English-born ex-Herd and -Humble Pie guitarist Peter Frampton has released four studio albums, to little fanfare. However, his fortunes changed overnight with the release of the double vinyl live album 'Comes Alive' back in 1976, which went on to sell over six million copies in the USA alone.
Like Kiss a year before, who also really hit the big time with their 'Alive' album, both artists set the template for many classic live albums in the years that followed, bringing the experience of a live concert directly into people's living rooms for the first time.
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With the cover featuring a youthful, good-looking Frampton with his flowing blonde locks and the album that spanned the smash hits of 'Show Me The Way','Baby I Love Your Way' and the seven-minute 'Do You Feel Like We Do', Peter Frampton was soon made a pin-up poster star. This was the album that made the boy from Kent a Jumping Jack Flash lad who made the cover of Rolling Stone. Thirty-five years on and minus the hair, Peter Frampton 'Comes Alive' yet again playing the album in its entirety as it was originally performed.
Using the original intro tape, Peter Frampton launched into 'Something's Happening' with his Les Paul custom black guitar similar to the one used on 'Comes Alive'. Sadly, his original beloved guitar was destroyed in a cargo airplane crash back in 1980. On bass was Stanley Sheldon, the only surviving member who performed on 'Comes Alive', Bob Mayo and John Siomos having both departed in 2004, but their memories were remembered tonight with some original touring photographs displayed on the screen during tonight's show, along with many pics of a smiling, younger Frampton in all his glory.
Frampton explained that 'Show Me The Way' was released as a studio single but never got anywhere, so when someone from the record company suggested they should try a live version, Peter was at first, understandably, not too sure on the success it would generate. This was the good-time hit that featured the talkbox which would later influence a whole host of artists to use, including Richie Sambora on Bon Jovi's global smash 'Livin' On A Prayer'.
Many sang along to 'Baby I Love Your Way' which, in later years, gained more recognition when it was used in the American show 'Family Guy'. Ending with 'Do You Feel Like We Do', I felt like rushing home to play my vinyl copy, but there was still whole lot more to come from Frampton in the second half. Before leaving for the interval, Frampton said, "after moving up from Bromley, I lived in a flat just around the corner from Hammersmith. It feels like 'Comes Alive' has come full-circle".
Playing newer material in the second half was a brave and bold move. Performing songs from his instrumental Grammy award-winning album 'Fingerprints' and last year's 'Thank You Mr Churchill' was a delight where Frampton really excelled. Highlights included 'Vaudeville Nanna And The Banjolele', with Frampton playing his grandmother's banjolele (a banjo-shaped ukulele) and including a little snippet of Lonnie Donegan's 'My Old Man's A Dustman'.
A rocking 'Road To The Sun' featured his son Julian on vocals. Nice touch. An instrumental version of Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Son' was sublime, as was the majestic Beatles encore of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'.
This was the definitive Peter Frampton show that clocked in at over three hours of pure magic.
Lines On My Face
Show Me The Way
It's A Plain Shame
Wind Of Change
Just The Time Of Year
Penny For Your Thoughts
All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)
Baby I Love Your Way
I Wanna Go To The Sun
I'll Give You Money
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Do You Feel Like We Do
Asleep At The Wheel
Boot It Up
Vaudeville Nanna And The Banjolele
Road To The Sun
Black Hole Sun
Four Day Creep
Off The Hook
While My Guitar Gently Weeps