Saturday, September 02, 2006

Michael Franti & Spearhead Birmingham Academy 2 31st August 2006

No support on this one...which was a little strange...but as ever the towering form of Mr F more than made up for it. Michael Franti is possibly one of the greatest live performers around and one of the few men capable of getting my good self to believe in the peace, love and understanding stuff that my cold, hard cynical heart normally rejects. In fact, if Mr F were made President of the US of A, I'm fairly sure he could inspire the millions of nutters who are all busy trying to blow each other up with increasingly devious devices to sit down and spark up a phat one.

Back to the music. Needless to say we were treated to a number of old faves as well as tracks from the new album. No 'Freaky People' sadly, but then, after a two hour set that saw Mr F sweat his own body weight several times over we can forgive him that. New album 'Yell Fire' is, unsurprisingly, all about the Gulf war and Michael has been touring Iraq (brave man) to find out, in the words of his spiritual godfather, Mr Marvin Gaye, what's going on. The gist of his findings is that it's all a bit of a mess and that we should get the hell outta there quick smart. I'd love to believe that this would work and that everyone would get on. And, during the gig, for a few minutes you sort of feel that everyone would. Which is as good a review of Mr F's performance as you could ever wish for.

For the uninitiated track down a copy of Spearhead's seminal work (urrgggh messy) Stay Human, one of the great 'lost' albums of all time.

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