After last weeks gig I kind of knew what to expect for this, the last date on the UK leg of Big Brother and the Holding Company’s European Tour.....how wrong could I be?
I got there early to make sure I got in
and was not feeling too good (I have had Pneumonia since January and am only just getting over it and am still on medication) and was about to say “Fuck it”, buy a T-Shirt and go home, but instead managed to talk
the security guy into giving me a passout so I sloped off up Oxford Street and got myself some food for an hour and came back feeling a lot better, catching the end of the support band I was surprised to see how
many people were now there as when I left there were about 40!!
None of the other guys could make it so I was gonna be taking both notes and photo’s, an idea that soon went out the window as even more people
piled in ready for the band.
I got myself down the front and got the camera ready for what was to prove a truly awesome gig........
Like I said, I wasn’t taking notes but the set was something like this (not all in order):
Piece Of My Heart
Women Is Losers
Down On Me
Chad’s ‘Classical Piece’
Ball And Chain (Encore)
The second they came on I knew this was a different band than what I had seen a week ago, mainly due to the
much larger crowd (I guess there was maybe 350 people there) and they were ready to rock!!
Lisa Mills was absolutely mind-blowing, her voice seemed so much stronger than last week and she was raunching it up with
the very appreciative crowd and enjoying every minute of it. The PA was much louder, the crowd were going crazy and the band were feeding off this, at times Sam Andrew looked amazed at the power of Lisa’s voice and
the whole band were really digging the crowd.
Suffice to say they played an electrifying set that really rocked hard, Big Brother style with a blistering version of Down On Me that made the whole trip
worthwhile, just to hear that song played at full belt.....other shining moments were Women Is Losers, Piece Of My Heart and of course Ball And Chain that totally blew the crowd away during the encore with Lisa
Mills doing it every bit as good as Janis ever did.......
At one point I thought Todd was gonna destroy his drum kit and I can swear I saw smoke coming out from under the drum platform ;-)
Sam Andrew was
‘giving it some’ so much he broke a string and Chad threatened to turn into Jimi Hendrix on more than one occasion during the set!!!
This band were totally ‘smoking’ tonight and this is one of the best gigs I
have been to for some time.
Show opened by a couple of guys who used to be with Diesel Park West (remember the name but don't really remember any of their stuff). 2 left-handed
guitarists (out of a band of 2!); they were pretty good especially on the Steve Stills covers (Bluebird & Rock 'n' Roll Woman) and the Moby G song (Hey Grandma). Very short set.
BBatHC were superb. Was
never a big fan of theirs first time around so I didn't know much of the stuff they did but it was all good (at the very least). Echoing Dragon's earlier comments Lisa Mills has an excellent voice. IMHO she's better
than Janis - a singer rather than a screamer - and the young guy on guitar (can't remember his name) is P.D.G. Solid vocal line-up, tending to stay along the same harmonies but when Lisa cut loose ....
really compare her role to that being filled by Diana (and occasionally Darby) but she is excellant. Can't see any cross over stuff but would be interested to hear her do STL or Better Lying Down (maybe one of the
D's could have a stab at Summertime?)
The 3 obvious/expected Janis songs were Summertime, Piece Of My Heart and, as the (only) encore Ball And Chain.
Great night. Final words (paraphrased) from my my
diminutive mate Steve (the video man from JS 2000), a self proclaimed Prog Rock fan - I didn't know what to expect but they were brilliant; it's one of the best concerts I've seen - (he may have enjoyed this more
than the JS gig as he didn't stand there with a video camera to his face the whole time).
Tha band all came out from back stage to chat (very briefly, it was sort of like a fast food queue) and to autograph
things (mainly their new CD which was on sale for a tenner and is pretty good).
Graham Shanks - March 2002