A report from 'Strife's' Rock Correspondent.
We have the promise of an Art gallery to see people coming to Margate in the future, and we have a world remembered amusement park missing in action. Shops shut, and much to complain about; except, a forgotten jewel in Margate’s crown. The Winter Gardens. It is not the most lavish, and a bit tattered around the edges; but for two nights this week, it was the focus of the music scene in South East England, and boy did it deliver.
Monday night saw Anthony Genn’s 7 piece group ‘The Hours, kick off the evening’s entertainment followed by the main course, Kasabian. The Leicester group played a number of tracks from their forthcoming album together with a host of crowd favourites to keep the fans at this sold out event happy. This was not only a warm up for this weekend’s gig at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, but also for their forthcoming tour supporting Oasis on their Stadium tour!! This was good, but the best was yet to come.
A mere 24 hours later and the queues outside the Winter Gardens again braved the cold winds. The queue was made up of two types of punters. Fans from all over the South East, and Thanetonians who were there just because it was happening! I have to admit to being in that group. Stereophonics in Margate; I haveto be there! And was I glad that I was.
Dead on 8pm, Tom Allalone and the 78s took to the stage. There mix of up beat modern Hill Billy rock with a touch of Ska went down surprisingly well; the more so because they hail from Gravesend, and had a fan base in the hall!
Stereophonics were in the house. It really was them, and they tore up the place with a mix of some newer songs, complimented by all the crowd favourites, and benefitting from a spectacular light show. The sold out hall bounced along to an hour and a half of music, a good night normally, before being treated to a half hour encore. There are very few bands these days that play for two hours, and this was pure gold. No breaks, no pontification or putting the world to rights; just full on rock concluding with a rollicking version of their classic ‘Dakota’.
We will never see a week like this again, but with venues in the South East being at a premium, perhaps a few more may venture our way. The winners Margate. And that has got to be the underlying achievement here. For a brief moment, Margate was at the centre of something, and it wasn’t good, it was brilliant!