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John Lodge - The Royal Affair And After: "a fitting celebration"

Moody Blues man celebrates his own past

John Lodge
(Image: © Frank Piercy)

Clad in leather trousers and with a shock of silver hair that would make Brian May envious, John Lodge and his 10,000 Light Years Band have done more than most to keep the Moody Blues flag flying. This live set, recorded in Las Vegas in the summer of 2019, is case in point: an expansive, cherry-picked collection from the band’s evergreen history, it finds the singer and bassist in exuberant form.

Lodge might not have the pipes of bandmate and co-founder Justin Hayward, but he knows when to aim for a note or when to let it go. Not that it stops him making an impassioned run at songs like Steppin’ In A Slide Zone, Gemini Dream and the roiling I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band). There’s an occasional helping hand from Yes vocalist Jon Davison, who joins in to help lift a strangely underwhelming Nights In White Satin, which is greeted by the crowd like Lodge has just announced a drum solo, and a much more buoyant, show-ending Ride My See-Saw.

Minor lulls aside, it’s a fitting celebration of a set of songs that defined the 60s and 70s and are still sailing happily down the years.

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Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.