Brooooooooce at the O2: Magic.

The man’s still got it. More importantly, the band have still got it. And best of all, after the sonic disaster of the night before, it turns out that the O2 Arena’s acoustics are actually pretty good – the sound started off reasonably and got steadily better. Sectioned-off areas in the building (due to construction works or the temporary ice rink, I’m not sure) meant that massive queues to get in formed, which were a masterpiece of confusion and irritation. They snaked round the building in loops and crossed each other at least once. A friend who left us in the queue, in order to visit the gents, couldn’t find us again afterwards, so he joined the queue at the back. Guess what? He was in the Arena ten minutes before us. Go figure. So most of the standing audience greeted Bruce as much with relief (that they hadn’t missed the start) as with any other sort of appreciation.
We were treated to one of the longest sets on the tour – all the fixtures which have been played at every gig, and in the slots where the songs vary from night to night, perhaps the three songs I’d have requested at my Fantasy Bruce Gig: Because The Night, Racing In The Street and Jungleland. Perfect. The three songs most played on this tour so far which we didn’t get were Thundercrack, Darlington County and Town Called Heartbreak. With all disrespect to those songs (as Danny Baker would say), no contest.
Several of the new songs make a lot more sense live than they do on record, but twas ever thus with Bruce – in particular Radio Nowhere and Devil’s Arcade, a brilliant song which I really hadn’t clocked in its recorded version. Five-star reviews in the newspapers this morning are well deserved.
(Pic from