live review


London Albert Hall

SUPERTRAMP enjoyed enormous success in the early '70s and promptly dashed off to California which is what enormously successful pop groups did in those days.

Periodically they return to service their seasoned fans and, it seems, remind themselves why they went away. Their bearded and mildly tanned singer and writer Rick Davies commented, with a just detectable mid Atlantic twinge in his otherwise featureless drone, the Albert Hall is about the size of his living room.

Unsolicited information of this kind offered without irony did little to endear the man or the band to me. Supertramp still live in 1974 and become so isolated from the general thrust of contemporary music that Davies' aim (stated in their record company biog) to pen material “with a political edge to it” results in a lyric like “No war, no inflation, you'll see we can show you much better days”. This, I think you'll agree, lacks a certain nuance.

Admittedly I didn't come to praise Supertramp but equally I didn't come to bury them – they don't need my help. But I sat watching them thinking if only they'd do this or try that to vary their particular brand of easy on the ear rock, perhaps stop that saxophone player gyrating so or reduce the piano solos but ... no.

Supertramp are a turn-off because everything is clinical, a good night for them is a lack of bum notes. I'd rather they were sloppy in some bits to be brilliant in others but they’re solidly reliable in a manner fit to drive you round the twist.


mick sinclair

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