January 22nd, 2011 | By Administrator
In British history, The Luddites were a social movement of textile artisans campaigning against the industrial revolution often smashing mills and destroying machinery. 200 years on, their namesakes are musicians Graham Stack and Simon Mattacks lead by Rick Astley and their agenda is to lift the roof of establishment in the name of charity with Saturday’s target being The Rose Theatre in Kingston. This was an unusual affair as The Rose is more accustomed to Shakespeare than rock music and well, you wouldn’t expect Rick to be frontman of an awesome rock band. But, for 2 hours, this peculiar convergence was absolute magic!
The show was opened by a local group called Coach House who performed a variety of well-known covers amongst their own material. Rick spotted the band a few months ago and offered to mentor them for a while, inviting them to join him at The Rose. They paid him back with an extremely good performance and one would not be surprised if they break into the Top 40 in a few years’ time. Watch out for them folks!
Rick led the Luddites onto stage wearing a kilt, a bowler hat and a ‘118’ moustache, which thankfully failed to stick for very long. This perhaps was the warning that you were not going to get a Rick Astley concert and just in case you weren’t sure, the odd expletive confirmed that the ‘boy next-door’ jacket had been left in the wardrobe! The 3 musicians took their places, Rick centre-stage but from behind his drum kit. He was of course a drummer in his pre-fame days with his bands Give Way and FBI, and knows his way around the kit like a pro, including all the tricks with the sticks!
The great thing about this gig is that there was a whole range of songs, across many bands and decades. The younger generation will have been familiar with Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl for example, and sadly I’m among those who remember Nirvana and AC/DC! One we all know from X-Factor is Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror covered by Matt Cardle. Rick confessed he finds the song special and it moved him from the very first time he heard it. After encore persuasion, the band did a rockier cover of Never Gonna Give You Up – the singer sounded a lot like the guy from the 80s but new ‘Rock’ Astley played electric guitar!
The Luddites sent everyone home fulfilled. It was an amazing night enjoyed by all and I so hope we will see more Luddites gigs appear. It was supposed to be a fun night for charity, which to be fair, all boxes are ticked. The thing is, the performance was so good it left me with a serious proposition. Could Rick make a chart comeback with his band? If you were there, you’ll know what I mean!
The Word review – including full set list
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