Gig review: Average White Band at Rock City

Words: Bassey
Photos: Tash Shipston
Thursday 16 May 2024
reading time: min, words

We headed down to Rock City for a musicianship masterclass from Average White Band, as they visited Nottingham as part of their final tour...

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With the doors to Rock City opening at 7 and no support act before Average White Band came on at 8:30, there was plenty of time to pop into The Rescue Rooms and take advantage of their Happy 4 Hours..!

I'd heard rumours beforehand that not all the tickets had sold for this gig and so I expected a half empty room; however, Rock City was packed by the time the show started – the fans were not going to let their beloved band down on this final tour.

Formed over 50 years ago, Average White Band have given us a great fusion of Funk/R&B/Soul/Disco and – dare I say – even Jazz sounds. The band started in Scotland and after half a century of touring they are left with only two original members: Alan Gorrie on bass/vocals and Owen McIntyre on guitar and backing vocals. However, the other musicians have each been involved in the set up for over a decade and at Rock City they all gave a masterclass in musicianship.

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Tight and funky rhythms from Alan Gorrie on bass and the hard hitting genius Rocky Bryant on drums, these guys could have played on their own and captivated the audience. Cliff Lyons on alto sax and Fred Vigdor on tenor sax gave an 11 out of 10 performance and their solos left the crowd breathless, while Rob Aries gave a faultless performance on both keys and bass guitar, Owen McIntyre showed us what funk guitaring is really about, and finally Brent Carter on main vocals left me speechless with his impressive range and control.

The band have been heavily sampled over the year by musicians including Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Ice Cube, but we got to hear original and extended versions of the songs Let's Go Round Again, A Love Of Your Own, Whatcha Gonna Do For Me and the legendary Pick Up The Pieces.

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Rock City turned into a room full of bobbing heads and applauses for each solo and 90 minutes disappeared in the blink of an eye. This was definitely one of the best shows I've seen at Rock City and I'm proud that Nottingham was included in Average White Band's final tour.

Thanks for the memories guys.

Average White Band performed at Rock City on 13 May 2024.

@averagewhiteband

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