As a child of the 70s whenever I heard a record I liked on the radio I’d buy the album when Cockney Rebels ‘Judy Teen’ started to climb up the charts I bought the album "Psychomodo" only to find ithe single wasn’t on there, neither was it on Cockney Rebel’s first album The Human Menagerie. So I had to buy the 7” single but this was no bad thing as I ended up with two excellent albums which I still listen to on my vinyl record player.
I later on bought the 3rd album The Best Years of Our Lives but by this time the original band except for the drummer had quit and Steve Harley & cockney Rebel disappeared from my radar. It was when I saw that Steve was doing an acoustic tour and coming to Pocklington that I thought I’d go see the man perform.
The venue was about half full which was a little disappointing this might have been because of the steep ticket price of £25, in fact Steve eluded to this in his banter by saying that he has more people round at his house and we should have been paying about £12 this this show.
For the first three songs he didn’t say anything apart from thank-you and seemed a little grumpy but as he settled, he opened up and regaled us with stories and anecdotes about twitter, Steven Fry (who he called a fat old geography teacher), his father who lives in Spain and has Alzheimer’s and the time he met his Hero Bob Dylan. Steve is a funny, complex man who had us in the palm of his hand.
The mix of songs both old and new was performed brilliantly by Steve and violinist/ guitarist Barry Wicken and Keyboard player James Lascelles. The only song that didn’t seem to work as well was Tumbling Down from the "Psychomodo" album but this is a small matter. There was a lot of space (and time) for Barry and James to improvise and while Steve was always in control he clearly loves the improvisational element of the acoustic performance.
All too soon it was over and Steve and the guys got a standing ovation before and after the encore, I suddenly looked at my watch to find that Steve had been on stage (or the floor as he described it) for over two and half hours, He had us dancing and singing and loving every minute I may have thought the ticket price was steep but it was the best £25 I’ve ever spent on a gig ticket.