#43. The Grey Horse Pub, Kingston. 5.12.09.

The new line up flyer


It was an emotional night in many ways. The eagerly awaited return of the full Phantom line up at the Grey Horse after a yearís absence was slightly dampened by the fact that this was going to be the first gig since the tragic loss of the bands founding guitarist Brian. Brianís family had held a memorial for him at the Grey Horse that afternoon, and although it was a great celebration of his life, obviously a few tears were shed and the Phantoms were keen to end the day on a high note, doing something Brian had loved. Music was always Brianís passion. He was never happier than when he was stood on stage with a guitar in his hand belting out a song & thatís what the Phantoms were determined to do! Over the last 6 months the two latest members of the band had worked their socks off to master (master?) the Phantoms impressive back catalogue and both boys played a blinder, helping the new line up to crank out the expected two hours of top crowd pleasing covers, once we had managed to extract the hoards from the bar (so thatís why we usually have a support band!). The first set passed in a blur with the large crowd in fine voice from back to front & all too soon it was time to hit the bar. From some of the comments received at half time, the disembodied voice that could be heard singing a couple of the songs was the Phantoms drummer, obscured from view behind a wall of Phantom flesh! Itís unlikely the pub will build a bigger stage so if the Phans demand to see the drummer, then the rest of the boys will need to go on an immediate diet (but not you Gibbo) So, with the back room again packed to the rafters & the crowd suitably lubricated the second set started at a pace and volume the band were to keep up for the rest of the evening. If you werenít there, hereís a small taste of what you missed (Iím a Believer, 3.53, MP3, 4MB). Each song performed was enthusiastically received by the dancing masses, including the Phantoms new Abba cover (something for the ladies!) and before we knew it, it was time for the encore. As you know the Phantoms first burst onto the scene in the year 2000 and after 10 years of Phantom magic it was only fitting that the (ph)inal song the band played before embarking on the next decade was one written by Brian. ĎAll I Knowí had previously been performed by Brianís Ďrealí band, Angelfield, and the Phantoms were lucky enough to have Lynne in the room to take to the stage and demonstrate how the backing vocals should really be sung! I think it was good but it did make one of the crowd cry! Listen for yourself here (All I Know, 6.03, MP3, 6MB). Of course, throughout the night Brianís absence was hugely felt by both the band & audience alike, but I think he would have approved of the Phantoms version of ĎAll I Knowí (if not the Abba cover!) and be glad that the band he was instrumental in forming will live on and continue to entertain happy crowds for many years to come, just as he did for so much of his life. A massive thank you to all the Phans that came along to join the band in saying farewell to Brian. As a dear friend once said, most pleasing...


The Phantoms were: Mark Gibson (lead vocals), Kevin Rogers (guitar & vocals), Jason Biggs (guitar & vocals), Paul Castle (bass & vocals), Jon Novice (keys & vocals) & Alun Westoll (drums & vocals). Plus special guest Lynne Spencer.
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