I will confess from the outset and admit that when I attended this gig I was one of those people. I only knew Living Colour’s biggest hit and was unfamiliar with their other work. By the end of the night however I found myself fully converted by the band and will be spending time getting to know their back catalogue.
As well as that one song, another reason I had for attending the Waterfront in Norwich tonight was to see what all the fuss was about concerning the support for the evening Stone Broken. This is a band after all that all the rock press appears to have dubbed the next big thing. Having witnessed the band deliver a stunning 45 minute set that included slick riffs and catchy choruses I can now say that I’m fully on that bandwagon! Stone Broken is certainly a band that if handled correctly could go far in what is now a very tough industry to break.
Stone Broken provided a great start to what would turn out to be a fantastic evening of live music. Guitarist Vernon Reid first brought Living Colour to life in 1984 trialling a number of musicians before the line-up settled and allowed them to release their debut album in 1988. That album ‘Vivid’ led by single ‘Cult Of Personality’ thrust the band into the mainstream through the medium of MTV. Of course this is the one song that I referenced earlier and it remains their biggest hit.
Since the release of ‘Vivid’ in 1988 the band has only released a further five albums with the latest ‘Shade’ coming just last month. In between there have been long periods of inactivity including a full breakup between 1995 and 2000. The band has enjoyed an avid following that has been enhanced by the cult-like (pun intended) status of their biggest hit.
There was a full venue for this show and from the very beginning Living Colour gave their all to ensure that every single person had a great time. Musically the band was on point and delivered early through the likes of ‘Wall’, ‘Desperate People’ and ‘Glamour Boys’. The onstage banter was also fresh enough to keep the mood upbeat during breaks between songs.
The band had me engaged early on and I almost forgot that there was a certain song still to come. ‘Love Rears Its Ugly Head’ and an a cappella rendition of ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ were highlights of a great evening before that song ‘Cult Of Personality’ elicited the biggest sing-a-long of the night. A blistering cover of Cream classic ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ brought proceedings to an end and left the crowd begging for more.
With the band enjoying something of a career renaissance, I hope they return to these shores soon as with performances like this the band is a must see act. So even if you just know that one song, grab a ticket and head along to a show as you will not be disappointed.