FOREIGNER and Journey are two bands that I don’t know much about, apart from Don’t Stop Believing of course. So watching tribute act Foreigner's Journey, it was only until the last few songs that I started to recognise hits such as Cold As Ice and I Want to Know What Love is. But my ignorance did not stop me from appreciating how good Foreigner’s Journey were. The lead singer’s voice was exceptional and there were solid performances from all six members of the band. All in all it was a good night at Bootleggers, which has been promoted in my mind as the best venue for live gigs in Kendal on the basis of this performance.
A lot of folk were eagerly awaiting this event last night and a lot were disappointed not to get tickets as it had been sold out for four weeks.
Quite an achievement in these days to sell out a venue when having only played in the North East once beforethe last time being at Trillians in Newcastle. Sadly I missed that gig as i was playing in Sutton Ashfield, in a venue that had A Foreigners Journey posters plastered all over it's walls
A Foreigners Journey, what can I say ? they did exactly what it says on the tin. A great band with a superb lead singer belting out classics from the back catalogues of both bands, we were treated to hit after hit, virtually non stop.
From Hot Blooded, Anyway You Want It, Jukebox Hero, Wheels in The Sky, Cold As Ice, Separate Ways etc etc there wasn't a track you didn't know or recognise and the 200+ crowd loved every minute of it.
Over 200 tickets were sold for this gig and there was plenty of folk on the guest list too and i don't think anyone was disappointed with the performance. A superb set of musicians , all well accomplished players with a great sound and great stage presence.
Lead singer Jimi Anderson sang a blinder, easily switching between both Perry and Gramm with ease, great range and a full delivery and a likeable frontman that had the crowd on his side from the start.
John Oxley on lead guitar had the Schon solos off to a tee, all played very tastefully and true to the great man himself and with a superb tone. Big boots to fill paying tribute to a player like Schon but he nailed it, and it looked effortless too, even did a Schon solo section too which went down well.
Great rhythm section came in the shape of Paul Flanaghan on bass and Ian Ferris on drums, they worked really well together and sat nicely in the mix. Drums sounded lovely, great sound, not too boomy or heavy or snappy but just right for this material. Loved the Simm's LED's fret dots on Paul's bass, that warm Mesa Boogie blue, looked excellent from out front.
Man on the keys Craig Brown had all the sounds off and played some back up guitar too, a fine musician by any standard and such a vital part of the Foreigner Journey sound, he did a sterling job. very prominent in the mix too at all the right parts, something often overlooked with keys players, the mix was superb.
Also the band had a sax player, Chris Backhouse who played on a few numbers such as Urgent, and what a difference it made. I bet a lot of bands would over look this vital instrument on some of the tracks but what a difference it made staying true to the original versions, nice touch
All in all an excellent evening from a top band in a fantastic venue. Glad Ian from The Office got them up to play, I don't think seeing them in somewhere small like Trillians would have done the band justice.
The band played one set right through, a full two hours including an encore and as I stated earlier it was hit after hit and all played to the highest level.
HUGE hats off to Colin Smoult on sound duties who did a sterling job, great mix IMO, plenty of clarity, not too loud and everything could be heard when needednice one !!
Top tribute band and certainly one I will see again, comparing these to Rainbow Rising who played a few weeks ago is like chalk and cheese.
These guys are on a different level all together
Watch out for some comeback dates next year
Big Ginger Gits Gig Pit
GIANTS OF ROCK 2nd July - Civic Theatre, Doncaster (Bravado & A Foreigners Journey)
Value for money comes in many ways but when it comes to the world of rock music no one can deny that BRAVADO and A FOREIGNERS JOURNEY are two of the best rock Tribute Bands around and together playing great songs from three of the worlds great rocks bands in RUSH,FOREIGNER and JOURNEY they may not be the originals but its as near as you are going to get live on stage all on the same evening on a Friday night in Doncaster and of such a high quality.
First of the night BRAVADO showed just how many great songs RUSH the 3 piece from Canada have contributed over many years to rock music.
BRAVADO do play all the songs the fans want to hear something that cant be said of RUSH themselves at times live,and this along with the excellent musicianship makes for a wonderful 75 minute set.
A FOREIGNERS JOURNEY had the crowd on their feet and the Civic rocking,from young to old,whether their with friends or family you couldn't help get pulled into a world of two groups with such great songs done by a simply stunning top Tribute band.
Top musicians all the way through A FOREIGNERS JOURNEY its the stunning vocals of lead singer Jimi Anderson that puts the band on a different level and songs like the classic 'DONT STOP BELIEVIN' from Journeys catalogue (not Glee!!) of music and the Foreigners number 1 hit 'I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS' has the packed Theatre singing along in a stunning set.
You could stay at home and play the cds but why do that when you can hear such great songs played live to such a high standard and feel those songs come alive!!!!
I am sure if either or both of these Tribute bands come to the town again they are guaranteed another near sell out crowd!!
A Foreigner's Journey:
This was their second year at Rhodes Rock and this year they came with a new singer. Jimmy looks and sounds like Steve Perry until you talk to him, when his Scottish brogue belies his true origins. The Foreigners, then, were the wild card, but delivered in spades. Tremendous energy from bassist Paul and guitarist John (I'll try to name members of the various bands, but that's when I can remember them. Sorry guys.) The back catalog they draw from is drenched in 70s/80s goodness, they absolutely nailed songs such as Waiting For A Girl Like You, Don't Stop Believing, Head Games and Separate Ways.
Highlight: Stone In Love (Journey)
A Foreigners Journey, The Boardwalk 20.11.09
LIKE there's an 'App for everything' on an iPhone so there seems to be a tribute band for any past major music name you can think of.
In the case of this South Yorkshire-rooted outfit two big-hitters from the '70s/'80s – namely Anglo-US band Foreigner and American legends Journey - are covered with convincing results.
Between them those bands grabbed a large slice of the airwaves both sides of the Atlantic - and it seems there's plenty of appetite now to hear the hits away from the CD player. AFJ don't attempt to look like their heroes, although singer Jimi Anderson has a passing resemblance (in hair, at least) to Steve Perry. His vocal is also most suited to the rock balladeers, although it is seasoned enough to flesh out Lou Gramm's lyrics, particularly the rockier offerings of Jukebox Hero and Feels Like The First Time.
Guitarist John Oxley appears to be the biggest perfectionist in the line-up, even down to echoing Journey man Neal Schon's solo spot although the extent to which the rest of the band achieve authenticity seemed to outwit the mixing desk initially.
Sound balance achieved, AFJ gave a solid and often passionate account of the anthems that led both originals to sell 130 million albums between them. The quintet excelled on Foreigner's bigger tunes, including the ballad Waiting For A Girl Like You, and all of Journey's whoppers, notably the enduring Don't Stop Believing, recently given a new lease of life courtesy of X Factor.
So not only do AFJ major on two bands that have arguably been under-celebrated, they've been rather timely about it too.
Published Date: 23 November 2009
“Whether your into tribute bands or not you cant help thinking ‘A Foreigners Journey’ have really got something here!
Their recent recordings found on their myspace site features three Journey and two foreigner tracks and I think it’s fair to say the lads have done the original versions much justice, the blend of these songs works perfectly and to find a frontman these days who can handle a job of this magnitude is a tall order I can tell you.
Judging from their live performances found on ‘youtube’ and the footage of the crowds reactions, its plain to see they are pulling it off live big time as well”
Mick Burgess ‘Metal Express Radio’
A Foreigners Journey Birdwell Club 10/1/2009
This gig had been long awaited and eventually at just after 8pm we entered Birdwell Club's well equipped concert room to find it packed with standing room only. Four hundred people assembled to witness A Foreigners Journey debut! The room was dark and the stage glowed as the fans found their friends to talk to before the concert. We found Helvis and the Dead Famous guitar pairing Carl Wragg and Steve Pickles, and also John Hardman and Christian Hayes from Stagefright. Also in the audience was Zal Cleminson the Sensational Alex Harvey Band guitarist, a truly nice man with a lifetime of rock and roll in his memory.
AFJ vocalist Matt Black admitted to being nervous before the event but he rocked the house when the band came to the stage. An extended intro by the guitar of John Oxley and with great tone heralded the opening song by Foreigner and that was Urgent. What a great start and one which Matt impressed me with by the accurate phrasing. The song seamlessly morphed into Be Good to Yourself, another worthy Journey song.
A break for rapturous applause and back to Foreigner's Waiting For A Girl Like You sounded excellent with Matt in Lou Gramm mode, really accurate Lou Gramm mode too. I was very impressed. As this song calmed the proceedings down, the concert then shifted back into a higher gear as an uplifting Anyway You Want It moved the packed house. South Yorkshire just love Journey material! After another great Foreigner song, That Was Yesterday, the Journey anthem Faithfully had the Birdwell fans singing the choruses, and the verses too! Hands in the air were only missing burning lighters and matches but the band had this song off to a tee!
The jaunty Wheel in the Sky, from Journey's first album featuring Steve Perry, (entitled Infinity) was very nicely served up by the band tonight, it's a really nice addition to the setlist and top marks to the band for this excellent rendition. Nice guitar work from John Oxley once again. Emulating Neil Schon isn't an easy task.
It wasn't all Journey material though and a highlight of the concert for me personally was Foreigners Juke Box Hero, so well put together by this band but with a brilliant twist....it morphed into Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love! Superb! It did come back to Juke Box Hero with Matt doing the Lou Gramm thing to perfection from the Foreigner 4 album. More Foreigner material, Hot Blooded and the fantastic Cold as Ice really rammed home the message that A Foreigners Journey had arrived on platform A of Birdwell Club, and the band retired to massive applause and calls for more. The calls were rewarded by the encore of the wonderful Journey favourite Don't Stop Believing and after hearing this band, I wont stop believing that the formula for the band is spot on. A great tribute to two melodic rock bands rolled into one package, possibly a unique concept.
I enjoyed this very pleasant change from the norm. A quality band, quality material, a good and full sound and a great light show.
To say this was the first gig, they did very well indeed, they know where any weaknesses lie they told me, but top marks to this band, they may be self critical and humble, but they're going to be awesome.