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John Young Band, Oakwood Centre, Rotherham 6th December 2003

John Young and his band played a enjoyable set of songs old and new from his solo catalogue.

Joining John on stage at the Best Of Year Awards night at Rotherham were Robin Boult on Guitar, the drum stool was taken by Dave Stewart, and drafted in at the start of the tour, replacing John Jowitt, on bass was Steve Vantsis.

For those of you that haven’t seen John Young before, he is a great songwriter and performer, and this evening’s show underlined that statement. Opening with Significance, the title of his last album, the crowd edged forward to get a better view. Steve Vantsis was very much into the swing of things, and this shone through throughout the set.

Underside was a great little number over the eight-minute mark about being upgraded on a plane, and this gentle number just flowed around the venue. Next was the ‘bombastic’ Different, where the entire band had a chance to get things rocking.  Open Skies followed, and was a interesting piece about Aliens and Manchester United.  A perfect combination if you ask me, a empty handed season for the team in question!  Ivory Tower was in two sections, a soft start then harder towards the end, and the theme was about love and jealousy, which moved on to a tale about an Unknown Soldier, and for me the highlight of the set. Closing the set was Childhoods End, an epic tale about when your parents take all your toys away because you have grown out of them.

First encore was the instrumental Kings, which had a lot of strong playing in it.  Last song of the night was to be very special, because joining John and the band onstage was ‘ex member’ John Jowitt (who won best bass player once again!) the two girls from Karnataka, and awards presenter John Helliwell who was the sax player in legends Supertramp. The song was aired from the Qango days, one of John’s former bands and it was Last One Home.  It was a pleasant end to the show, done in true sing-a-long style, and the crowd erupted in applause, and to see all these musicians onstage was an honour in itself. A fine evening’s entertainment.

Danny Mayo


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