Tag Archives: Reef

Andy Taylor at the 100 Club: Worth the Wait!

By Dee Cooke

Andy Taylor’s first solo gig in 30 years. Talk about a highly anticipated evening! The show, at London’s 100 Club on 27 November, was sold out. Did it live up to this anticipation? 

Spoiler: yes, it did.

Andy and his band certainly kept us waiting. They didn’t arrive on stage until more than two hours after the doors to the venue had opened. Once the show got going, it was worth the wait.  The well-balanced and wide-ranging setlist featured a mixture of old solo material from 1987’s Thunder album, tracks from his upcoming solo album, along with few Power Station tunes, topped by a smattering of semi-covers of songs by artists Andy has been involved with (Reef, Robert Palmer, etc.)…

…and not forgetting some very surprising and welcome Duran Duran songs!  Mid-set, the audience were taken aback in the absolute best of ways when Andy and co launched into a triumphant medley of ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ and ‘Wild Boys’.  That was a very special moment, as it wasn’t expected at all.

The 100 Club, which I hadn’t been to previously, is a very well-designed small venue, and even if you’re at the back it still feels like the front as everyone in the audience is so close to the stage.  This gave the show a real intimacy – it was just like watching a local band in the back room of a pub, except that it was Andy freaking Taylor and we were all getting to see him perform right up close! 

Reef’s Gary Stringer, who features on some of the songs on the new album and so was onstage for vocal duties, is of course fantastic, but it was really lovely also to see Andy singing lead on so many of the songs.  I’m a huge fan of the Thunder album and so it was those tracks that moved me the most – my absolute highlight was ‘Tremblin’’, a beautifully slowed-down version of the song that was just Andy on stage by himself.  There was some discussion after the show once the band’s copies of the setlist had been procured, as the planned setlist seemed to indicate that Andy had originally also intended to incorporate ‘Save A Prayer’ into this track.  However, for me, the performance of ‘Tremblin’’ absolutely stood by itself, and I don’t think it would have necessarily been improved by the incorporation of the Duran track – it was beautiful as it was.

To my surprise, the band didn’t play an awful lot of tracks off the new album – I had been expecting that the new material would comprise a good 50% or more of the set, but as it happened, there were only one or two new songs in addition to the already-released ‘Love Or Liberation’. What we did hear, however, was more varied than I expected – it seems there’s some mellower stuff on the album to complement the banging hard rock!

It was a fantastic show overall – engaging from start to finish.  I, like many others, had travelled to London especially for the gig, and it was so worth the journey!  I just hope we don’t have to wait another 30 years for Andy to perform his solo stuff again…

He’s back!!

As I type, I’m fairly certain that most everyone who reads this will already have heard that a Mr. Andy Taylor has found his way back to social media via Instagram.

That’s right, Andy is back, sharing pictures and memories! If you haven’t found him yet, he’s AndyTaylorOfficial on Instagram. Now is a great time to find and follow him! He’s planning to drop a new album soon under the BMG label, and apparently hopes to do shows in 2020. Great news!

One thing I love about Andy, is that he’s unafraid to engage with fans. It is nothing to see Andy respond directly to a comment on one of his photos. While I think he’s only had to see the question, “What can we do to get you back with DD, Andy – they desperately need you?!” about 50,000 times during the short period he’s been on Instagram, I can appreciate how sick he must be of having to answer. If you’re really an Andy fan – just be thankful he’s back in the game, even if not directly with Duran Duran. He’s obviously not talking about Duran Duran because he’s doing his own thing, and happy about being around to do it. Sure, you can miss him in the band. I miss him, for that matter!

So what has Andy been up to since we last saw him? He has a six-year old grandson that Andy says is “the apple of my eye”, and even prior to his surprise appearance at Glastonbury with Reef, he has been doing some “light training and many sweaty rehearsals – ‘if you want to Rock n Roll’ & play even better than before the drugs.’ Good on you, Andy.

I’m happy to see Andy is back and seemingly more committed than ever. “…you got to give a fcck about something these days.” The last time I “saw” Andy (online, of course) he had his own AndyTaylor.TV website.

Here’s the thing about Andy. He gave me a chance and let me write for his website. I’ll never forget that. He was just a normal guy, and he gave me the opportunity to use his platform to get my voice out there. Say what you might about Andy, but he never once seemed afraid to consider my opinion, or suggested that I must be insane because I’m a fan. It is more than I can say for a lot of people in lesser “public” forums. In fact, he treated me with nothing but kindness and decency, all the while being the “Andy Taylor” I expected. Yes, he is a former member of my favorite band. He’s also a great guy with a big heart. He’s 100% real with all the good, bad and ugly as anybody else. I admired that then, and I still do now.

I’m looking forward to hearing what Andy has been working on, and cheering him on however possible. I’m still a huge fan! It is great news to see he’s back out there rocking away, and we’ll be supporting him the whole way.

-R