October 1974

Alex Harvey obviously has a soft spot for the traditions of The London Palladium and brought his own contributions to them for his shows there on Sunday - a Fred Astaire number complete with cane, three lady dancers, two pipers and lots of dry ice.

Though the pipers and dry ice made quite an impact, it was the ladies who stole the show. They swanned on sporting clinging full-length dresses and curly blonde '30s style topknots and slinked around chorusing awhile before turning round to reveal that their dresses were literally (and I mean literally) backless!

These fols-de-rols aside, Mr Harvey and his Sensational Band were pretty hot stuff, though overloud - The Palladium isn't as big a joint as it looks on TV.

Apart from the Astaire number and "Sergeant Fury", it was mean and menacing stuff all the way to the encore. Alex, singing "Framed" for the very last time, has never put more anger into it than he did this night. "Vambo", which surprising a lot of people already know although it's from the new album out only a few days, was also very strong.

"Midnight Moses" and "Faith Healer" were played, as ever, with a lot of guts. The band seem to get better all the time and the keyboards player, in particular, has increased his contribution no end.

At the end the audience roared for "Gang Bang", which would have continued the mold already set by what had gone before, but instead Alex offered something in complete contrast - "Anthem", a truly beautiful air allied to a devastating lyric. It seemed to go forever, but nobody minded and most of us were still whistling it as we descended into Oxford Circus tube station on the way home.

As I left after "Anthem" many people were still in their seats roaring for another encore. I hope Alex had the sense to leave their cries unheeded. That song is impossible to follow as indeed, these days, are the band.

(transcription courtesy of Mandy Hathway)

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