Supertramp still entertain 40 years on.
Rock superstars Supertramp were in top form at the O2 last night.
GOING to a gig by a big name band who haven’t had a hit in 25 years is always a risk.
WIll they present a stack of songs from a new album that doesn’t carry the weight as they bid to sell their latest fan fodder.
Or alternatively will they recognise that their audience have come along to hear the songs that shipped shedloads of vinyl in their heyday.
Supertramp came to the O2 Arena last night and kept to the latter, remaining true to the title of their tour: 70-10 The Greatest Hits.
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It was an exuberant celebration of their 70s stardom with every single they released plus half a dozen album tracks from the quartet of big sellers, Crime Of The Century, Crisis, What Crisis, Even In The Quietest Moments and Breakfast In America.
Only three of that ‘elite’ line-up remain. Richard Davies, one of the band’s founding duo, singer, songwriter and keyboard player, is the lynchpin.
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Drummer Bob Siebenburg, usually billed on albums as Bob C Benburg is still there.
And John Anthony Helliwell, saxophonist and woodwind player, remains centre stage as the master of ceremonies to entertain and conduct the crowd.
You would think that without Rodger Hodgson, the band’s other singer songwriter who departed in the mid 1980s, they would struggle to recreate the classic sound.
He, after all, wrote The Logical Song, Dreamer, Give A Little Bit and Breakfast In America to name but four, and his high pitched voice was key.
But Davies and co have found the answer - or rather the answers to that problem.
When Siebenburg came over from the US in the early 70s to seek a rock and roll fortune he arrived with school classmate Scott Gorham, who was promptly recruited by Thin Lizzy.
Siebenburg married Gorham’s sister and together had a son who could be the future of Supertramp.
Jesse Siebenburg plays guitar, keyboards and sings like Hodgson.
The audience first jumped to their feet as he played Give A Little Bit - a remarkable sign of approval - and they were similarly in raptures as he performed the first encore, School.
The other half of the Hodgson replacement team is Gabe Dixon, a man with his own eponymous band and a pork pie hat.
He was received in similarly joyous fashion singing It’s Raining Again and Dreamer, among others, and playing keyboards.
But Davies is at the heart of the band and many of the highlights were his.
A stunning piano solo in Another Man’s Woman, A wonderful version of Bloody Well Right. Show closer Goodbye Stranger. And to finish it all, as ever, the final encore Crime Of The Century.