Bands: SAILOR, Steve Harley
Photos by: Brian Bayley
SAILOR played to a
packed sold-out show at Aylesbury Civic Centre as "Very
Special Guests" of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel on 14
The evening was a fantastic success for SAILOR, being their first major concert in the UK for over 25 years, with many fans travelling the length and breadth of the UK to see their heroes in the flesh !
It was a very happy and emotional occasion for so many who never have the opportunity to see SAILOR live, and there was an exceptionally brilliant atmosphere on stage and from the audience, who appeared to love every minute of it ! Steve Harley also loved the show but only allowed SAILOR to play for 45 minutes !
Later, the Theatre informed Peter, Grant,Rob and Phil that over 80% of the tickets had been sold to SAILOR fans and have consequently invited SAILOR to play their very own concert some time next year. This will be a classic opportunity to perform many other original SAILOR songs from "Sailor" "Trouble" "Third Step" "Hideaway" "Dressed For Drowning" etc repertoire, that sadly cannot be usually played at their many other concerts in Europe, where they normally appear with several other acts.
We will keep all the fans informed of when this date will be, and maybe even plan for fans from Germany, Holland, Denmark etc to come over for this Special Concert - for what promises to be the best and most complete SAILOR Show ever !!
Phil, Grant, Rob and Peter - 16 November 2001
Peter, Rob and Phil
Rob and Phil at the Nickelodeon
Rob, Phil and Peter
Rob and Phil at the Nickelodeon
Rob, Phil and Peter
Rob, Peter and Phil during the "Latino Medley"
The songs that SAILOR played in Aylesbury:
A Glass Of Champagne
One Drink Too Many
The Old Nickelodeon Sound
Give Me Shakespeare
Girls Girls Girls
"Grant's moment" - drum solo
The "Full Monty"
For all UK SAILOR fans, it was the
music event of the year. They came from all over the country to
see their heroes. The sleepy little town of Aylesbury hadn't
witnessed such crowds for hours. The venue was Friars Club, that
legendary Kaiserkeller/Cavern of the south which had once been
graced by such bands as Genesis, The Jam et al. The trouble was
that it had been demolished years before and replaced by
Aylesbury Civic Centre and nobody had told Steve Harley who in
turn misinformed SAILOR. Nevertheless the new Shea Stadium was an
intimate venue which comfortably seated a total of 650 riotous
middle aged rock fan hasbeens together with a substantial
youthful quorum and a great show was anticpated by all.
From the start the impression was given that Steve Harley was in a hurry and had clearly told our heroes that they only had so long to play what was I suspect a fast and short set. They were told to come on stage at 19.50 whereas the tickets stated that the show commenced at 20.00. There were also frequent references by SAILOR that they had to be quick.
The show kicked off with A Glass of Champagne and the capacity crowd started swinging. The boys continued to play with great humour. The sound was excellently mixed with the new nickelodeon in great form. With harmonies abound, the boys cruised through their show in forty minutes and finished with with the now usual self effacing encore which had the crowd in raptures. The only disappointment for me was that they didn't play The Secretary. Grant told me later that this was because it had never been a hit in the UK. Every SAILOR fan there would have wanted to hear it though and I wish they had played it.
Steve Harley has always had a reputaion for being difficult to work with and judging from his set he clearly hasn't changed. He takes himself very seriously and has an ego to die for. The music however was excellent and he has equipped himself with a first class band who played a great set for close on two hours.
It was SAILOR who had the last word. They had left notices around the foyer stating that they would be available to meet all of their fans in the 'Grapes' pub next door after Steve Harley had finished. Being aware that pubs in the UK close at 23.00, and Steve Harley looked likely to be playing until about 23.30, many of the SAILOR fans left the arena before the encore and left him playing to at least 100 empty seats! By this time the pub had closed and our boys had come back into the foyer to meet their faithful. Except of course Rob, who stayed in the pub cutting a rather lonesome figure to redirect any wayward flock. He soon caught up with the rest and was mingling effortlessly with the fans.
SAILOR were obviously pleased with the reception they received as Phil told me that they would consider playing here again next year as the headline band. He also said that he had heard that 70% of the crowd had come to specifically see SAILOR. Personally I'm not so sure of the accuracy of that figure because there were many Harley fans there. SAILOR were very well represented and I think with the right publicity and perhaps another oldie band in support, we could be looking at another sell out with all the crowd staying in the arena until the end this time.
I have been a SAILOR fan since their first album and saw them live in 1974 in Liverpool. I only found out they were still going in January of this year so it was a great thrill for me to go and meet them. I will definitely be there next year.
Copyright by Brian Bayley, 16 November 2001
A concert review by Adrian:
Thought you might like to know my
wife and myself watched SAILOR perform last night (14th November)
at the Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel gig in Aylesbury England.
I'd not seem them perform live since 1975 and was little apprehensive about the 'new' line-up. I need not have worried the old SAILOR magic is still there and they sound as fresh as ever - they blew the place away! To my mind eclipsing a superb concert by their mentor Steve Harley.
'One Drink Too Many' 'La Bamba' medley and a refreshing rendition of 'Karma Chameleon' were amongst the seven or eight songs performed. After the show SAILOR fans were delighted by the band signing photos and album covers, rumour has it that a UK tour may be possible next year - we certainly hope so, the prospect of watching maybe an hour's concert or more is definitely worth waiting for!
A concert review by Mark:
What a good night we all had at Aylesbury it was worth waiting 20 odd years !
A concert review by Stuart:
We travelled four and a half hours
to see a three quarter hour show!! But SAILOR were excellent!
'Champagne' was poor but they got far better as their stint went
on. I think they were a little unsure of how the audience would
react...they got at least as good a reception as Harley and to my
relief there were pockets of SAILOR fans throughout the
auditorium, most of them were sat near us however.
Unfortunately, they did as many covers ( La Bamba, Karma' etc ) as they did their own stuff and the encore consisted of clowning around doing a striptease! Another disappointment was that the arranged meeting in a nearby bar afterwards didnt materialise possibly due to the late finish of Harleys set. After the show, I spoke briefly to Grant and he didnt look best pleased saying it had been a total cock-up!
Despite this, I am pleased to have finally seen SAILOR and hopefully this will give them confidence to perform in the UK more often.
A concert review by Deborah:
Went to Aylesbury to see Steve Harley & SAILOR the other night, they were Excellent, so entertaining, I loved every second of the show, they were so dazzling, through out, thought it so nice of them all to come out after & and meet with their audience n sign pics, really nice guys, would love to see them again. Shame it was a seated venue though, you just couldnt sit still.