Posted: 21 Mar 2017
Supported by Philippa Hanna
24 March 2017
There’s nothing mysterious about Marti Pellow despite ‘Mysterious’ being the name of the tour he stopped off with at Sage Gateshead along with his nine-piece band.
With a packed audience who had grown up with the former ‘Wet Wet Wet’ front-man, Pellow’s fun-infected fusion rolled along at a steady pace, punctuated by the occasional number slow enough to persuade some of his adoring legions to momentarily sit down.
A carefully crafted set melded numbers new and old before a surprisingly tender ending with a stripped back version of Christine McVie’s ‘Songbird’.
The biggest hits however were yet to emerge, the lights stayed down and the encore was a matter of when, not if.
Subsequently the crowd perplexingly couldn’t muster much in the way of a rousing ‘we want more’ and only after what threatened to be an embarrassing silence did the band stroll back on.
An old stager when it comes to expertly working a crowd, Marti and his gleaming grin took this in his stride, announcing, ‘Let’s do some number ones’ before launching into the mega-hit ‘Love is All Around.’
Finally climaxing the evening with a cover of ‘I get by with a little help from my friends,’ I have to say that Marti had made a new one in me after a show which amply demonstrated his talents.
Part of Pellow’s power is his ability to enjoy himself and transfer this to the audience. Support act Philippa Hanna had certainly got the crowd in the mood with a lively set of catchy songs matched by a bouncily engaging personality.
For a warm-up act to attempt gaining audience participation three songs in was ambitious to say the least, but with two volumes of autobiography to her name at the age of 32 Hanna has plenty to say for herself.
In addition to her self-penned numbers which went down well, she demonstrated what a beautiful voice she has with an exquisite version of Lionel Ritchie’s “Easy Like Sunday Morning’.