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Review - The Brook, Southampton, 6th Feb 2003

So there we were leaving a particularly rain soaked Eastbourne, to travel the seventy or so rain soaked miles to a particularly rain soaked Southampton, to watch the John Young Band play at a venue that I had never been to before. From the outside, the Brook looks much like any other pub, it is only once you get inside that you realise someone actually likes live music enough to completely gut the place and turn it into dark, sleazy, smoke filled, utterly fantastic venue for not only local bands but for what seems like a thousand and one well known touring bands and artistes. For me this has been one of the finds of the year.

Another great find was to discover that Tony Turrell of Fish, Skyline Drifters and Positive Light fame, was playing as support for Mr Young et al. What can I say about this man? He is, in my humble opinion, the person responsible for pulling the Fish album 'Raingods With Zippos' out of the mire by composing the sublime epic 'Plague of Ghosts' and allowing the aquatic one to use it. Tonight he was performing a solo set from his new album 'Fragmented', the main highlight for me being the gorgeous 'Your Love Is An Illusion', which should by all rights be released as a single. Another highlight of the performance was a section from 'Plague' that I thought sounded better than the original, and judging by the cheers and applause that it received from the John Young Band sitting beside me (90% of whom have also played with Fish), was popular with them as well. His live performance was polished and I will admit to doing the one thing that a journalist usually avoids doing by buying his album at the end of the evening. My only wish is that he gets himself a band to play his material with to allow him to expand and shine.

John Tapp
University Press, Eastbourne