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Old rockers turn back the clock
by Fiona Shepherd

Fleetwood Mac ***

THE Fleetwood Mac story always threatens to overshadow their music. The colourful drugs and sanity travails of the original line-up were superseded by the personal exploits of the second, massively successful incarnation, who sound-tracked their internal upheaval with some of the most upwardly summery, accessible sounds committed to vinyl.

It is this line-up, minus keyboard-playing vocalist Christine McVie, which has buried the hatchet and regrouped to record a comeback album, Say You Will , which will please anyone who was desperately lacking a pale imitation of MOR classic Rumours in their life.

Nostalgia comes at a price, plus an extra £15 if you want the souvenir programme. But the band have obligingly retained their individual style from their Rumours heyday - Stevie Nicks with her big hair and floaty gypsy skirt, Lindsey Buckingham looking every inch the lean Californian rock veteran, and Mick Fleetwood and John McVie as gurning eccentric bumpkin and flat-capped steady pair of hands.

They opened strongly with The Chain, possibly the only song in the rock canon which can justify its bass solo. Within the hour, Buckingham would be thrashing about like an attention-seeking child, playing a crass, indulgent extended guitar workout, although the road to that particular low point was sweetened by accomplished versions of Dreams and Second Hand News. Nicks, meanwhile, hammed up the pseudo mystical hokum of Rhiannon and colluded with Buckingham in milking their on-stage relationship with calculated embraces.

But they were both upstaged by Fleetwood’s bizarre and disturbing solo involving syndrums strapped to his gangly body. These amateur dramatics were a poor substitute for those vibrant moments when the band gelled. A tribal Tusk brought a welcome end to the musical trough in the middle of the concert and Go Your Own Way ensured the main set ended on a high, not least because the two protagonists of this classic break-up song were standing side by side on the stage - a case of the Fleetwood Mac story enhancing their music.

Date: 2003-12-08         Number of views: 1552

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