REVIEW: Tom Bailey returns on top form with all-female band

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

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Tom Bailey, Concorde 2, Brighton, June 19

I can recall seeing a really average Thompson Twins as a seven-piece band at the Brighton Top Rank in around 1981.

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

Then, about a year or so later, they had slimmed down to a three-piece and were absolutely terrific live and on record.

As with all good things, it had to come to an end. In 1986 Londoner Joe Leeway departed, then in 1993 New Zealander Alannah Currie was gone, leaving just Tom Bailey.

The Thompson Twins were sadly no more.

So here we are all these years later and singer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Bailey is back (although minus his then cool signature pony-tailed hair) and playing his very first gig of only three planned in 2016.

Tonight the Yorkshireman is backed by his new, experienced, all-female band – Amanda Kramer on vocals and keyboards (currently in The Psychedelic Furs), Paulina Szczepaniak on electronic drums (who also plays with Kelli Ali of Sneaker Pimps vocalist fame) and, on her first gig, Charlotte Raven (keyboards and vocals).

Two days prior to his Concorde 2 gig, Tom released his first official vinyl single in 20 years – ‘Come So Far’ – and he played it for the first time live tonight. It’s a mellow, downbeat affair similar to Thompson Twins or Paul McCartney songs. It was written from the perspective of a refugee having to abandon their home and moving into the unknown. Profits from this release are going to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Well, what can I say about this June 19 gig? Tom is such a professional showman and a heck of a lot of effort went into this special event. The concert boasted video backdrops and excellent lighting and Tom and the girls were running a very tight ship. All four of them were really enjoying themselves too and this positive energy flowed from the stage into the audience.

It’s easy to forget exactly how many hits the Thompson Twins actually had here in the UK, as well as the USA.

It was simply hit after hit tonight.

The best ones, for me, would be: ‘In The Name Of Love’, ‘Sister Of Mercy’, ‘Doctor! Doctor!’ and ‘Love On Your Side’.

I have to say it was a really unexpected treat to witness this unique show and, best of all, my wife really enjoyed it too.

For more information on the ‘Come So Far’ single/download and Tom Bailey’s work visit www.thompsontwinstombailey.co.uk.

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