Live review: Thunder

Nice guys finish on top.

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In a week crammed with high-profile gigs, tonight is without doubt the hottest ticket in town.

Eight hundred _Classic Rock _competition winners are assembled on Thunder’s local south London turf for a special free show that’s being recorded as a live cover-mounted CD for our January 2015 edition.

We’ve been promised old songs, unheard material from the band’s first new studio album in six years, and a sprinkling of covers, all delivered with the group’s customary bonhomie and exuberance. Guitarist/keyboard player Ben Matthews is still not quite well enough to make a return but, the doctors predict, he should hopefully be ready for the tour.

Four new songs are previewed, each suggesting that the album – due in February, ahead of a three-date headlining tour of the UK’s biggest indoor halls – will be Thunder’s most rewarding in a mighty long time. The Thing I Want is a typical slice of anthemic Thunder bravado, while Black Water represents something a little different, but not too different. Wonder Days, featuring Luke Morley on keyboards, is melodic, anthemic and plain irresistible, while the excellent Resurrection Day also receives an enthusiastic thumbs up from the crowd.

With the possible exception of Thin Lizzy’s machismo-charged The Rocker, Thunder’s choice of covers – Be Good To Yourself by Frankie Miller and Up Around The Bend of Creedence Clearwater Revival (and indeed Hanoi Rocks) fame – are well chosen and performed as though they are originals. What a fantastic night./o:p


Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.