Heart - Live At The Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
(Eagle Rock / Universal Music Group – 2016)
Those famous sisters, Ann & Nancy Wilson cranking it out at the legendary large room in good ole blighty – yep the one everyone wants to play – The Albert Hall – such an enormous cavernous spot – but they sell it out regardless.
Highlights include 'Heaven' where Nancy plays here acoustic upright with a bow with Ann on a zither that so much reminds me of Led Zeps 'Kashmir'. They cover material from their 30+ year career and then some to be honest – more like 40 right? Going right back to 'Dreamboat Annie' and up to more recent stuff like 'Alone' & 'These Dreams' from the big 80's period.
They take the risk of inserting new numbers in their set too such as the Nancy fronted 'Two' with Ann on backing vocals or the heavier 'Beautiful Broken' about stars who or people in general who have had a tough life at times.
The band is completed by Benjamin Smith (Drums), Daniel Rothchild (Bass), Craig Bartock (Guitar) and Christopher Joyner (Keyboards). With regard to the Philharmonic, the rather famous Paul Buckmaster (70's Elton John albums) takes care of the string arrangements alongside Charles Floyd with Nick Davies Conducting them.
The Wilson's appear humbled to be there and joke about filthy tour buses and lack of wifi in such a life that appears so glamorous to those not in the know. Always good to hear songs like 'Crazy On You' not to mention that Ann still has tremendous pipes in the vocal dept. and his every single note no problem or in closer 'Kick It Out' – such a raucous ditty indeed. Then there's the incredible take of Led Zeppelin's 'No Quarter' which is utterly mesmerising.
There's a nice Interview section on after the gig itself which sees them in conversation with Nick Davies about orchestra part of the set and chatting about rock stars and nerves etc. Not to mention chats in another studio setting with just Ann and Nancy where they talk about some of the newer songs in the set, what they need to include to keep folk happy and reasons for re-recording some of the older numbers too.
By Glenn Milligan