When Keith St John and Doug Aldrich wander out on stage and tune up (“it’s our Soundcheck….” Smiles Doug) St. John, the singer, ties scarves to the mic stands, a la Steven Tyler.
The gig doesn’t start for some minutes after because he can’t find his guitar cable. Eventually its located. Behind a scarf.
If that sounds a little haphazard, then, to be honest it is. But that story rather exemplifies the show in another way too: this is Burning Rain, uncut, if you will.
Neither man – let’s not be coy about this – needs to be here playing an acoustic show to a couple of hundred people. Aldrich is the rock god, the epitome of cool, in Dead Daises, while St John is the vocalist in Kingdom Come.
The motivation for this is two-fold. Firstly, they just love playing music – and that shines through – but its more than that. They evidently passionately care about Burning Rain.
BR have been going for 20 years. The album they’ve just put out is their fourth.
This is obviously down to their full diaries, but this time, they appear ready to give Rain a real push to whip up a storm.
The original songs they play here are interesting in this format. “Revolution” – the lead track on the brand new “Face The Music” album – is a highlight, while even the acoustic way of playing “Midnight Train” can’t hide its sleaziness.
Finally touring over here after all this time gives them all the excuse they need to dip into the back catalogue. The first hit “Cherie Don’t Break My Heart” is gratefully received here, “Smooth Locomotion” chugs nicely, and in these hands, a song called “My Lust, Your Fate” probably needs no explanation. Best of all, perhaps, is the title track of the just released collection. Seen here in a different light, “Face The Music” is an excellent song and its shows that here too.
Starting with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is a clue that there is a lot of covers here. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” sees The Stones make another appearance later, and “Purple Haze” done acoustically is incongruous but works, while “All Along The Watchtower” is closer to the Dylan original than Hendrix.
“Dancing Days” is a Zeppelin song that you don’t often here and “Forevermore” from Whitesnake is made for nights like this – and they end with “Crying In The Rain” from Coverdale’s boys too.
But if, when they actually played songs, the gig was what you’d want, then it needs saying that some of it lulled a touch. In truth the odd story meandered and the show clocking in at over two hours was indicative of the fact that some of the fat could have been trimmed. However, for Doug Aldrich and Keith St. John, the actual fact of playing these songs on a stage was probably more important.
The name of the jaunt is the Stripped And Naked tour. If that’s the case, then tonight they proudly strutted their stuff, warts and all.
PHOTO BY EMMA CLAIRE