IQ, Saturday December 8th 2002
Robin Hood 2, Wolverhampton, UK

By Wallace Sephton


The right note

First time for the group in this area since an appearance in Dudley in 1984, the gig drew a crowd of 150 – 200 devotees including a small representation from CRS.

The band struck up the familiar strains of Wrong Side of Weird and Pete Nicholls ran on stage to a typical I.Q. welcome, the number eventually segued into Thousand Days and Magic Roundabout.

A welcome from Pete with band member introductions was followed with Erosion and the backdrop of someone’s eye looking through a crack.

Pete announced that there was someone in the audience from Chicago (Illinois, not the group), which was acknowledged by the fan and applauded by the audience then the band continued with Further Away.

Reference to the story of Caspar Hauser signalled a visit to Subterranea and Sleepless Incidental, accompanied by the video footage; then diverged with Seventh House before returning with Speak My Name.

As the latter number was coming to its gentle end Mike Holmes inadvertently hit a loud note, Pete never flinched but gradually turned towards the guitarist and pointed, finishing the song with "and Michael Holmes", to which Mike looked sheepish and then grinned.

Guiding Light heralded the first retreat off stage, the shouts of encore quickly bought back them for Narrow Margin (London to Brighton in four minutes) and finishing finally with Widows Peak and the credits film as seen at the Oakwood but amended to read "Goodnight Wolverhampton".

This was a classic performance, fine musicians totally at ease playing superb music and thoroughly enjoying it, which in turn was shared with the same passion by a very enthusiastic audience.

I asked Mike Holmes afterwards in a Peter Sellers type Irish voice if he hit a bum note (Drop o' the Hard Stuff) and he replied "No, it was the right note, it was just in the wrong place, that’s all!"

Setlist:

Wrong Side of Weird
Thousand Days
Magic Roundabout
Erosion
Further Away
Subterranea
Sleepless Incidental
Seventh House
Speak My Name
Guiding Light

Narrow Margin
Widows Peak

 

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