The Unforgettable Fire
Bull Hotel, Horncastle ~ Friday 26th March
The second in a series of tribute nights took place last Friday at The Bull Hotel in Horncastle. Following on from a memorable first gig which featured the Blondie tribute band Heart Of Glass, The Unforgettable Fire recreate the music of one of Ireland's most famous rock acts, the stadium filling U2. As so often with new ventures, audiences figures were down a little on those attending the inaugural gig by Heart Of Glass, perhaps too the poppier sound of Blondie's music had a wider appeal for local audiences, than the more rock orientated sound of U2.
The four piece band feature some great musicians. Frontman Ade Peddie has great stage presence, he often works as a solo performer playing acoustic guitar, he opened the band's second set with a solo rendition of 'Angel Of Harlem', encouraging the audience to sing along with the chorus. Alongside Ade guitarist Ian Wilson takes the part of The Edge, playing guitar and keyboards, Steve Gaffney (bass) and latest recruit drummer Chris Williams complete the line up. After the show we discovered that it was only Chris's fourth gig with the band, though it certainly didn't show. Chris has worked with many bands including a number of Midlands blues bands, the complex U2 rhythms are providing him with a new challenge.
The band had made the less than easy cross country journey from the Cheshire area, a fact reflected in their well received introduction to 'In God's Country'. They included a mix of material from U2's earlier albums, some such as 'Desire' and 'Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' are well known to most music fans, others such as 'Helter Skelter' introduced as on U2's classic live album 'Rattle & Hum' (originally by The Beatles) are of particular appeal to U2 fans. They also include a little of Bob Marley's 'Exodus' at the close of 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' as in U2's live performances.
On stage the band have a great energy, this combined with the strong choice of U2 material and complex musical arrangements gives their live show an intense power, especially songs such as 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'Pride In The Name Of Love' which came towards the end of the evening. The use of a single red light by Ade during one song to illuminate the guitar and bass player in turn was well executed, though The Unforgettable Fire rely more on musical ability than stage props to create the U2 live experience which they did very well. The band are very personable too and spent time talking to members of the audience after the show.
The next tribute evening at The Bull takes place on Good Friday (9th April) and stars two acts, The Kinks tribute Kinked who also include some other 60's songs in their live shows and rock'n'roll pianist Al Kilvington and his band Fireball featuring Ronnie "Guitar" Blythe. This great live act recreate the classic sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and Little Richard. Advance tickets for this double headed show are priced at £10 and available from The Bull Hotel (tel. 01507 523331) on the day priced £12.