Live at Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday, 29th April 2003
This was my first visit to the Hard Rock and I was expecting great things. Apart from Jimi Hendrix's belt the venue disappointed slightly, but neither of tonight's acts did. Danny Redthorn (I think that was his name - sorry if not) did a solo acoustic set featuring some very well-written songs with plenty of clever chords and tuneful melodies. In fact if anything he sounded like if he added a band and so some textures and rhythms to his basic songs that he would end up sounding not a million miles apart from tonight's headliners Beautiful Feet.
As one member of the audience pointed out to me as the Feet prepared to go on, "at least they haven't gone up in price yet", referring to the £3 door entry fee. You got the impression tonight that if this band head the way they seem to be going it could be quite a lot more expensive to see them in another year's time. They changed their set slightly from their last proper gig at the Roscoe, including their encore from last time (I think it was called Masterpiece) which was an energetic and catchy song which grabbed the audience's attention. If anything it was the audience that were below par tonight - it felt like a big high school re-union round the bar, and during the quiet songs you could hear the noise of people not watching the band. Those people missed out big time because, after some early PA issues Beautiful Feet settled down to another polished performance featuring some great band dynamics - they seemed to find and extra bit from their instruments when they needed to play really loud, but all finished together when it was time to go quiet again.
My only suggestion from the gig tonight is that they don't need to stop and lose momentum between every single song. When a band runs a couple of songs together without stopping to chat and flies through a whole section of the set without stopping to re-tune I feel like I've really been to a show not just the performance of a set of songs. Get that right and on this showing, this group can go a long long way.