O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Uriah Heep

I came away from tonight’s show wishing that I had grown up in the 70’s, owned a leather jacket and had a perm. Unfortunately, whilst the bands were amazing enough to blow my mind, they didn’t quite have magical powers, so I will just have to dream about those things. Voodoo Vegas kicked off proceedings tonight, in what must have been one of the biggest shows of their career so far. It was good of the promoter to arrange a Bournemouth band to support such mighty rock legends, and Voodoo Vegas stepped up to the plate admirably. I always think that it is pretty much impossible to not like this style of classic rock and within minutes they had my foot tapping. Singer Lawrence Case had a brilliant vocal range and some impressive skills with a harmonica.

O2 Academy Bournemouth: Voodoo Vegas
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There is something about a man with a harmonica, or maybe it was his hip wiggles, either way I definitely went a bit weak at the knees! The rest of the band were just as skilled and all looked completely at home on the stage, pulling off some great rock poses. They got the crowd well and truly warmed up in the rather chilly academy and I felt the buzz around the room when they finished, partly in response to the performance we had just seen but mainly in expectance of the headliners.

Uriah Heep have been going for more than 41 years which is truly astounding. They have just released their 23rd studio album and have played in 22 countries this year. I can’t help but compare them to the acts that appear on the X Factor which is so prolific at this time of year. There is so much hype surrounding the performers that come out of that show, yet I can’t ever imagine any of them having a career spanning anywhere near the length of time that Uriah Heep have been together. Mind boggling.

O2 Academy Bournemouth: Uriah Heep
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Anyway, for a band that are getting on in their years, I could in no way fault them. From start to finish I felt as though this was a rock show meant for a stadium. Front man Bernie Shaw showed off his truly fantastic voice by hitting every note spot on, which you’ll know is an impressive feat if you have ever listened to this band. Guitarist Mick Box amazed me with his guitar wizardry, which included some solos which I can only describe as beautiful.The other band members were just as perfect, putting on a show to be proud of. Whilst they truly are rock stars, they still managed to connect with the crowd, even acknowledging some of the hardcore fans whom they recognised. There was a real sense of community in the audience tonight, and I came away feeling as though I had been part of something truly special.

Voodoo Vegas
No More
Out There
King Without A Crown
Ferry Song
Cheeky Riff
So Unkind

Uriah Heap
I’m Ready
Return To Fantasy
Rainbow Demon
Money Talk
Drum Solo
Nail On The Head
The Wizard
Into The Wild
Look At Yourself
Juy Morning
Lady In Black

Free ‘N’ Easy
Bird Of Prey
Easy Livin’


Words by Sarah Lovegrove
Pictures By Alex Freeman

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