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  British Tour
June 8 to 15, 2000

Review by Lucy and Phil - photos in Photo Gallery #11

Whoah!!!!!!! Where do I begin?? I have just returned from Paul's mini tour in England. And what a trip it was. Attending the famous Cavern in Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester and, lastly, London. For me, the Cavern was the best.

The line up for the band was:
- Paul Rodgers (vocals)
- Jaz Lochrie (Bass)
- Jeff Whitehorn (Lead)
- Jim Copley (Drums).

Here is a review from a fan about the gig in Liverpool, written by Phil Van Dijk

My first impression was that it wouldn't be the same: for a start the stairs were too wide and there were too many of them. We must have gone down two floors when the original place was only one floor below. When you finally get there you are in a good replica of the original club, but it's facing the wrong way (East instead of South). This was not to be where the show was held though, since there is a second room directly under where the original was.

So it's not the same Cavern building then, but does that matter? We are physically not the same people we were in the sixties - we have changed by ageing, putting on weight, losing hair, eyes growing weaker and so on. The Cavern was never just the bricks and mortar, it was also the atmosphere created by the audience and the groups.

So for it to be considered a CAVERN show, the performance would have to generate the same feelings in the audience .... and Paul Rodgers did just that.

But first, the short acoustic set by his son and daughter was exquisite, with Jasmine handling most of the vocals. It's not since the days of Julie Felix that I felt that the singer was singing personally to me: the voice was so moving that the noise of the crowd behind was almost un-noticeable. If there's any justice in the world, they should be given a recording contract and allowed to record an album like their performance tonight, uncluttered by un-necessary background musicians or singers .... if they haven't done already.

And as for Paul himself, his performance was professional and his singing was among the most soulful I have heard, the high spot being when he included extracts of several Beatles' songs, starting off the verse and letting the audience take over ..... a fitting homage in Liverpool, but not unique since I've seen David Coverdale of Whitesnake sing "In My Life" and get jeered at Liverpool's Royal Court and Brian May sing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" at the same theatre and the crowd go ecstatic, just as The Cavern audience tonight.

By this time, though, there was no denying that this was one of those few shows which are in another league altogether. The sound was balanced and loud but not painfully so, the musicians were playing brilliantly and seemed to be enjoying it instead of just going through the motions, a powerful base guitar undercurrent with perfectly executed guitar solos without being extended un-necessarily to extreme lengths. But the singing, the reason for everyone being there, was perfection itself, with the crowd following Paul's sweat-soaked performance through all the movements and emotions which a seasoned performer knows how to control.

Phil Van Dijk.........

You see how can you follow that review?! As Phil said, Paul's kids Steve and Jasmine perfomed and they just blew me and everyone else away. Such warmth and soul in their perfomance. Would love to see them open up again for Paul in the US. Hint, hint :-)))

All four shows were excellent. Very impressed how this band in the UK just picked up from where they left off, I am sure they were also surprised how tight they perfomed as if they gig together each week.

It was wonderful to see the fans at the concerts. Knowing many of them it was a treat for me to meet some of them for the first time, instead of just emailing. David Clayton of the FAS was at all the shows. Somehow it completes a show when he is around. He did show me a preview of the upcoming Free book as well, which was just awesome. Wow, what a book!! It's a dream I can tell you!

Paul chose many Free songs on this tour. But also included some Bad Co songs and Muddy Waters material. Steve & Jasmine you were just dynamic. Hope you come to the States and sing for the North Amercan fans. Jeff, Jaz and Jim - GREAT job guys. Well done ........................

If any fans in the UK wish to send in reviews of any of the shows, please feel FREE to send them to us at

Review by Al

PAUL RODGERS at the Forum, London, on Wednesday 14 June 2000.

The tube journey seemed to take ages that night. Good job the 5 of us were in a party mood, arrived at the Forum quite late, around a quater to nine, and the place was already about full. No sign of Lucy around so we made our way to a good standing position about 20 feet from the stage.

When the house lights went down, Paul & the band hit the stage, going straight into DEEP BLUE, possibly the best track off the new CD, his voice on form (as usual). The band then carried on with a number of Free tracks, kicking on with THE STEALER & BE MY FRIEND. With a small introduction about how, alongside Andy Fraser, Slash & Neil Schon, PAUL jammed the intro to the next song in front of an audience at a large well known festival a while back, the band tore into LITTLE BIT OF LOVE.

At this point the precise running order of the set gets a bit vague, but I think FIRE & WATER, MR.BIG (while I was stuck at the bar) & WISHING WELL stormed along before Paul tried out another new song from the CD, WALKING TALL. Its bluesy feel seemed to get the audience swaying along, as did LOUISIANNA BLUES. "We ain't done any Bad Company yet have we!" wails Paul as the band tears into FEEL LIKE MAKING LOVE & CANT GET ENOUGH, at the end of which Paul says "What do ya think we should do next, Lucy?" before steamrolling into THE HUNTER.

At this point, my partner and I shot to the front and got a nice position on the edge of the stage, in front of Geoff Whitehorn (who was playing a blinder tonight) amid his LOUD Marshalls, a great place to be for the last song of the set. Of course, we couldn't let the band leave without a few more songs, and what an encore ROCK N ROLL FANTASY. Then, Paul introduced a Beatles medley, saying how they had just played at the Cavern in Liverpool, starting off with TICKET TO RIDE & flowing into I FEEL FINE. The audience accepted the songs as if they were his own, and he did make them sound like his own!! The crowd went nuts as the band launched into ALL RIGHT NOW. And then, it was all over - sob!!!

But wait, Paul & the band emerged yet again for another song. DRIFTERS from the new CD, a bit of an odd song to finish on, when what we really wanted was something like Shooting Star. But hey can't complain what a great night & sooo privileged to hear that voice again and even got a t-shirt on the way out!


Review by Mike Torpey of the Daily Post newspaper, Liverpool


SOMEONE edging towards retirement suggested that the older you get the quicker the time passes. A keen observation.  Can it seriously be 31 years since one impressionable teenager blagged his way into a city student haunt to watch awestruck as an emerging band featuring singer with a voice from the Gods laid down the foundations for some of the finest rock music ever consigned to vinyl.  The frontman was Paul Rodgers and the group Free.  Though spawned by the late Sixties blues boom, the group escaped the confines of the genre to produce a unique rock sound.  But its beacon was the voice of Rodgers the man who put soul into rock vocals.  Despite a million-selling single in All Right Now more recently revived in a gum commercial and several top ten hits, the career of Free spanned less than five years, though for its founder worldwide success followed with Bad Company.

This performance at The Cavern represented a return to his roots. As a self- confessed Beatles fan he admits to hankering after performing at the music world's most famous club.   Perhaps it's something to do with enjoying yourself, because as a veteran of Rodgers concerts I can't recall him ever looking so genuinely thrilled to be playing, and it rubbed off on his sidemen.  In fact he revealed afterwards that the band Geoff Whitehorn (guitar), Jaz Lochrie (bass) and Jim Copley (drums) hadn't played together for 18 months apart from a brief sound check earlier in the day.  Deep Blue, opening track on his latest album Electric set the scene for the songs most of the 380-strong capacity crowd had come to hear.  Stealer, Fire And Water, Be My Friend, Mr Big and Little Bit Of Love followed before Bad Company staples Feel Like Makin' Love and Can't Get Enough.  The rhythm section kept things tight and strong while Whitehorn, looking every inch the 'good lad from the pub' played with a tone that devotees of the late Paul Kossoff would readily approve.  The walls dripped, the room throbbed and a verse each of I Feel Fine and Ticket To Ride incorporated into Bad Company number Rock And Roll Fantasy topped off a memorable night before the predictable second encore of All Right Now. 

In what was very much a family affair the acoustic support act, Steve and Jasmine, were Paul's son and daughter.  But just when I thought time hadn't caught up with Rodgers he both looks and sounds in A1 nick he went and banned smoking from the gig. That's an ageing rocker for you. 

Paul at Wall of Fame

The following day, Paul was inducted into Mathew Street's Wall of Fame, which features the names of recording stars who have appeared at the club dating back to the Merseybeat era of the early 60s.  It includes such diverse talents as The Rolling Stones, The Who, 'Little' Stevie Wonder and Howlin' Wolf  He was so thrilled by the experience he even took time to go on the official Beatles Tour.  For Rodgers, who has played in major stadiums and arenas around the world, it was a pleasure to work the Cavern "the best club gig I have ever played", he said.  In fact when he visited Mathew Street he could have been any tourist admiring the John Lennon statue and having his picture taken outside the Cavern.  "Yes, this is a great thrill for me because I've been a Beatles fan since I was 13. I last visited Liverpool in 1997 and vowed that I had to play at the Cavern one day.  When I did on Thursday night it was just fantastic, the best club gig I have ever played, I really enjoyed it."  Rodgers was booked to play two or three major concert halls when the Cavern Club invited him.  He went on: "It wasn't difficult to say yes. The Cavern is a legend isn't it? This is where is started for many people, it has a special place in history.  I brought my kids with me, Steven and Jasmine, who were on as support at the show so it has been a great experience for all of us.  Having my name on a brick in the Wall of Fame is just great too when you think of all the other people who have been here before.  I didn't play much in the way of new songs at the Cavern. People like me to play the Free songs mainly and some of the Bad Company stuff too.   As to banning smoking from the gig, I don't have asthma or anything like that. It dates back to when I played Ronnie Scott's club a few years ago.  The organisers said there was no way I could fill the place for a week without allowing smoking. I disagreed with them, and we were full each night."  Cavern production manager Ray Johnson said: "Obviously when the wall idea came about it was a matter of recording the names of many great stars who have appeared.  In Paul's case it was different as it was his first time and an opportunity to have a bit of a ceremony.  This sort of show is great for us too. We would like to become the premier club venue for really big artists to play before they tour.  Paul McCartney put us on the map last year and now we want to get more big names coming here to do a club date before they play at the bigger halls and arenas."

Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Review by Peter Hanson

Well. What can you say? Picture a 48 year old management consultant and friend, struggling to get seats for the London Forum concert and finally managing to do so, only to be told on arrival that upstairs was "for special guests only".

I wanted to sit down and enjoy the man I had only heard and never seen. I bought the first four Free Albums within nano-seconds of their arrival in the shops and thought that "the voice" was so much more mature than anything I had heard up to that moment.

With some major regrets I missed out on an early seventies Free concert at Durham University only to be told by some of my good friends that it had been a stormer.

So here I am STANDING in the Forum, not impressed at this point, but watch this space. Like your other London reviewer, I found myself near the front and starting to feel like I am going to be part of a very special, if not intimate occasion. The Forum presented as an ideal venue for what was to come and the ever filling auditorium felt very calm but expectant.

The support act, or should I say the Family Rodgers, were very impressive. They both completely undersold themselves. With a talent like this they should be more confident of their own capabilities, the professionalism which I think will match their skills. The confident and bell like qualities of the vocals and solid musicianship to provide the backdrop. Excellent.

And so to the main event. A bit of a wait with the crowd near me getting a little edgy as opposed to excited when I used to attend concerts back in the 70's and 80's, BUT, we're underway.

My strongest memories come from feeling a big part of the whole set. There were several songs from the live CD which were spotted to perfection, and the oldies but goodies definitely hit the spot. For me its the way that Whitehorn's guitar compliments the sheer velvet emerging from Paul Rodgers' vocals.

Call me an old fogey if you like, but the sheer gutsiness of "Louisiana Blues" managed to exceed my previously favourite version by that excellent band, Savoy Brown ("Blue Matter"). Short, sweet, and to the simplest of rock points. The track "Walking Tall" also set the pace, beautifully constructed and executed by a band who must enjoy their time together.

The Bad Company tracks seemed to be the favourites but by the time the band launched into them the sheer energy and professionalism coming from four quality musicians was evident for everyone to see and hear.

My main concern for the band now is what next. I had expected to hear more new material, but I also recognise that a good concert has to contain the favourites. This guy Rodgers has also undersold his immense talent, and I for one think that the marketeers promoting his talents need a good prod with a sharp stick (or something similar - use your imagination).

The only comment about the show I heard in advance was on Talksport radio at about 2.15am when Tommy Boyd read out an e-mail from an obvious fan singing the praises of his unique voice.

I don't know what Mr. Rodgers has planned for the future, but I think he could really do with a better marketing effort. Why?. Because he is genuinely, "Top Drawer".


St. Petersburg, Florida
June 4, 2000

Review by Hifiwally

Sunday, June 4, 2000, showtime 5:55pm EDT. It was a wonderful HOT and breezy typical June day on the shoreline of St. Petersburg, Florida. The show started late due Paul's limo getting blocked from entry. Under the red and white striped stage top, hot but smiling Paul Rodgers wore a submarine yellow tank top, cool shades and black Levi's that were as tight as the sun was hot!

The opening act was a local band Stormbringer, three LP's to their fame, playing a set before Paul and the band headlined. Stormbringer performed a couple of their original tunes, mixed with Carry On My Wayward Son (Kansas), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) and Suite Judy Blue Eyes (CSN&Y). Their blend of original with classic rock was a warm and casual compliment to the Paul Rodgers performance.

Paul entertained the crowd already on their feet after the intro by local radio (Tampa, FL) 102.5 hosts. Heather, Fish and crew motivated the sun basted crowd with a handful of free T-shirts, both their own and a couple of Paul's, gingerly tossed into the grassy venue. Paul opened with the new single from the new CD and then started classic BADCO tunes followed with a couple FREE tunes and then jammed into the sultry Florida afternoon. The band's performance at the Taste of Pinellas (All Children's Hospital Telethon Fundraiser) was loaded with vintage rock and roll, new material and of course Paul's intense and humorous personal contribution to music as all classic rock connoisseur have come to know.

This show rated a 9 outta 10 drumsticks from this reviewer.
Submitted by


June 8 - 15, 2000
British Tour

June 4, 2000
St. Petersburg FL

May 7, 2000
Atlanta, Georgia

March 25, 2000
Kingsport, Tennessee

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