The Moody Blues showcased brilliant musicianship to Cardiff fans
Moody Blues at St David's Hall in Cardiff (Pic credit: Gareth Griffiths) Moody Blues at St David's Hall in Cardiff (Pic credit: Gareth Griffiths)
The Moody Blues started life as one of hundreds of early '60s bands who were all about image and three-minute singles. Then when progressive rock came along in the latter half of the decade it swept most of these superficial outfits away leaving only a special few to forge ahead in the changed landscape of more ‘serious’ music. And forge ahead they did; a series of album releases established them as creators of innovative and clever music and earned them a lifetime career. While lynchpin, Justin Hayward has pursued projects of his own he has still kept The Moody Blues as an entity much to the delight of an army of fans who were on their feet at the end of every number in St David’s Hall in Cardiff. The current tour is entitled Timeless Flight and follows the formula of the 2013 box set release of the same name containing a cross-section of music spanning the band’s half-century career. It’s fair to say that, judging by the Cardiff crowd, most of the fans have been around for a lot, if not all, of that journey. With such a huge back catalogue the challenge must have been choosing which songs to leave out. The trio of stalwarts, Graeme Edge, John Lodge and Justin Hayward, gel with the sort of telepathy that a lifetime of association brings; they are however now augmented by a quartet of backing musicians including a second drummer whose energetic work rate seemed to have Edge fighting to keep pace. This was a band preaching to the converted, great songwriting and superb musicianship served to satisfy expectations and for much of the show made the seating superfluous. Those who could get up and dance did so and those who remained seated sang along with every lyric of each much-loved song. Not all Moody Blues’ songs are universally known to casual fans but even unfamiliar numbers shine out as quality representations of the band’s style of combining catchy melody with cutting-edge rock. Sparse but well fitting guitar work is Justin Hayward’s trademark along with a voice that still has no difficulty reaching the more challenging scales. In an age of flash-in-the-pan stardom it is heartening to see a band who have earned their place in the spotlight still at the top of their game.
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