Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Gig Review. Parr Hall, Warrington.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

The Rebel takes on many personas, many different guises and faces, it is the light that causes others to follow, it is the darkness in which the cause stands alone; the Rebel, the loner, the guiding spirit with the different outlook on life and who isn’t afraid to smile at the situation or take it on with a gentle sneer, the cold dagger eyes turning on a sixpence to the warmth of the embrace by the ones who know all the words and to whom the presence of the Rebel means the world.

To make an appearance anywhere on the way to a major festival means more than perhaps getting in the full band practise, it is also about honouring some fans along the way, of getting to look an audience in the eyes and seeing the point of art before stepping up on a big stage as part of a bigger conquest.

For Steve Harley, looking upon the audience as those who will find their way to Warrington’s Parr Hall and sing their heart out on the more serene tracks as well as the huge hits, is arguably the more heart warming aspect of being the Rebel, in amongst people who will forsake anything to be in the company of one who can command with absolute sincerity.

Warrington’s Parr Hall was arguably still feeling the pulse and sweat generated by the appearance of Joanne Shaw Taylor, to add to that the dynamic that has always existed in the soul of Steve Harley, as a solo performer or as the leader of the band of musical cool, was probably enough to have the surrounding area wonder if seismic shocks were always part of the Cheshire countryside and urban power.

With a two set evening on offer, and with songs such as Here Comes The Sun, Judy Teen, Star For A Week, Mr. Raffles and the excellent song offered to Rod Stewart for his last album, the beautiful A Friend For Life, all on show, this was more than a read through, a set of songs dedicated to loosening the muscles before a festival crowd, this was the dedication shown by a master of enamoured songs to a crowd who hung on his every word and warm hearted passion.

A great night of music by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, a festival may have been the next port of call but it was a night in the Warrington Parr Hall that was fulfilling, passionate and purely satisfying.

Ian D. Hall