14 August 1997

Fan Review: Hammersmith Palais 1997

Hammersmith Palais
London, UK
August 14, 1997

If you knew good music and wanted to be in the place people will be talking about years from now, there was only one place to be on August 14, 1997 -- Hammersmith Palais, London.

Here was a band playing their first gig in London for a couple of years as part of a comeback tour. Not just any band, a band that are quite simply the best band in the world.

There was no support on the night, they didn't need it. The atmosphere inside built into a final climactic frenzy when the band finally appeared.

Outside, tickets were changing hands for up to £120 a piece. There was only one place to be and the whole of the UK new it.

Here was a band playing with more power and more meaning than any other. Whilst Oasis seem to be loosing themselves in a teeny pop market, The Verve are the band that really matter, and tonight every single person packed into the venue knows it.

They open traditionally with two rockers from "A Northern Soul," 'A New Decade' and 'This Is Music.' Every single member of the crowd seems to know the lyrics and frenetic moshing creates a crush at the front and an electric atmosphere.

The band concentrate on "The Northern Soul" material, playing just 'Slide Away' from their debut album. They also use the gig as a platform for their new material.

On 'The Drugs Don't Work,' Richard's voice confirms him as one of the truly great vocalists of our time. Its his power that really makes the Verve the most exciting and meaningful band around.

Whilst the new material sounds unbelievably fantastic, it's 'History' that captures a spirit and emotion that no one there will probably ever forget. Every single word sang by band and audience is felt so passionately that there's a genuine sense of togetherness.

If you were there, then you have the memories and you'll know what I mean. If you weren't, then just imagine the greatest band in the world having their finest moment.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Dave Dimmer