well, as regular readers of this blog, and indeed those who follow me on the grand social network, shall be aware, ex-Frankie Goes To Hollywood songwriter and guitarist, now respected solo artist Nasher made his "online gig" debut last night. i was, in the virtual sense, there of course! this post is my review of both the gig and the event itself, and i trust you know well enough that this shall not be a negative review.
first up and a comment on the video & audio quality presented by those who hosted this event, Stage It. i confess i was a bit concerned about the kind of quality i get - i am, after all, technically in a Third World country, and the definition of "broadband" here is what the more "developed" world would consider to be quite slow. i'm delighted to report that it all went very, very smoothly indeed - sure, the "feed" froze twice on me, but as it turns out, only when it froze for everyone else in the world!
the screenshots here are compressed pics of what i managed to grab during the gig, but even in this reduced quality state i hope it shows how decent the feed was. the audio was no problem at all - partially i suppose because i had it blasting through two massive JVC speakers via the conduit of a Technics amp, but mostly because Nasher is of course a quality guitarist and singer.
the gig itself? well, what can i say! what was scheduled to be a 30 minute set followed by an encore or two turned into a mega, mega, mega, mega fan fest, running for close to two hours! when it became clear that the hosts of the gig weren't terminating the feed (i assume Nasher gave them an estimated time), he just decided to carry on for as long as he could, or at least until the rather nice bottle of red he had with him ran a bit too low.
as for the songs, what an exceptional selection. it was built up mostly from the three superb solo albums Nasher has released to date, but one or two as yet unreleased numbers and indeed some songs very familiar to the whole world, but more on that later.
highlights from his solo songs were certainly A Girl Like You, King For A Day and the absolutely excellent Top Of The Pops Again. one of the greatest ever unreleased songs in the history of recorded music, England In The Rain, got played twice, much to the joy of everyone in general and a wonderful lady in Canada in particular (hi Vickie!).
and yes, of course, there were some Frankie numbers. i should not, perhaps, say "of course", though. Nasher's relationship with the impressive, perhaps daunting legacy of Frankie Goes To Hollywood is fascinating when compared to how other artists deal with or view their previous work. he feels no obligation to speak of the Frankie days or play the songs, as in there is no "oh, do i have to". he doesn't play them just to draw attention to his solo stuff or to appease the fans, either - he plays them because he still loves the songs the band created and, rightly, is obviously proud of the songs he crafted and created as part of the band. to that end, we were treated to The Power Of Love, a most impressive go at Maximum Joy (you go and listen to the lavish produced album version and see if you could work out how one man and an acoustic guitar can try and do it!) and indeed Welcome To The Pleasuredome, sounding particularly awesome stripped down to the bones.
a few astonishing and surprising cover songs cropped up too, but i am not prepared to name them, lest i give "spoilers" for those of you who did not watch this gig and wish to click on the links for the next one!
other than the outstanding music, the best part of the evening was the interactive chat nature of it all. we were sending messages to Nasher and each other as he was on the go. i know that interactive online chat is nothing new, but my word what fun we had with it! for me it was just excellent hearing Nasher playing live once again (i have not done so, after all, since Jan 10 1987), to share the experience and chat with fellow fans, having a bit of a laugh and praising the artist in equal measure (well, ok, maybe more of the having a laugh side), made it a just about perfect evening.
Nasher's currently talking about doing one of these every two weeks. erm, yeah. whereas no doubt i would click on every two weeks if he does, i dare say if he does that he shall run the risk of tiring himself and his audience out. every 3 - 4 weeks, if not monthly, might be a wiser approach, but who am i to tell a music legend how often he should perform?
i cannot encourage you enough to join us for his next live session, and indeed to browse around the Stage It site to see if there are any other artists you like who perform on there. it really is an ace experience!
if for some reason Nasher, and indeed the rest of the audience, are reading this - cheers for a most excellent, top night of quality music and fun conversation!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!