2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Otawa, June 14

2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Otawa, June 14


Supertramp clearly misses co-founder Hodgson

By Denis Armstrong ,Ottawa Sun
First posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:16:41 EDT PM

Supertramp’s so-called reunion tour rolled into Scotiabank Place Tuesday night, easily within short memory of co-founder Roger Hodgson’s solo tour here in 2009, with another gig planned for Gatineau’s Hot Air Festival in September.

The novelty of seeing the 1970s supergroup has clearly worn off and the Brits who put the pop in prog-rock are about as busy as they were in their heyday.

Arguably once the best songwriting team since Lennon and McCartney, Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson were, in their prime, a band that could create complex, sophisticated pop, alternating from the amusingly whimsical of The Logical Song and Dreamer, to tunes as mordant and haunting as Rudy, School and Crime of the Century.

Most telling at Tuesday night’s gig is how much they miss Hodgson, who quit the band in 1983.

This was supposed to be a reunion concert, after all.

Instead, what we got was Rick Davies with Supertramp.

Not that I’m complaining.

Surprisingly, the gig began with a whimper, not a bang, with Davies alone at the grand piano for You Started Laughing.

It might have been low-keyed as a concert opening gets, but it wasn’t without a sense of drama.

The small audience — estimated at an optimistic 6,500 — initially seemed to be put into a quiet reflection by Davies’ muted dynamics.

However, the situation brightened marginally on Gone Hollywood and built to a crescendo when horn player John Helliwell gave a thorough account of his Canadian breakfast to introduce Breakfast in America, and later, Cannonball.

It’s all coming back to me now. Supertramp never really was a conventional rock band, but a fusion of British concept rock with a twist of American jazz.

Nearly 40 years later, they sound much as they did back then, despite Davies’ distinctively reedy voice, which has only grown reedier after 66 years.

Like a band leader behind a keyboard, Davies carried the show, which has been subtly divided.

There’s Davies’ half, including Poor Boy, Downstream, Rudy and Bloody Well Right.

Meanwhile, drummer Bob Siebenberg’s son Jesse and backup singer Gabe Dixon shared vocal duties on Hodgson’s hits — Give a Little Bit, It’s Raining Again, Take The Long Way Home and Dreamer. While they did a credible job, they don’t have Hodgson’s pathos.

The band gave the Ottawa Sun an onstage plug as their paper of choice on Another Man’s Women, restaging the cover art of Crisis? What

Crisis? of a man reading the paper on a smouldering beach with an actor in a bathing suit.

Happily, the show picked up energy near the end and the setlist grew heavier with Hodgson’s and Davies’ best tunes, Goodbye Stranger and their encore — School, Dreamer and Crime of the Century.

The fans were flipping out, happy to hear these old tunes again. I suppose I’ll see many of them again when Hodgson plays here in September.



Musicalement correct, vocalement pénible

Publié le 15 juin 2011 à 05h30 | Mis à jour le 15 juin 2011 à 05h30
Supertramp devant 6 500 spectateurs à la Place Banque Scotia

Marc-André Joanisse
Le Droit


Les Stones sans Jagger, une hérésie, Zeppelin sans Plant, une abomination, The Who sans Daltrey, un cauchemar.
Supertramp sans Roger Hodgson tous les synonymes du premier paragraphe et plus encore.

"The Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger is a heresy. Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant is an abomination. The Who without Roger Daltrey is a nightmare. Supertramp without Roger Hodgson is all of that and even more".

Et comble de malheur, une station de radio d'Ottawa faisait tourner Dreamer, en route vers la Place Banque Scotia. Rien pour nous inciter à se tenir loin du jeu des comparaisons. Le groupe se promène avec le nom Supertramp. Il doit donc s'attendre à être la cible de velléités. De tristes velléités.

Ses chanteurs, Rick Davies, là depuis 1970, Gabe Dixon et Jesse Siebenberg n'ont pas été trop forts, hier soir, à la PBS. Par moments, c'était pathétique de les entendre accrocher autant de fausses notes et de se retrouver loin, très loin, du registre vocal de Hodgson.

C'est dommage, car musicalement, la soirée a été bof, somme toute, correcte, bien que trop languissante à notre goût. Les deux premières pièces surtout. Elles ont été d'un ennui consommé. Vocalement parlant, il faut oublier ça.

Là où on a le plus souffert a été à l'occasion de l'interprétation de pièces avantageusement connues de l'impressionnant catalogue du groupe. Un peu pénible pour l'ouïe quand Supertramp version 2011 a abordé des titres chantés jadis par Hodgson. Le passage au xxie siècle de Breakfast in America s'est entre autres, avéré plutôt ardu.

Pourquoi ? En raison des notes aiguës si bien poussées par l'ancien collègue de Rick Davies. Des acrobaties vocales totalement absentes, il y a quelques heures.

D'autres chansons ont très mal franchi l'espace-temps avec cette nouvelle mouture du groupe. Prenez Give A Little Bit, Gabe Dixon a tout essayé, mais il n'y est jamais parvenu. Le saxophoniste John Helliwell dont le petit solo a été complètement raté, n'a guère été plus impressionnant. Ce même Dixon a été plutôt faible dans son interprétation de It's Raining Again, une autre chanson millionnaire de Hodgson. Son comparse Siebenberg n'a pas été plus fort avec Take the Long Way Home et The Logical Song.

Bon, on arrête ça ici.



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