Roger Hodgson

Roger Hodgson: Intimate and charming.

Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London
Date:   May 20, 2017

   Roger Hodgson knows what his audience want. They are fans who love the Supertramp era bookended by the albums Crime of the Century and Even in the Quietest Moments..., and these songs form the basis for what he does tonight. It makes for a celebratory atmosphere that represents the enduring joy of the live music experience.
  Hodgson has become a magnificent onstage communicator. In his Supertramp days, he never talked to the crowd, but he's slowly grown from an initial diffidence as a bandleader into someone who has an easy rapport. He doesn't so much work the crowd as work with them. After opening song Take the Long Way Home, Hodgson asks for the house lights to be turned up, so that "I can see my beautiful audience. I think I know most of you!"

  This betrays his intimate charm, while he gently chides a few latecomers by wryly observing, "You've missed the best song.  But I can't do it again as time's short!"
  The humour immediately gets everyone into the right frame of mind for what's to follow.
  School leads into the solo tracks In Jeopardy and Lovers in the Wind from his overlooked 1984 album In the Eye of the Storm. Both slot in beautifully with the iconic material, as does Along Came Mary, from his most recent solo release, 2000's Open the Door. But it's classic moments from those Supertramp days that get the fans on their feet, with Breakfast in America and The Logical Song simply stunning.

 The latter ends the first set, and it's a shame the momentum is broken by the break, even though it allows for toilet breaks and bar visits. However, while many others have struggled a little to get the special feeling back after such an interval, Hodgson cleverly overcomes this by opening the second set with the more low-key Child of Vision and Lord is it Mine, allowing us to seep back into his groove. One of the highlights from this part of the evening is the staggering Death and a Zoo, revisiting Open the Door, which is enthralling and enticing. Meanwhile, new song The Awakening proves Hodgson is still writing fine compositions.

Sax Appeal: Aaron Macdonald

All of this entices and teases the audience, before Dreamer and Fool's Overture get everyone on their feet. Of course, it's the encore that brings things to the expected crescendo. Give a Little Bit raises the temperature, setting up It's Raining Again, which sees umbrellas unfurling across the Albert Hall in an evocative finale reminiscent of The Last Night Of The Proms.
  Intimate and charming, Hodgson and his excellent band - multi-instrumentalist Aaron Macdonald is particularly impressive - leave an incredible impression on the audience after what was undoubtedly one of the best gigs of the year so far.  Malcolm Dome

Prog Magazine Nr. 78 (June 30, 2017)

The band play a mix of solo and Supertramp classics to a rapturous audience.

Click here for the online article: Roger Hodgson at the Royal Albert Hall Live Review
Click here for the magazine article: Roger Hodgson at the Royal Albert Hall Live Review

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