Atomic Rooster With Special Guests Creedence Clearwater Revived

Saturday 20th January 2018 

Under The Bridge, London, United Kingdom 

Supplied By Pete French

It really is great to have this Atomic Rooster lineup on the boards and sounding as fine as this ensemble did tonight. The heart of the group sound is still the throaty, swirling organ playing, but add to this nimble basslines, sharp guitar, powerful drumming and the so professional singing of Pete French and you have an exciting show. The audience were with the outfit every step of the way this evening.

French confessed pre-performance that he had had many weeks suffering with flu however with a bit of judicious pacing by way of a couple of band instrumental workouts in the set, Pete turned in a fabulous show. Never shouting, singing clearly and bringing every ounce of melody from the varied songs, French makes this muscular hard rock act into something memorable and distinctive. At one point, when he sang the ‘My Whole World’ lyric of I think Don’t Lose Your Mind over gentle keyboard arpeggio’s it was one of the easily one of best performances I have ever seen, reminiscent of my beloved West Coast bands Spirit and Sagittarius. Powerful but touching and on this sort of number, few can touch him.

The gangly figure of Steve ‘Bolts’ Bolton roamed the stage, his face full of abandon and confidence, slivers of guitar sparking from his Strat, the tone toppy hence avoiding any frequency clash with the racing Hammond. It takes quite a skinsman to put all the nuances of the AR songbook. That man is Bo Walsh. Bassist Shug Milledge matches his attack and subtlety. Keyboard man Bo Walsh is having the time of his life playing these songs and never flags once in this fast-flowing set.

The hits were played – Devil’s Answer, the punchy Tomorrow Night – by the end of the night French is even essaying Arthur Brown’s signature song Fire. From starting tune Sleeping For Years through to Break The Ice Breakthrough had an ominous edge that put pictures in the mind. Save Me was a soul gem ; Death Walks Behind You drew cheers of recognition. Decision / Indecision had fantastic interplay and dynamic skill. Black Snake had linear bite to spare.

Earlier Creedence Clearwater Revived had taken us on a melodic and spirited romp through the Fogerty songbook and related material. The lead singer plays the rhythm guitar and gives these full-blooded jukebox hits full throttle whilst the lead guitar lines are played by his axe partner, so the visual dynamic is a tad different from what you will see on any footage of the source group. There were plenty of spontaneous singalong moments, it being hard to resist the choruses of Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Bad Moon Rising, opener Proud Mary, the choppy swamp rock of Green River. I was pleased they included Fortunate Son and the propulsive Run Through The Jungle – puffing harp break and all, but maybe the best received song was the old folk tune Cottonfields. Every member of this crew plays the numbers with a crisp style that reeks of experience but moreover love. Born On The Bayou captured the classic CCR voodoo vibe. No pseudo Yankee chat, just the songs delivered with a friendly relish.

Pete Sargeant


Photos Supplied By Pete French

(Many thanks to Baxter PR and Under The Bridge)


Atomic Rooster