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Mostly Autumn

Artist: Mostly Autumn

Venue: Bury: The Met

Date: 26 November 2023

"I have said it before, and I will say it again. A special show and a very special band."

Mostly Autumn © Dave Bott
Mostly Autumn © Dave Bott

I can say with the utmost certainty, that I have seen Mostly Autumn more than any other band. A MA show has become an annual event (lockdown aside), since seeing them for the first time in 2000. In all those years I have never witnessed a bad performance and the show in Bury was no exception.

Despite the chilly weather it was good to see a healthy attendance at The Met. The band received a nice ripple of applause as they made a somewhat low-key entrance to the stage, before starting the first set with ‘In For The Bite’. The line-up has remained unchanged in recent years; quite remarkable really, when you consider there are regular working jobs to take into consideration. I truly believe that has helped in forging a tight touring outfit, though I would never at any time say that any of the previous members gave anything less than 100%. With so many epic songs in the canon, tonight’s show focused mainly on the shorter ones. Even though I enjoy all the band’s material, it was an opportunity to play more songs, including some that have not featured in the live set for a while. It also meant that the whole of the band’s twenty-five (plus) year recording career was represented in some way. Through ‘Spirit Of Mankind’, ‘Western Skies’, ‘Drops Of The Sun’ and ‘Passengers’, the musicianship was of the highest order and you could have heard a pin drop during a spellbinding ‘Heart, Body And Soul’. The first set came to a close after an hour, with ‘Silver Glass’ (featuring Chris Johnson on vocals) and ‘The Night Sky’, before a break was taken and everyone got a chance to take a breath.

‘Tomorrow Dies’ kicked off the second set in style and the high quality performances re-commenced. It was great to hear ‘Winter Mountain’ and ‘Half The Mountain’, after being absent for what seems like an age, and these sat perfectly next to the likes of ‘Broken Glass’, ‘Dressed In Voices’, ‘Back In These Arms’ and ‘This Endless War’. Henry Rogers even had time to do some running repairs to his drum-kit, without any break in momentum. The roles of Andy Smith (bass), Iain Jennings (keyboards) and Angela Gordon (vocals/keyboards/flute) tend to fly under the radar, but what they add to the MA sound can never be under-estimated.

The whole show had a fantastic balance and when the poignant ‘White Rainbow’ brought the show to a close, it was hard to believe it was the end. Of course it wasn’t though. The band returned for an emotional ‘Heroes Never Die’ with Bryan Josh leading the band as ever with some sublime guitar work. Then ‘Tonight’ really did bring things to an end, with Olivia Sparnenn-Josh raising the hairs on the back of the neck and arms with an unbelievable vocal.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. A special show and a very special band.


Review & Photo: Dave Bott




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