Hugh Cornwell and band – Woodhorn Festival in Northumberland on Saturday July 22nd 2017

Hugh Cornwell and band – Woodhorn Festival in Northumberland on Saturday July 22nd 2017

Yesterday was spent on the second day of fundraising for Ashington FC, we resisting the bouncy castles instead spending our time between the new stand and large stage at either end tent. The 3 day free event more accurately described as the Woodhorn Lane Music Festival 2017, the Saturday night loomed into view, as the stand, field and tent became more heavily populated to see Hugh Cornwell headline act.

Considering we parachuted in, we were surrounded by warm friendly faces, some true excitement to see the former Stranglers frontman, now with over a dozen well crafted solo albums to his name takes to the stage.

 

Complete with his trusted black fender telecaster, the now 68 year old, still shines bright. The rough plan for the set was to play one song by The Stranglers and one of his own throughout, with two new songs, both going down in the packed tent, the pick being ‘Monster’ least by the crowd’s reaction. Aside from the change in amplification as their was no Vox C30 and we didn’t at first recognise the bass player whom together with the talented Windsor on drums do a very good job navigating through a growing discography, but both bass player Phil Hughes and drummer Windsor McGilvary were effective and tight.

‘Nice N’ Sleazy’ sounds as good as ever, ‘Skin Deep’ resonates as of course ‘No More Heroes’ does. Solo work sits comfortably interspaced between older anthems, the effect is truly effective. Still on the back for the ‘Totem And Taboo’ album that was warmly received on both sides of the Atlantic, solo songs like ‘Bad Vibration’, ‘Black Hair, Black Eyes, Black Shoes’, ‘Living On Daily Mail Land’ and ‘I Want One Of Those’ are encouraged as well by the enthusiastic gathering.  A sublime live rendition of  ‘Always The Sun’ and encored ‘Get A Grip On Your Self’ provide a suitable high.

Hugh should be heralded more readily as one of the better songwriters and performers in the UK, tonight at Ashington FC was an abridged show, which still delivered enough to convince, such is the wealth of his past work it makes it a lot easier for an entertain set. Hugh Cornwell made it look easy, as the three-piece showcased selected highs from an outstanding body of work thus far. 8.4/10

Steve Janes

Photos by Mol Holland

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Hugh Cornwell and band – Woodhorn Festival in Northumberland on Saturday July 22nd 2017