The Petty Heartbreakers. Duck and Drake, Leeds. 28.7.13

An early start today, as it is a Sunday. We got there early, and it wasn’t long before the curtains are closed, as is the door. Is it some need to appease noise complaints, because it got really hot inside. If Bill Pertwee hadn’t died recently, I might have expected a blackout check from the Dad’s Army warden.

It is unusual for me to even watch a tribute act, never mind comment upon it, but it was obvious these lads are part of the ‘tribute’ industry who actually play the music of someone they like rather than the other meaning of ‘tribute’ i.e. for payment.  ‘Tom Petty’ dutifully strapped on his Rickenbacker, donned shades, waistcoat and top hat but decided against a blonde wig.   ‘King’s Highway’ was followed by ‘Listen to her Heart’, and anyone there whose only TPATH record was a Greatest Hits won’t have been disappointed with the setlist.   The first set finished with two of my favourites ‘The Waiting’ and ‘Anything that’s rock n roll’.  The latter is still in my memory bank from when I saw them back in 77 at Leeds University supporting Nils Lofgren on his 1977 European  tour.  Is this the only time they have played in Leeds?

The ‘hits’ continued in the second set but there are some more obscure songs such as ‘Keeping me Alive’, ‘The Last DJ’ and ‘You wreck me’ to keep the attention of the more discerning TP fan.  ‘Breakdown’ took me back to 87  at the Bob Dylan/TPATH/Roger McGuinn concert in Birmingham. The song had been a TP signature tune into the 80s ( especially in America), where it got extended into a lengthy audience participation number. Tom tried it in Birmingham and Her Ladyship was just about the only person who knew the words.  Tonight’s rendition was comparably  brief.  ‘American Girl’ finished off a very good and genuine tribute to a class outfit.  A good blend of familiar and not-so-familiar songs, with ‘Taxman’ and ‘Handle with Care’ also thrown in.  Any fans of Benmont Tench, TPATH keyboard man, may have been miffed at the scarcity of the black and white things, but I reckon they could just about delete the keyboard and not miss it too much.

They seem to have a decent following, and there aren’t many copy groups who I would seek out to watch again, but both of us will be there next time hopefully.  (NB Their flyer has the website as the ‘prettyheartbreakers’?!)

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