I work over the road from The Carriageworks but I’ve never stepped foot in there before so I had no idea what to expect. The tickets showing 7.30pm; is that the performance time or the doors? A quick check with the venue and I’m informed it’s actually a 7pm doors and 7.30 performance. Wasn’t entirely clear and about 30% of the audience ended up rolling in post 7.30 and missing out on the start of Hugh’s set. Bit of an unusual one as I’d decided to take my parents along – They’d recently retired and unlike me didn’t have work the following day so they came along having no idea what to expect (“Oh I thought he was just going to sit and play guitar didn’t realise he would sing as well” ).
Having walked in just after 7 we made our way to the bar and ordered several mini bottles of Merlot and then headed to the theatre for the gig. Quite a decent turn out in the end the venue was about 3 quarters full which ain’t too shabby for a midweek gig. Hugh took to the stage at around 7.45.
He’s changed the setlist from the last tour and there’s some interesting little bits and pieces in there I never thought I’d hear done on electric guitar let alone stripped back. Second Coming, Man Of The Earth, Tramp, No Mercy all sounding good.
Also worth mentioning that his solo set sounded much better than his Stranglers set (Oopppfff!! controversial! Calm down at the back). Unsure whether it’s just because he settled more into his stride (he did have the odd fluffed note in the first 3 songs) or whether its purely that the solo songs lend themselves better to the acoustic treatment. Under Her Spell sounded fantastic.