Written by: Leif Gaslow
If you were wondering who the personnel is in Ian Brown’s band for his first headlining tour in a decade, the answer is pretty simple.
Opening his tour in Leeds at the O2 Academy, Brown showed up with….nobody.
The former Stone Roses singer then waded through a confusing, nearly twenty-five song set accompanied only by a backing track. The bulk of the set was culled from Brown’s solo output, save for a cover of UNKLE’s “Be There.”
The fifty-nine-year-old Brown’s voice was hazy and rickety at best and the show came across like karaoke cabaret—a kind of bedroom rehearsal for the real thing.
Oddly, this was the real thing and it was underwhelming, to say the least. I kept waiting for a band to join him after a few numbers, but they never did.
“Love Like A Fountain” and “Golden Gaze” were passable, but numbers like “Stellify” and “First World Problems” fell decidedly flat. Brown has never been a powerhouse vocalist and he’s always benefitted from having ace musicians around him to provide some sonic architecture for him to lounge on.
For some reason he thought he could go it alone, but this proved to be a massive miscalculation.
Ian Brown Tour Dates
29 – Newcastle, O2 City Hall
30 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
1 – Liverpool, Mountford Hall
3 – Birmingham, O2 Academy
4 – Bournemouth, O2 Academy
6 – Nottingham, Rock City
7 – London, O2 Academy Brixton