Still going their own special wayTHE CHAIN
|Photos by Aaron Corr|
THERE IS a story about a lost Fleetwood Mac demo that ended up on YouTube almost 40 years after it was recorded.
Stevie Nicks found it, showed it to Lindsey Buckingham and they stuck it on an EP. End of. Somehow, Nicks turns this simple anecdote into an epic bedtime story, apologising as a sweaty Buckingham places his hands on his hips and sighs. If the latter is right about there being "a few chapters left in the book of Fleetwood Mac", they'd be doing well to play Without You without the lengthy backstory. Thankfully, it's one of very few slip-ups in a sublime set from the British-American foursome. This is the Rumours line-up, minus Christine McVie. But Buckingham and friends are keen to explore the various guises of their intricate, colourful history together.
You don't expect them to dig into 1979's Tusk. Nor do you expect its experimental leanings to sound better than soft rock beauty Dreams. You sense the shake-up in the setlist was down to Buckingham – a thrilling guitarist who also trades under the "artist" title. The British gentlemen in the gang (bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood) are, it seems, just happy to be here. McVie, the group's backbone, has got the best job in the world. The always-reliable Fleetwood operates from a gorgeous workstation.
And then there's Stevie Nicks. Just as Lindsey likes to squeeze into his tight jeans and wink at the ladies in the front row, Stevie is also in the mood to remind her followers that she's still the coolest hippy chick in town. Prancing about with her scarves hanging from her microphone stand, and spinning in the spotlight like a stoned ballerina, you'd never guess she turned 65 this year. An enchanting songstress, her voice remains up to the task, too, not least on Sara, and acoustic favourite, Landslide.
Again, it's not all perfect – the new material falls flat and a few moments of self-indulgence creep in. They are, however, in the form of their lives; refreshed, re-engaged and ready for the next round. Buckingham's breath-taking solo on I'm So Afraid is incredible, and a crowd-pleasing, marathon version of Go Your Own Way is astounding. A few more chapters? Bring it on.