The Angels proved once again that they have no intention of slowing down after visiting WA for two sell-out shows at the Ravenswood (Friday) and the iconic Charles Hotel (Saturday). Celebrating 40 years since Darkroom was released (42 years now that covid delayed the original shows) Rick, John, Dave, Sam & Nick have finally been able to get the show back on the road and judging by the excited audience, rock n’ roll is far from dying. The Darkroom Recharged tour also marks the release of the ‘Recharged’ version of the album recorded with the current line-up.
Tonight we were blessed with two sets; the first was a front to back, start to finish performance of Darkroom, the bands fourth album and last to be recorded at the fabled Albert’s Studios. Most bands like to save the best till later in the set but with Darkroom you get it straight off the bat with ‘No Secret’ and the room immediately knew they were in for something special tonight as an energised Gleeson strutted on stage, firing the crowd up and igniting the room. This is about the sixth time I have seen the Angels and I have to say that tonight was the best I have seen them – tight and to the point! Die hard fans everywhere you looked were joining Gleeson word for word for an album that for many ranked as one of the bands finest. John & Rick Brewster, wearing their trademark dark sunglasses surveyed the room like monarchs looking out over their kingdom as they toyed and smirked with much happiness. What I love about nights like this is getting the opportunity to hear tracks that maybe become a little bit forgotten with songs like ‘Alexander’ and ‘Devil’s Gate’ sitting right out there in the set alongside favourites like ‘Face the Day’.
The Angels very kindly gave us time to catch our breath and charge our glasses before re-entering the room to fire off a set full of timeless classics. Their music is timeless and this was evident with the eclectic crowd, young and old, leather clad or dress shirt… a true sense that music brings the masses together. Songs like ‘After the Rain’ and ‘Mr Damage’ had a room filled with raised hands & fists pumping into the air before ‘Am I Ever Gonna See You Face Again’ threatened to take the roof of the aging building. John’s son Sam (bass) and Nick Norton (drums) really are the glue that help bind all of this together with effortless ease and tonight they powered the band along with a faultless rhythm section. ‘Fashion & Fame’ and ‘Shadow Boxer’ continued this trend as the energy & ecstasy levels continued to rise to an unprecedented crescendo with ‘Take a Long Line’ and ‘Marseille’ completing the second set.
Encores are always hoped for and tonight we were treated to two songs, the first with brothers John & Rick performing a spellbinding stripped back version of ‘Love Takes Care’ taken from the 1978 album ‘Face to Face’ before closing the night with ‘Can’t Shake It’. It was late, we were sweaty and fatigued but I reckon the room could have carried on for another set… but lets save that until their next visit!
With rumours of new music (when we recently spoke to John) The Angels have certainly no intention of winding things back just yet.
Big thanks to Starr Special Events and Revolutions Per Minute.
Set One: No Secrets, Poor Baby, Wasted Sleepless Nights/Dark Room, Face The Day, Night Comes Early, Alexander, The Moment, I’m Scared, Devil’s Gate
Set Two: Ivory Stairs, After The Rain, I Ain’t The One, Mr Damage, Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, Fashion & Fame, Shoot It Up, Comin’ Down, After Dark, Shadow Boxer, Take A Long Line, Be With You, Marseille
Encore: Love Takes Care, Can’t Shake It