“A Heroic Moonlit Nite” - Moonlit Nite live at the Horwich RMI Friday 23rd April 2010. Review and photographs by Alan Hewitt.
Well, it was Friday night, and St George’s day to boot and so what better way could I find to spend it than attending a fundraising show in aid of the “Help For Heroes” charity. This was the band’s second gig since their auspicious start at the Norton Arms which is reviewed elsewhere in this edition.
I have been to the RMI previously for another fundraiser with Face Value which was reviewed many moons ago and so I was looking forward to another entertaining night out. Moonlit Nite were not the only item on the menu tonight though, as several other acts had been included in the evening’s entertainment.
As usual, at such events, the best laid plans etc… went out of the window almost immediately and running orders were swapped around and other things forgotten or truncated. The evening was opened by a brief couple of songs by local lad Sean Thompson who acquitted himself quite well - remarkably so in fact considering that only the week before he had been in hospital with pneumonia! This was followed by a couple of Elvis classics from our host: Phil Grimshaw before we got down to the reason I was here tonight - Moonlit Nite. With two sets to play, the band opted to mix and match the show and our first half comprised most of the material which had gone down so well at the previous gig. Abacab, Follow You Follow Me, That’s All, the instrumental section from Firth Of Fifth were all delivered piping hot for our delectation. I enjoyed it but the same can’t be said for the majority of the audience who obviously preferred cabaret! Oh well, you can’t please everyone.
A brief introductory chat about the “Help For Heroes” charity from mine host next before the second band of the evening; Liverpool lads, Asparagus Now ( I was slow on the uptake on the pun on a well know film title!). They gave the audience a hard rocking set comprising classics by Queen, Free and Led Zeppelin to name but three. The bass player impressed me when during a slight technical pause he laid down a snippet of Bourree which did this ageing Tull fan a lot of good! It has to be said, if “Britain’s Got Talent” could justify its title then these lads would have walked it! It has been a good few years since I last saw any band cover material such as this and make it sound convincing but they did tonight and gave a thoroughly enjoyable performance all round. Frightening to think that none of the band were even born when the original bands were formed!
It was here that we were all at home to “Mr Cock-up” the raffle/auction which was supposed to run through out the proceedings got truncated to a five minute slot which I am sure affected the overall amount raised for the charity. Running orders got confused and despite an enjoyable performance from Blues Brothers tribute The Bros Committed, and a second equally excellent set from Asparagus Now, it was left to Moonlit Nite to try and follow performances which were obviously much more in keeping with what the audience wanted to hear. Nothing daunted, they took the stage again and instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator, gave those of us who were listening, damn fine versions of such classics as The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield and Afterglow - which still has that magic for me at least.
I am sure that the band were disappointed by the way things worked out on the night but they have no need to. They acquitted themselves admirably and have grown in confidence and musical competence commensurately since the last gig and with another one at The Old Red Lion next week I am confident they will continue to give this old fan many more happy moonlit nites!
Finally therefore, my thanks to the organisers and staff at the RMI for looking after us all so well and for putting on the event for such a worthwhile cause in the first place. And to the other entertainers; Phil Grimshaw, Sean Thompson and Asparagus Now in particular (check out their web site: www.asparagusnow.com for more info) see you all again soon I hope!