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Financial Times (12/01/2003), Fleetwood Mac < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Financial Times (12/01/2003), Fleetwood Mac

Financial Times, December 1, 2003

Music: Fleetwood Mac
by Richard Milne

Rock 'n' roll's most enduring soap opera rumbles on. "It's been a somewhat difficult and also strange trip," guitarist Lindsey Buckingham told the crowd with only a hint of understatement. Drug-fuelled binges, difficult double LPs and numerous inter-band flings and relationships: Fleetwood Mac wrote the book on a decadent rock lifestyle in the 1970s.

Yet here they are, nearly 30 years after serendipity brought the British rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie together with the American showmanship of Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (Christine McVie has retired from the group), and they are still frequently sounding inspired.

First, there were the tunes - some of the most recognisable in the rock parthenon. Early highlights included exquisite versions of "Dreams" and "Rhiannon", with Nicks's voice in particularly fine fettle. Even more recent tracks, including the terrific title song from their latest album, Say You Will, slotted in easily.

Second, and most important, was the chemistry between the bandmates. Nicks and Buckingham may have split up 27 years ago but at times watching them felt like intruding on private moments of tenderness. During a beautifully fragile "Landslide", Nicks stood behind the guitarist gently caressing his back.

Just as crucial, though, to the band's success and longevity is the Fleetwood-McVie partnership, As Fleetwood, who himself had a dalliance with Nicks, observed: "Our lives are for ever intertwined."

He could have been talking about the band's relationship with its fans, for whom this concert was the chance to relive memories from their youth with splendid versions of "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop" from the album Rumours.

The musicianship was of a suitably polished nature but, this being soft rock, there was still room for some self-obsessed playing. Buckingham excelled himself in this regard with some wonderfully overblown and histrionic solos but Fleetwood nearly matched him with a 10-minute drum solo - even his waistcoat had drum pads built into it.

Overall, however, the impression throughout this 2-hour show was that of a band still bursting with creative energy.

Fleetwood Mac tours the UK until December 10


Date: 2003-12-01         Number of views: 1523

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