Review: The Moody Blues @ St David's Hall
“Who are The Moody Blues?” I hear you ask.
Well firstly, let me say if you don’t know who they are, then you have been missing out on an amazing rock band.
Maybe they wouldn’t fit in now with what the youngsters of today call “cool” but The Moody Blues are one of the most amazing rock bands that I have ever heard. They sound exactly the same live as they do on their CDs and although they're rock, they also have some classical touches such as the flute and their music can be quite romantic and calming. From Forever Autumn to Say It With Love, The Moody Blues can have you in tears because the music is so moving. Their songs always have a story to tell not like most music you hear today.
Anyways as I was supposed to be saying, there were people of all ages in St. David's Hall, some with their children or grandchildren and others were in their 20s like myself (I believe I was carrying the youngest person to at least hear the band live in my womb) but most people were a lot older probably, around the same age or even older than the band members. My plus one (my dad) and I got to the hall for around 7:30 pm, I got the tickets from the box office by showing my press pass from TheSprout and giving my name then we headed up to floor three for the gig itself.
The stage was set, with hints of their songs playing softly in the background and an animated image of The Moody Blues on a light blue background and twinkling stars. As the auditorium filled almost to capacity, up on stage the roadies were making the final touches before the lights went down. Then all of a sudden there was an expectant hush, as in the wings torchlight could be seen as the members made their way on stage:
- Justin Hayward - lead guitar, vocals
- John Lodge - bass guitar, vocals
- Graeme Edge - drums, percussion, vocals
Accompanying them were four other musicians:
- Alan Hewitt - keyboard
- Gordon Marshall - drums and percussion
- Norda Mullen - flute, guitar, vocals
- Julie Ragins - keyboard, saxophone, flute, vocals
Unlike most bands you see today, they don’t feel the need to jump around the stage, maybe that’s because of how old they are, but I believe it’s because they know they don’t have to do so to impress their fans and make the crowd go wild. No, just arriving on stage and waving to us all did the trick. There was a little showing off with the guitars and the keyboards, even the drummers seemed happy to show off a bit.
It wasn’t until later on in the show that we had the well-loved Graeme Edge, who was happy to show off and jump around the stage like a youngster high on a sugar rush - he even threw his tambourine to the side when he went back up to his drums. When he came down off his podium to speak to us about the next song he mentioned how great it was to be back in Wales and how “We knew we were here because of all the traffic cones and road works.” He then mentioned that at their last gig, which was held on a barge, it had been his 64th birthday and “The guys went all out and bought me an all-terrain Zimmer frame.” The crowd burst into laughter and even the other band members had a bit of a laugh at the joke. There were a few more comments made about when he had “brown hair” and others about how times had changed. Then they lead off with Gemini Dreams and The Voice from 1981's Long Distance Voyager.
The other songs in the set were:
- Steppin’ In A Slide Zone (Octave), (1978)
- You And Me (Seventh Sojourn), (1972)
- Tuesday Afternoon (Days Of Future Passed), (1967)
- Higher And Higher (To Our Children’s Children’s Children), (1969)
- Gypsy (To Our Children’s Children’s Children), (1969)
- Nervous (Long Distance Voyager), (1981)
- Say it With Love (Keys Of The Kingdom), (1991)
- Peak Hour (Days Of Future Passed), (1967)
- Are You Sitting Comfortably (Threshold Of A Dream), (1969)
- I Know You’re Out There Somewhere (Sur La Mer), (1988)
- The Story In Your Eyes (Every Good Boy Deserves Favour), (1971)
- Your Wildest Dreams (The Other Side Of Life), (1986)
- Isn’t Life Strange (Seventh Sojourn), (1972)
- I’m Just A Singer In A Rock And Roll Band (Seventh Sojourn), (1972)
- Nights In White Satin (Days Of Future Passed), (1967)
- And then they finished up with Question (A Question Of Balance) (1970)
The air was electric; members of the audience were clapping and waving their arms in the air and even dancing on the spot, all the while cheering their support for the band. Then after the band left the stage the call went out from almost all of the audience for an encore; they duly obliged by performing Ride My See-Saw from the album In Search of a Lost Chord (1968).
A very good time was had by all.