Shakin’ Stevens – Live Review – Leeds Town Hall
By @Steve Crabtree, March 2019
Shakin’ Stevens rock ‘n’ rolled himself in to Leeds recently, rolling back the years with a show and set that pleased everyone who’d come to see him.
The Town Hall was full with hardcore fans, newer fans, and those seeking a bit of nostalgia. And none of them would go home disappointed.
“On their feet from the off”
Now 71 but looking nowhere near the age, Shaky took to the stage with a ten-piece backing band and launched in to ‘How Could It Be Like That’, a 2006 release that had the crowd on their feet from the off.
It would be like that for most of the first set as Shakin’ Stevens provided Yorkshire with a set of old stuff, newer stuff and the odd cover too.
And Stevens looked remarkably well. He survived a near-fatal heart attack in 2010, but tonight he looked the picture of health. And although he didn’t have that much to say between songs, he still had a stage energy that made sure he delivered a brilliant show.
Hits like ‘A Love Worth Waiting For’ made the first set list, along with a brilliant cover of George Harrison’s ‘Got My Mind Set On You’. ‘You Never Talked About Me’ also made the cut, and the first part of the show ended with a superb ‘Cry Just A Little Bit’.
The audience were loving the show, and had been on their feet dancing the whole time.
“Everyone singing along”
But a Town Hall voice came over the speakers as the interval was coming to an end, instructing everyone to remain seated for the second half of the show until ‘Marie Marie’ was played. Many thought it was a joke, and remained standing. But the voice told fans that until they all sat down the show wouldn’t continue.
The reason? Some people can’t stand and their views were obstructed. Which is totally understandable. But you have to ask the question why the gig was seating only. The kind of music Shakin’ Stevens performs isn’t bums-on-seats-sit-back-and-admire sort of stuff. It’s lively, get-on-you-feet stuff, and someone organising should be considering that. A mixture of standing and seating would be much more appropriate set-up for the show.
Shaky confirmed it was the Town Hall who set the rules, not them. And we danced in our seats the best we could for the remainder of the gig. But when the tune-of-permission came on, the Town Hall was rocking again.
I really enjoyed ‘Green Door’. I thought ‘The Fire In Her Blood’ was superb. And ‘Lipstick Powder and Paint’ had everyone singing along.
By the time we were back up on our feet, we were getting back in to the groove and enjoyed a brilliant performance from an evergreen star. Shakin’ Stevens had really done the business in Leeds, and his encore had to include that song, ‘This Ole House’.
When I was a kid, I loved Shakin’ Stevens because of his name and my name (I was three when ‘This Ole House’ was out). The nostalgia inside of me made me want to come to see him live in Leeds. But the good-time factor of him and his band made sure that it wasn’t just nostalgia that I was there for.
Well done, Shaky, you gave us a fantastic Sunday night. And I still reckon you could beat Richard Madeley in a fight.