2007 TOURS Roger Hodgson, Manchester 3rd Oct.

2007 TOURS Roger Hodgson, Manchester 3rd Oct.



Palace Theatre, Manchester 3 October 2007
Lee Millward

This was a show that I've been looking forward to for a long long time...Unfortunately I never got to see Supertramp and always regretted not doing so.

The news that Roger Hodgson was to do a short UK tour this year was music to my ears. This was the best £35 that I have spent in many,many years of going to see live bands.

8pm Roger strolled on stage for his performance, and what a performance it was! Most of the audience ranged from long time Supertramp fanatics to that of their children brought up on the band's music.

Roger's reportoire comprised of old favourites such as Give A Little Bit, Hide In Your shell, 'Dreamer', 'The Logical Song' and 'It's Raining Again'.

As well as the older classics he treated us to tracks from his solo albums such as Lovers In The Wind, Oh Brother ,and the sublime Along Came Mary.

Occasionally Roger had support on stage in the form of Aaron Macdonald and told us the story that when he performed in Canada, he discovered Aaron playing the saxophone in an orchestra for one of his songs and “kidnapped” him and Aaron has been with Roger ever since that night.

Highlights of the concert included an extended version of Breakfast in America, Along Came Mary, the footstomping Dreamer,and the final encore of Give A Little Bit.

The saxophone work of Aaron McDonald was so good that whilst closing my eyes I had to think for a split second as to whether I was hearing Aaron McDonald or John Helliwell!

As well as all the wonderful songs, Roger interacted with the audience on a very warm and personal level allowing genuine audience participation, and generating quite possibly the best atmosphere I've ever felt at a show.

I hope that Roger returns to these shores in the not too distant future and would urge anyone with even a passing interest in his music to go and see him...You'll not be disappointed!


Give a Little Bit
Lovers in the Wind
Hide in your Shell
Oh Brother (or Keep the Pigeons Warm)
Easy Does It
Sister Moonshine
The Logical Song
Rosie Had Everything Planned
Along Came Mary
The Meaning
Breakfast in America
Even in the Quietest Moments
Lord, Is It Mine
Don't Leave Me Now
If Everyone Was Listening
It's Raining Again

Give a Little Bit

Review and photos by Lee Millward



Roger Hodgson @ Palace Theatre
Lee Meredith


ROGER HODGSON, the driving force behind rock mega-album-shifters Supertramp, reckoned he hadn't been in Manchester since 1977.

And the audience filling three-quarters of the Palace Theatre certainly showed the master songwriter that, as far they as were concerned, it was an absence 30 years too long.

With Hodgson and his back catalogue, you're certainly not going to get any edgy, dangerous, rock'n'roll rebellion. This wasn't about live music with that kind of attitude.

What it was about was a gifted songwriter and singer on stage, minimum fuss, effectively solo on piano/keyboard/acoustic guitar, connecting with his audience with a slew of songs that have rightly earned 'classic' status.

But things got off to a bit of a shaky start. Concert opener Take The Long Way Home, from the every-home-has-one album Breakfast In America, suffered from fairly ropey sound (vocals too harsh and dominating) and a lack of real impact due to the absence of a full band.

Better was Give A Little Bit, Hodgson, resplendent in a shirt that looked like it had been nicked from Cap'n Jack Sparrow, working a bit of magic on his 12-string guitar.

But it was on new song, Oh Brother, that he nailed the classic sound beloved of so many Supertramp fans. This was very much a showcase for his passionate vocals, high yet forceful.


But it was for the 'big ones' that undoubtedly many in the audience were at the Palace for, and they were all delivered, although in varying degrees of effectiveness. Logical Song was superb, the sax playing from Aaron McDonald truly outstanding, a note-for-note delivery.

Yet Breakfast In America, recently given a new lease of life by Gym Class Heroes (they clearly know a good hook when they hear one), seemed somewhat unremarkable.

At its end, Hodgson remarked: 'It's too short isn't it?' before launching into another few bars but the clever arrangements and instrumentation from the album were notable by their absence.

Better was Lord Is It Mine, although it seemed a little rushed, but the quality of the song writing was clearly evident. Biggest applause of the night came for Dreamer, with its trademark impossibly high vocals, followed by It's Raining Again, another classic that clearly had the audience won over.

For the encore came the haunting School, which did benefit from its stripped-down presentation, the dated-sounding, phased rhythm guitars of the studio version being shoved aside for acoustic guitar and electric piano. Then, to close, a bit of audience participation in a giant sing-along of Give A Little Bit (again).

So it was a case of not so much 'Supertramp', more 'very-good-in-parts-tramp'. Let's hope the band reforms. These songs need to be heard as they were intended.

Duckrogers wrote:

I use to think a concert was like any other concert. You go to hear the songs you like, Live. That changed when I saw Roger Hodgson in Manchester. You don't see or hear his songs-you feel them.
I bought Hodgson’s recent DVD “Take the Long Way Home-Live in Montreal” through his website (www.rogerhodgson.com), and thought it fantastic. Figuring he released the Montreal show because it was flawless, I didn’t expect the Manchester show to be as good.
I was wrong. He exceeded my expectations and proved Supertramp did not influence Hodgson, but rather the other way around. His presence is undeniable, his talent extraordinary, and his voice better than ever. He opened up the show with the title track “Take the Long Way Home” and I got goosebumps.
Next was “Give a Little Bit” which made me wish I was musician so I could write songs a tenth as good. The rest of the show was just as impressive. If you have the opportunity to see this one man show (sometimes two), it is a rare chance to see and feel the songs as they were written.
Aaron, the saxophonist provides a fun accompaniment to songs we all know and love. Attend if at all possible. If not, do the next best thing and treat yourself to his wonderful DVD, which can be bought at his website (www.rogerhodgson.com) or at a nearby music store. Best buy two, as the first you’ll wear out from play. Welcome Home Roger!

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