||WHITESNAKE, HAMMERSMITH: HERE'S A SNAKE FOR YA
Tina Saul: Pictures by Noel Buckley
20th June 2011
The infamous Hammy O was packed to capacity on this grim Monday evening, with everyone waiting for Whitesnake to arrive on stage.
Shortly after the 'Forevermore' backdrop was raised, the lights dropped, signature opener 'My Generation' played and the Snake appeared on stage, performing 'Best Years' as if it was an encore, rather than the opening of a set.
Although this tour is to support the release of Whitesnake's eleventh studio album, 'Forevermore', there were plenty of classics peppered in the set to keep everyone happy.
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Cov seemed quite content with the ladies in the crowd too, pointing out some racks in the front row of the circle. On catching a white rose that someone had thrown at him, he replied with; "Roses? Do I do the rose thing?".
Then the romance continued when before launching into 'Forevermore' David Coverdale said that he'd been on "a journey for thirty years and these are love songs to you lot". There were a few ladies who were disappointed that Doug Aldrich kept his top on throughout the gig, and there were a couple more disappointments to come.
First off was the sound. You could barely hear the guitars and, whereas I love to hear great drumming, I don't want it so loud that it's to the detriment of the rest of the band. By the time they played 'Steal Your Heart Out', the fifth track of the set, the sound was sorted, but it also bought one of the first solos, followed shortly after by an extended guitar duel, and then a very long drum solo.
All in all, there were thirty minutes of solos which had a massive impact on the atmosphere and it took a while to get it back. Maybe it would have been better if they hadn't come back with 'Fare Thee Well' after the solo performances. Oh well, at least it gave the audience a chance for a pitstop or three.
But when they launched into the Bobby 'Blue' Bland cover 'Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City', Mr Coverdale said "You're Famous For It" and he was right, the whole audience was united and everything was restored – a very magical moment.
Next up was 'Fool For Your Lovin'' and then the absolute cherry on the top was Bernie Marsden joining the band for the last song of the set 'Here I Go Again'.
The encore was exactly as expected; 'Still Of The Night' followed by David Coverdale singing Deep Purple's 'Soldier Of Fortune'. And finally as 'We Wish You Well' played, the whole band seemed to thank each and every member of the audience.
Well, thank you Whitesnake, my disappointment was well and truly quashed, and all I can remember is a truly awesome night out.