Monday, November 02, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in London October 30, 2009 "Fleetwood Mac stick to what they do best"

Fleetwood Mac
Wembley Arena
by: David Smyth
The Evening Standard

Fleetwood Mac stick to what they do best

How heartwarming it is when a band of a certain vintage recognises that another new album would be about as welcome as rheumatism and heads out to play everyone’s favourite songs with no ulterior motive.

“This time we said: ‘Let’s just go out and have fun,’” claimed guitarist Lindsey Buckingham as Fleetwood Mac’s Unleashed tour arrived in London for the first of three arena shows. There have been rumours of a new album and even of Sheryl Crow taking the place of the long-departed Christine McVie but perhaps they got bored waiting for inspiration and decided to remind themselves of their many finest moments.

With a set drawn largely from the classic Seventies album trilogy of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk, there could be few complaints about song choices. Other bases were briefly covered with a solo composition each for Buckingham and co-vocalist Stevie Nicks, a nod to the band’s early hard-blues incarnation with Peter Green’s stormy Oh Well and even a gibbering Mick Fleetwood drum solo.

But the music that dominated was that written by Buckingham and Nicks when they were in the middle of an agonising relationship break-up. Dreams, Second Hand News and Go Your Own Way all summoned glorious melodies from a painful place.

Here the ex-couple arrived on stage arm in arm and embraced after Nicks had finished her ballad Sara. In his sixties, Buckingham has become more of a rock singer than he was, often barking his lines and offering a finger-bruising solo interpretation of Big Love.

Nicks remained instantly recognisable in floaty outfits that were only missing a maypole. In black here, if she had appeared on your doorstep this weekend you would have handed over all your sweets quick for fear of being egged. That reedy voice, though, remains a thing of witchcraft.

With Rumours still high on the list of the biggest-selling albums ever, the band can’t be journeying the globe again just for the money.

Furious drawn-out versions of Gold Dust Woman and World Turning demonstrated an undimmed passion for playing and suggested a simple truth: they still love these songs as much as the rest of us.

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