The tour has been billed as twenty years and out! A commemoration and a memorial for one of the most consistent rock acts of the last two decades deciding for the second and final time to bow out from recording and touring. The previous night had seen the band greeted with some incredible emotion by a pumped up Wolverhampton crowd. On the last night of the tour and with only an outside appearance at Sonasphere for their faithful fans to look forward to, the Hammersmith Apollo played host to the final indoors gig by this great British band.
Coming on stage to AC/DC’s 1990’S hit, the apt Thunderstruck, the boys wowed the sell out crowd by opening up the set with Loser from 2003’s Shooting At The Sun and the contentious On The Radio from the last year’s studio album Bang. The lyrics touch base with national radio’s ignorance and apathy towards the rock genre and the band played this song ironically a stone’s throw away from the B.B.C.
With some genuinely touching moments taking place between the band and the audience, vocalist Danny Bowes went through a strong set list which included the wonderfully serene Low Life in High Places for which the huge crowd were warmly applauded by the guys on stage for their own vocal rendition of the song.
Bassist Chris Childs was on top form as he provided a certain power to the top notch drumming of the infallible “Harry” James. Luke Morley on guitar was impeccable and Ben Matthews outstanding.
The main set closer was drawing near and Thunder gave those lucky enough to be massed there what they wanted, a high octane finish which included Love Walked In and the perennial crowd pleaser I Love You More Than Rock And Roll.
After a small break Thunder came back on stage to say farewell and thanks to the fans by playing A Better Man, which featured Harry James on acoustic guitar, a sensational version of Backstreet Symphony and a pyrotechnic filled Dirty Love.
Thunder finished their encores, did their goodbyes, and like all good musicians, entertainers and artists alike, went off stage to the strains of My Way by Frank Sinatra. If this is a sign that they will one day eventually get back together for, say, the 25th anniversary release of the album that started it all, Backstreet Symphony in 2014, remains to be seen but for now all we are left is memories of a great band going out (once more) at the top and without doubt the music industry will be poorer for it.
Ian D. Hall