It is quite unsettling when you haven’t seen an artist in decades and instead of the lithe young troubadour of days gone by that you recall, you get a plumpish man in silver trousers, black shirt, white loafers and hat with feather in it.
I guess it kind of reminds you that you yourself may look a little different due to the merciless ravages of passing time. It comes to us all.
Pete Wylie brings his latest version of the Mighty Wah! to a packed Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on a cold winters night and certainly heats the venue up. He has an upcoming album to punt, Teach Yself Wah!, a best of compiled by the man himself.
Despite putting on a bit of weight, Wylie still has a wonderful, wonderful voice which is evident in every song he sings. There was no support band, so there was along wait for the patient audience. At around 8.45pm the band appear and launch into a cover of Johnny Thunders poignant ballad, You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory, before really kicking off the evening with Pete’s own Come Back, Remember and Better Scream, the first Wah! Heat single.
As he is a Scouser, Pete obviously loves to talk and each song is preceded by an anecdote about the song, the band or whatever Pete wants to talk about. The anecdotes about the songs always seem to start with “ This next song, the record company thought would be a massive hit, but…..”. Pete is actually very funny, and I think he would have been just as happy talking to us all night instead of playing.
But it is not all funny stuff, Pete speaks very eloquently and passionately about the recent Post Office scandal in the UK, The Grenfell disaster and of course Hillsborough. He is rightly outraged about the establishment cover-ups that ensued around each of these.
He is also no great fan of the Conservative Party and a highlight of the evening was a rendition of The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies which was very well received by the crowd, hatred of Thatcher still runs deep in the psyche of many, many people in the UK whose lives her policies negatively impacted on.
He is also passionate about the city he comes from, Liverpool, which is reflected in the epic song Heart As Big As Liverpool, the recording of which he has remixed and will be released in April.
This is only the second date of the tour and the band are gelling well, there were a couple of fluffs – false starts and equipment failure, but this in no way detracted from the audience’s enjoyment of the gig. It must be said that the audience were mainly in the older category, and Pete joked that he hoped the audience wouldn’t be smaller next time they played Edinburgh because of people having died!
Other songs played included an outstanding Diamond Girl, Hope, 4 – 11 -44, Freefallin’ and Sinful before we get the much-anticipated Story Of The Blues.
For the encore we have the decades old, but now highly topical Seven Seconds To Midnight and for the final number, Story Of The Blues Part 2, the band improvise over a prerecorded backing track.
All in all, an entertaining enough evening, hasten back to Edinburgh, Pete.
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
4 – 11 – 44
The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies
Heart As Big As Liverpool
Story Of The Blues
Seven Minutes To Midnight
Story Of The Blues Part 2