Steve Harley and his Acoustic Band at St George’s Bristol - review

From Bowie to Beatles to Rolling Stones, Steve Harley’s set had it all, with easily enough to enjoy for new fans and old

Last night (June 8) saw Steve Harley and his Acoustic Band take the stage at St George’s Bristol for a long-awaited rescheduled show inside the stunning grand hall.

For me, I had to take a moment to appreciate the great acoustics, superb architecture and atmosphere this venue creates, especially when combined with the inspiring acoustic music played.

Harley started the show with a set of cover versions - or as he said ‘my interpretations not covers’ and ’songs I wish I’d written’ - all taken from his album Uncovered originally set to be toured in 2020.

His interpretations were brought to life by an exquisitely tight and more than accomplished band.

The original Cockney Rebel Steve Harley with his acoustic band at St George’s Bristol venue on June 8

From Bowie to Beatles to Rolling Stones, this set had it all, with easily enough to enjoy for new fans and old. It was his cover of elegantly heart-breaking Long Pigs song Lost myself that really grabbed my ears. His voice was cracking and strong in all the right places, and had me transfixed.

After the intermission Harley came back with his own material saying ‘I don’t get nervous, this is what I enjoy to do’ with a big smile.

Harley knows how to work a crowd, in fact it turned out he had kissed a few of them over the years!

His fan base was out in force in voice, spirit and in jolly heckling. There was definitely some air violin going on to my right during Sebastian, a song that is now repeating in my head as I write this.

I’ve never seen someone sat down give so much energy and passion to their songs. He turns songs in to stories and stories into songs by combining elegance and lyrical yearning, especially in I’ll be there, a song written for his son, and now grand children too!

The set ended, of course, with the jaunty-jolly jam that is Make Me Smile which was met with a stand up, raucous and extended round of applause echoing around the now very lively hall.

A cracking night had by all.

The Steve Harley Acoustic Band Spring/Summer 2022 tour continues with five more dates, including New Theatre Royal at Portsmouth tonight. For more details and for tickets, click here.