They may have been in the business of rock ‘n’ roll for more than 50 years, but The Pretty Things proved they are far from past it last night with a stunning set in Bilston.
The band - founded back in 1963 - retains original members singer Phil May and guitarist Dick Taylor; an early bassist for the Rolling Stones who left the band to attend art college.
And my word, were they good.
The band was tight and unified during their entire set at the Robin 2; their sound remaining clean and powerful throughout.
While the entire band was incredible as one solid outfit, Dick Taylor was undoubtedly star of the show, stunning on each and every number with his incredible skill and versatility.
Having said that, however, the group could not be what it is without the wide-ranging, strong vocals and infectious energy of Phil May.
“It’s nice to be back,” beamed May, standing on stage in a black suit and tie, with an untucked white shirt.
“Thank you for coming out - especially on such a sh***y night.”
And though the rain was pouring outside, the weather was far from capable of dampening fans’ spirits. Hits from the band’s back catalogue kept the crowd captivated from start to end; with numbers such as Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut and Alexander getting fans dancing, their sound so upbeat and compelling that anyone who wasn’t dancing couldn’t help but tap their feet.
Another member whose name must be mentioned is young drummer Jack Greenwood, whose thrashing beats and tremendous speed gave the band their cool edge and left the crowd in awe.
Hits including Midnight to Six Man and Don’t Bring Me Down followed, alongside a few stunning blues covers - the most poignant of which was their rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s Little Red Rooster, which saw Dick Taylor stun on slide guitar and Phil May impress with deep, gritty vocals which suited the song perfectly.
The band’s superb set was completed with LSD, before they returned to encore with Road Runner and - much to fans’ delight - Rosalyn.
A wonderful evening packed with contagious energy, great songs and tremendous musical talent.
Thank you for such a great night. Please do come back to the Black Country soon.
By Kirsten Rawlins