Per & Co. played the 5th gig on tour in London last night. How cool is that to play at a venue, Eventim Apollo (earlier Hammersmith Apllo, even earlier Hammersmith Odeon) that was an important place in one of Per’s biggest idols, David Bowie’s life. On the facade of the building, above the entrance there was written in huge red letters: PER GESSLE’S ROXETTE and there was a tour poster on one of the entrance monitors as well.
It was a seated show, so people didn’t have to rush inside. The doors opened at 7 pm, the support act started at 7.30 pm. Support act was Lee MacDougall again. He was added last minute, on 12th October. Great chance for him to play his first London show in 5 years. The audience liked his music a lot and his anecdotes were fun too. He said the first Roxette record he got in 1993. His sister is a big Roxette fan. His parents would buy them gifts to give them to each other at Christmas. His parents gave him the Joyride album to give it to his sister, but after he put the cassette on and it blew him away, he just couldn’t give it away. He created a plate writing Roxette (spelt wrong) and Joyride on it with glitters and all colorful stuff instead. When he gave it to her sister she was really excited because she thought she knew what’s inside, but then she was plain disappointed, she started to cry. Haha. A story to remember in a fan’s life.
After Lee left the stage, the technicians were setting up for Per and his band. The setlist stayed the same as on the past 2 shows.
1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
17. Queen Of Rain
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
It was the second seated show on tour. I wouldn’t have been too sure about the London crowd standing up, hearing they are more reserved, closer to Swedes in behavious when it comes to standing up at shows, but actually everyone were up on their feet already from the beginning, when the gang played The Look. So it seems, seated shows are indeed among the best ones and you can use the seats for your jackets and bags, but you won’t use them to sit.
After The Look Per mentioned this is a classic venue, used to be called Hammersmith Odeon and this is the place where David Bowie killed Ziggy Stardust in 1973. He said let’s hope nobody dies here tonight.
When Per said he’s been writing songs for more than 40 years, the audience cheered him. There are tons of Per Gessle, THE SONGWRITER fans in the UK. Speaking English as their mother tongue they just love how differently Mr. G expresses himself in their language.
PG asked the audience if they knew the lyrics to the songs, please sing along. And they did so. People stayed standing also during the ballads and partied to all uptempo songs.
Doesn’t Make Sense ended with Christoffer’s madness in London too, but he was on a high during the whole concert anyway. Actually, the whole band were in top shape. The crowd cheered Helena a lot, they liked her performance very much. The intro to HDYD worked great. DFS was huge too, probably there was an even bigger party than for OppNox here. IMHBL was of course a song Per couldn’t give a miss and even if there were 72 songs on his mind for the first time during the rehearsals, but the list was reduced, IMHBL had to stay. The loud sing-along was guaranteed.
One thing I expected – I’m quite sure I wasn’t alone with it – didn’t happen. Actually, I wished to hear Small Town Talk as a duet with the original artists, I mean Per and Nick Lowe. And since Nick is English, I thought it was possible to see him on stage in London. Well, he didn’t appear there. I saw he had a show in Canada on October 11th, so maybe that’s why he wasn’t there. Still not at home. Fingers crossed we can hear this duet one day live. STT sung by Per and Christoffer worked extremely well in London anyway.
Before both encores after the gang went off stage, the crowd was clapping heavily and were happy to have the ladies and gents back on stage again and then again.
Some thought it was a guilty pleasure gig for them, some went for nostalgia, some to see the talented songwriter on stage. One thing is sure: all of them had much fun in the audience. PG and the band had a blast too.
LONDON. Oh yeah, such a treat to play the old Hammersmith Odeon. Remember reading about it all the time when I was a kid getting my Melody Maker every Wednesday. And boy, did we have a blast. Super crowd and band in top shape. We’re only five gigs old but are almost grown by now!!! Thanks everyone for showing up and singing along. London, you never disappoint!!! Lots of love from P&Co.
All pics in the article are taken by Niall Corcoran. Thanx for sharing!