Before I wax lyrical about Steve and Jims gig, I wanted to say a few words about this stunning little venue in Barnoldswick (locally known as Barlick) not far from the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland in Lancs. Visit the McCulloughs Irish Bar, and hidden away in the basement is a gorgeous venue (max 60 peeps) that has enough pictures on the wall to make any Hard Rock hotel jealous, thanks to Peter and Julie who run the place. It is absolutely brilliant, and I wish I had a local like this.
On to the gig. Apparently this is Steve’s first set of solo gigs as a performer in over 30 years and was initially advertised as a single gig. Its ended up as a mini tour with the Sunday night being the first of 2 performances at the Arts Centre
Without going into masses of detail, in a nutshell this was one of my favourite gigs in seeing ‘The Voice’ in over 34 years of seeing Wildlife, FM in their few line ups, and even SO! I don’t know how many songs the guys had rehearsed for this set of gigs, but I am guessing it was over 100 based on the list they kept pointing to. It was an opportunity to listen to songs old, and new, with everything in-between, and a shitload of stories and banter to keep everyone happy.
We were treated to the likes of songs that had not been played in some time – Don’t Stop, Tattoo Needle, Say it Like it Is, Only The Strong Survive, but fuck all from Aphrodisiac (I knew I should have shouted out for Blood and Gasoline as it was on the bloody list), and most of the songs come with an accompanying story.
We heard stories of touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, and all the big guns from back in the day, a lot about brother Chris who can knock out a blistering set of lyrics whilst being glued to the telly watching Neighbours of all things, the story of Shot In The Dark (which got nicked by Soussan and offered to Ozzy with nothing of monetary value coming back to the Overland bros), with Steve still not having a bad word to say about it (!), writing a hit song for Radio 2, how he joined FM and the 4 demos they recorded to get the deal, and lots, lots more.
We got to hear Jim sing a couple of songs, one of them a blues song that just blew me away, to a song that was on Jims Myspace page a few years ago (I had the downloads but lost them!), and some excellent bants when Jim stated he had toured the sates before Steve……3 times!
Steve dug out the first ever song he wrote as a 13 yr old and we were advised not to take too much notice of the lyrics, or the music. (Sunshine? I knew I should have taken notes!)
I think that this gig was on a par with my Lawrence Gowan gig at Crewe a few years back. Mostly audience requests from a pair of blokes who clearly love each others company and trade insults with wild and funny abandon.
Theres already a gig announced for Dec that I have missed out on, but hey, its good to give others a chance to witness this wonderful spectacle of a gig. This is one of my highlights of the year, and very little is likely to surpass it in 2023.