What: Faces Reunion Gig
Where: O2 Bubble @ The BME
When: 11th August
It’s been over 35 years since the last original Faces record and as reunions go it’s been long overdue. When the faces came together in their second incarnation they were a bit of a super-group with members Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood being drawn from Jeff Beck’s band. Tonight at the very intimate O2 Bubble was an equally momentous super-group formation with Rod’s vocals being taken over by Mick Hucknall of Simply Red and the bass plucking being from The Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock. The newbies joined original Faces members Ian McLagen on keys and Kenney Jones on Drums with the final addition being Ronnie wood’s Son Jesse on guitar.
The O2 Bubble is nestled inside the British Music Experience which is our very own interactive pop and Rock museum itself nestled inside the huge O2 Arena @ Greenwich. This is an amazingly intimate venue for such a line up and reunion. Only 400 people could fit and the anticipation leading up to the start was palpable.
Many cite their music as being influential and it was perhaps no wonder that members of the band went on to play in The Rolling Stones and The Who and Rod went on to solo super stardom.
If your thoughts of Mick Hucknall stem from the sometimes sickly vocals in Simply Red and you can’t imagine him rocking it out with members of The Stones, The Who and The Pistols then you’d have been in for a big surprise. Mick’s vocals really came through tonight and suited the songs without resorting to trying to be Rod Stewart. The Faces music was always feel good rock and roll played by a bunch of guys really enjoying what they do and tonight lived up to their origins. Ronnie Wood’s Craggie features have always showed how he’s lived the Rock n Roll lifestyle and tonight was no exception. With his holed Coldplay T-shirt he hit the groove on guitar and kept the songs driving forward and showed that old men lose neither their ability to play nor their energy. Mick Hucknall dressed down for the occasion too with designer holes of his own in his jeans.
I was slightly too young to have been into The Faces when growing up but tracks such as “Stay with Me”, “Oh La La” and “You can make me dance, sing, do anything” permeate and place The Faces in the Pop/rock pantheon.
However tonight wasn’t just about Faces songs, there were covers of Etta James’ “I would rather go blind” and the highlight for me was their cover of the Temptations “I wish it would rain”. The soul song was given a rock edge and was a brave but great choice of a song that suited the group very well. Tonight’s gig was only an hour long and with a short encore it left all the fans wanting more.
The Faces play a number of festival dates and rumours are that a tour will follow in 2011. If you enjoy your Rock n Roll don’t miss this reunion or you’ll be kicking yourself.