The Aberdeen Pavilion turned into arena rock central Friday night as powerhouse rockers Humble Pie took to the Ravenlaw Stage to deliver a 90-minute set of their nearly 50 year musical legacy. Loud, proud, and five strong, these world-class musicians took us on a delicious wild ride of heavy-fuelled blues-rock the band has always been known for. Initially formed in 1969 as a super group of guitarists with Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton, bassist Greg Ridley and drummer Jerry Shirley, the band drew legions of fans across the globe despite break-ups, label problems, and a revolving door of musicians that would come and go through the years.
Founding member Jerry Shirley, who still owns the Humble Pie name, decided to bring the magic of the music back to the masses, and reformed the band earlier this year, which he oversees and directs. In essence, the band is still somewhat of a supergroup – this time with singer/frontman, Jimmy Kunes (Savoy Brown / Cactus); guitarist Dave Colwell (Bad Company); and rounded out with James Rotondi on 2nd guitar; bassist David C. Gross; and drummer Bobby Marks. CityFolk marked the band’s second gig together with the new configuration, but their spot-on musicianship, on-stage chemistry, and tightness made it seem they’d already played thousands of times.
CityFolk marked the band’s second gig together with the new configuration, but their spot-on musicianship, on-stage chemistry, and tightness made it seem they’d already played thousands of times.
Right out of the gate, the band put out their full-throttle version of Muddy Waters’ “I’m Ready”, during which the crowd began to thicken rapidly. Kunes completely claimed ownership of the stage with his larger-than-life stage presence, and razor sharp vocals. More HP classics came with their first hit, “Natural Born Bugie”, followed by guitar-heavy “30 Days In The Hole”, rich in its raunchy rock melody and vocal harmonies. The galloping energy of “One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba” induced a mob of fist-pumping fans to gather around the front of the stage. But it was during Frampton-penned classic “Shine On”, that I finally left my seat to join the mob, to feel the music’s full reverberation.
More classic favourites came with “Tin Soldier”, a sixties rock masterpiece written by Steve Marriott during his time with Small Faces. “I Don’t Need No Doctor”, a Ray Charles cover that became a mega hit for HP, was pure rocking blues delivered with soul, complete with guitar solos all around. Kunes often extended the mic stand out into the crowd, stepped out onto the monitors to shake hands, and even passed out set list sheets of the night’s memorable show.
Encore tunes included Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love”, on which the crowd wholeheartedly chimed in on voice duties, followed by Free’s “All Right Now”. Kunes tossed me his tambourine from the stage to play during the song’s solo and I did so with pleasure. It was a feeling of not only being encircled by the music, but of also being a part of it. Humble Pie connected us all inside the Aberdeen Pavilion that night – like a secret concert that was just for us.
CityFolk runs from September 12–16, 2018 at Lansdowne Park. Visit cityfolkfestival.com for the lineup and schedule. Keep checking back for more Apt613 coverage and follow us on Instagram for the latest photos.