My Bullets
  • Whiskey Rock-A-Roller
  • The Needle and the Spoon
  • Tuesdays Gone
  • Good Teacher
  • Gimme Three Steps
  • Call Me the Breeze (JJ Cale cover)
  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • Freebird

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete,,

    These guys are still around?!?! All time great American rock band. Most of their songs are great. Nice pics bro....\m/