Gig Reviews

Jackson's Pit, Oldham
25 October 2005

Crimson Scarlet delivered a typically strong live performance, despite being without flu-ridden keyboard player/vocalist Richard Harper and lead vocalist Sarah-Jane Johnson having swollen glands.

Testament to their innate musical ability was that they reworked the heavily keyboard dependent songs on guitars and no one other than the most ardent Crimson fan would have realised.

The atmospheric venue that is Jackson's Pit was always going to be the sort of environment that Crimson would excel in and their melodic, hand-crafted rock went down well with the Jackson's audience.

The set opened with their well known and much appreciated stadium anthem New Life Story, however, in contrast to past sets, Crimson have recently taken to skilfully mixing their multitude of different genres and tempos to keep the set interesting and intriguing all the way through.

Those who follow Crimson regularly will have noticed a lot of new material recently and this gig was no exception. Songs such as 'I'm Lost' showed off Johnson's voice superbly, but the latest song, aired for the first time in public at this gig, is 'Tears Began To Bleed' and was the final song of the set.

Easy to see why, a quite superb blues number that has Johnson wailing like she's being singing the blues since birth. Inspired musically by writer Malcolm Journeaux's teenage heroes, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, the song transcends generations and was a suitably fitting finale for another good Crimson set.

Kirsty Rigg