The Forum, Darlington
UK. July 5. 2005
Even more photos
Our Darlings in Loveton
This was a fantastic gig - possibly the best
I've ever seen Love play. And yes, it is Love, even without Arthur. Indeed,
there was an edge to the playing that hasn't been there before. The band were
more relaxed than I've seen them previously, but as tight as ever. They were
more experimental - for the second time in a week they performed Revelation from
Da Capo (before this week, Revelation hadn't been played live since 1968), and
played a great blues harp on Signed DC and Revelation with Mike taking over on
bass, and Mike played keys for one number (was it Orange Skies?).
Johnny Echols is a brilliant guitarist and he seems to be so at home with the
other members of the band - the whole thing just comes together so well and
Johnny adds a new dimension which the rest of the band groove right along with
as if they'd played together for years. Rusty took lead vocals for most tracks
(Johnny leading on Signed DC and Revelation) though this sometimes happened even
when Arthur was with the band (when Arthur lost his voice or forgot the words -
both of which have been happening more and more frequently of late).
But first things first.
Why didn't Arthur come over? I heard various rumours: he'd freaked out at the
airport; he was under medication for a long-standing psychiatric condition; he's
been overdoing drink or drugs; God told him not to fly; he's got broken ribs as
a result of an encounter with a dog. Maybe it's just one of these or maybe it's
all of them. But the end result was that he didn't come and that left the band
very much in the lurch. They have had to pay for their own air fares; the
tourbus; and their hotel and daily living expenses.
On top of that, some of the venues cancelled - including Shrewsbury and
They are out of pocket in a big way and need everyone's support.
Fortunately, the band have got a great friend in Keith Stoddart who along with
his mate Jim, and at just two days notice, managed to arrange a venue (The Forum
in Darlington), print flyers and plaster them around the town, and attract a
healthy crowd to watch an amazing performance.
The Forum is a great little place - holds about 170 people, has a nice big
stage, great sound system and acoustics, and a large bar staffed with very
friendly people. The band loved it, and the people of Darlington loved the band.
(Incidentally, The Yards, friends of Love and a great band from York, are
playing the Forum on Thursday 7 July - tix just 6 pounds on the door).
The Forum also let the band keep all the ticket money - they were happy to make
their profits from bar sales - and this helped the band in a big way.
Love came on around 9.00 in the evening and played two sets. The first set
comprising the whole of Forever Changes except for Bummer In The Summer. The
second set was based mainly on the first two albums and included (this is
from memory, so I might have made errors of omission or commission): Orange
Skies, She Comes In Colors, Que Vida!, Revelation, A Message To Pretty, My
Little Red Book; Signed DC and the encore was Singing Cowboy.
The crowd were absolutely rapturous in their approval and after each number let
the band know that they really appreciated them.
After the gig, the band did their usual thing and came out and met people, and
signed autographs. One very lucky lad called Scott (a youngster who had been
manning the merchandise stand for the band) was presented with a signed
pair of Daddy-Os drum sticks.
So, was Arthur missed?
The crowd didn't seem to think so - at the end of the evening there were huge
grins on everyone's faces and it really was a night to remember.
Big thanks to Keith & Jim and the Forum for putting this show on at such short
Don't miss "Love with Johnny Echols" if they are coming to a town near you - you
will not regret it.
Review of Darlington
Well, it was a bit of a surprise to discover that Love were
playing at Darlo, and seeing as it is 15 minutes away for me it would have
been rude not to go.
First impressions of the venue left me wondering whether I had come to the
right place. An old school in an industrial estate seemed a bit strange, but
it really worked.
There really shouldn't be a question of whether you go to see the band if
you have a ticket already. It was a brilliant performance, I know Love isn't
Love without Arthur, but by the same token, Arthur wouldn't have played at
all in the last five years as well as he has without these guys.
Love is all about the music, and that was still there, no one will claim
Rusty is in the same league as Arthur, but they are still playing top class
music with a passion that can't be doubted. Every one of them last night
looked like they wanted to be there, and for that they deserve respect and
There was little mention of Arthur, you could sense bitterness, anger, from
the band, after all, the man whose career they had resurected had jilted
them, but it truely is his loss. I would much prefer to listen to this than
Arthur performing badly.
They played Forever Changes first up, except Bummer in The Summer, Rusty
coped admirably with Old Man. Mike played so hard he blew a channel on his
amp, and it was good to see Johnny play, sing and look a part. It is
impossible to single out any single track, as they were all played
passionately and professionally.
After a break, they ran through some older stuff. Most of Da Capo, including
Revelations, if this is one of the first times they have played this then
they deserve a medal. It blew the crowd away. It was trip back in time to a
land that some people on here will remember, of bands extending and jamming
their tunes to full effect. They could have kept it going for another ten
minutes, they were so in the groove.
Johnny took the lead vocals on Little Red Book and Signed DC. He missed his
cue once on LRB but the crowd let him off. He did a great job of Signed DC,
so did Dave on harmonica. One ominous sign was that Johnny finished with "No
one cares about me, signed A Lee", significant?
There was a storming 7 + 7 is to finish, with Johnny playing the outro to
perfection, they then came back for Singing Cowboy.
I was so surprised how much they looked like they were enjoying it, it would
be so easy to throw in the towel and just plod through the gig, but no way
were they going to do that. That is why I would urge anyone with tickets to
go to the gigs, and anyone without tickets to go and buy some, the best £10
I have spent in a long time.
I wish the band all the best, they have obviously been completely dumped on,
I hope the venues give them a chance, because they will see the crowd still
love the music and will support top musicians playing great material, with
or without the writer.
If music be the food of love -play on!
I dont really know if it was the surroundings, a 170
capacity old hall about the size of your average rehearsal room, the
cirumstances surrounding the whole Love family at this time, but a magical
event unfolded and I felt priveleged to be present at one of the most
surreal evenings one could imagine. I always fancied seeing Love playing
live in my living room and I guess this was as close as it gets!-only
smaller and more intimate.
The guys played so well-running thru Changes in order-minus Bummer-as the
main set before taking a short interlude and launching into a blistering
second set that included-Your mind-Orange Skies-Revelation-Colours-Que
Vida-Stephanie-DC ( with Dave on harmonica and orange pants-the fashion
police have been contacted!) Cant Explain-Sevens and Cowboy
I had a chat with Mike during the break, we reminisced over some wonderful
evenings at The Opera House in Newcastle as well as the problems created by
the sloping stage at The Univerity in the same city.
I suppose the spirit of the night was typified by the band taking to the
stage for the second set and Rusty delaying the start while the rest of the
audience made it back from the bar-wonderful!.
If ever a band deserved to succeed its these lads, they played with an
honesty-spirit and soul the likes of which is rarely seen these days and it
was just great to be there with them
Love to Arthur-hang in there old boy, your boys are doing you proud!
Love To All