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Concert Review by Nick Morgan
Hammersmith Apollo, London
May 1st 2009

Have you heard of Walking with the Dinosaurs? It was originally a TV show, but now is a live ‘experience’.
You can see and hear these long-forgotten, heavy-framed and slow-moving creatures from the past, who defied evolution with their refusal to adapt to a changing world. Did you know that despite having huge skulls some had brains the size of a pea? Others had flexible jaws to allow them to feed non-stop in order to sustain their enormous bulk.
Their sense of smell was often acute, no doubt to allow them to pick up the foul scents and odours that mapped their own paths, and those of their fellow creatures. To the unprepared, their archaic, almost antique appearance was not only fearsome and terrifying, but also strangely melancholic, conjuring up as it did the vision of a dying race doomed to live on for ever only in the frail memories of mankind. But these things are so real, you feel you can simply reach out and touch them… Then I remembered I was sitting in the stalls of the Hammersmith Apollo (now sponsored, you’ll be pleased to know, by HMV) for a Gary Moore concert, and the dinosaurs were all around me, mostly, as it happens, wearing faded Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd T-shirts. Some specimens were certainly more enterprising than others. It’s the first time I’ve seen anyone manage to get a bottle of spirits into the place: an increasingly animated couple who sat happily sipping (well, it’s London, so it must have been glugging) rum and coke all night. Gary Moore
It’s probably true to say that there are few bigger dinosaurs of rock than axeman Gary Moore, whose haircut and facial expressions both belong to a long-lost era. I first saw him back in the early 1970s with Skid Row, when he was being touted as the latest ‘fastest guitarist in the world’. Subsequently, he famously teamed up with Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy, and has made many guest appearances with numerous notable names, in addition to pursuing a successful solo career, albeit one with a fast-fading fan-base demographic, as the marketeers might say. However, most of them are sufficiently compos mentis to know exactly what it is they’ve come to hear, and Gary doesn’t disappoint. Indeed, the only surprise of the night is just how good Mr Moore was, from start to finish. This may be pretty one-dimensional stuff, but Gary, grimaces and all, delivers it perfectly. Gary Moore
With a clutch of guitars, including at least three Gibson Les Pauls (but sadly not the famous 1959 model that Moore bought from his one-time mentor Peter Green, and recently sold for a small fortune), a Telecaster and a Stratocaster, and a raft of pedals, Moore performed almost every trick in the blues-rock guitarist’s hand-book. It was an absolutely engrossing performance from a technical perspective, featuring songs from Moore’s new album, Bad for You Baby, such as Muddy Waters’ ‘Walking through the park’, and ‘Mojo boogie’, where Moore’s bottleneck playing revealed his only apparent weak spot. ‘I love you more than you’ll ever know’’, a very tasteful slow blues, displayed a mastery of the volume control to deliver a haunting solo, whilst ‘Have you heard’, from 2007’s Close as You Get featured stunning sustain and wonderfully controlled feedback; ‘perfect’ was what I wrote in the notebook.
So good old Gary is what I say. He didn’t have a lot to say for himself, let the guitars do all the talking really, delighted his audience by his showboating at the front of the stage, and predictably enough left his audience in raptures with an encore of ‘Parisian Walkways’. Not bad at all for a bunch of old dinosaurs. - Nick Morgan (concert photographs by Kate)
Listen: Gary Moore and Phil Lynott play Parisienne Walkways live in 1987 (Youtube)

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