Live Review: Living Colour – 1st October 2017 – ULU, London, UK
Grammy award winning New York hard-rock band Living Colour achieved mainstream success with the release of Vivid in 1988. After more than 30 years in the business, the band is re-emerging with their first studio album in 8 years, Shade. The thirteen track album is a blend of blues and metal, with a healthy dose of the stinging social criticism the band is known for. The current lineup includes original band members Corey Glover (vocals), Vernon Reid (guitar), and Will Calhoun (drums), as well as bassist Doug Wimbish (who joined the band in 1992 after Muzz Skilling’s departure). Together they played to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd in the sweltering University of London Union on October 1.
Taking the stage at 9pm, the band delighted the (mostly 40 and over) audience with a selection of songs from their repertoire, beginning with a track from the new album called Preachin’ Blues and proving instantly that they are still at the top of their game. During the 90 minute set, each band member took turns in the spotlight with a solo interlude, showcasing their remarkable talents including bassist Doug Wimbish at one point playing his guitar with his teeth. Glover has traded in his braids for short fiery-red curls, but showed he hasn’t lost a thing in the vocal department and is still as moving and powerful as ever.
The setlist included several songs from the new album, but not surprisingly the audience responded best to the bands well-known classic hits Open Letter (To a Landlord) and Cult of Personality, the final song of the set. Glover’s lengthy gospel-inspired introduction to Open Letter seemed to take his band-mates a bit by surprise as much as the audience.
The middle of the set included three more songs from the new album, the Notorious BIG cover Who Shot Ya, Who’s That, and the thumping Come On. The band ended the final song (Cult of Personality) with Glover moving down into the audience and filming it on his mobile phone, while the rest of the band walked from the stage through the main venue floor to sign autographs for the obviously appreciative fans.
Ignorance Is Bliss
Open Letter (To a Landlord)
Who Shot Ya
This Is The Life
Love Rears Its Ugly Head
Cult of Personality