The Queen Liz Experience
14th June 2002
Written by Toni Scully
Well Michelle and I hadn’t seen a Love show for three days, and boy were we suffering. Expectation was running high for the London show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on the South Bank. The QEH is a fantastic hall acoustically, but is seated, so it can be hard to get an audience moving. Tickets for the show were like gold dust, but we had managed to get a pair on the third row, left hand (Mike Randle’s) side of the stage. Woo Hoo!
We arrived at the South Bank a bit earlier than usual as we planned to meet up with Dukie Anderson, who is a massive Love fan, and a major contributor to ‘The Castle’ fanzine. With him was Martyn Samuels, who had come over from South Africa especially to see Arthur. Martyn had some great stories to tell – seeing Love at ‘Biba’ and of visiting Arthur at his home in Los Angeles back in 1975. Incredible. Sounds like Arthur had an amazing bathroom at the time! Photos of his visit are in issue 10 of ‘The Castle’ if you’re interested. Before the show I also met David Housden, who produces ‘The Castle’. Thanks to David for a great fanzine and for all the time and effort he obviously puts into it. We also bumped into Tom, who we had the pleasure to meet at Milton Keynes, he had brought his kids along. Tom saw Love at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse in 1970!
There was a large crowd milling around the foyer of the QEH, and as (for once) it was a pleasant evening, outside on the riverbank as well. We played ‘spot the stars’ but could only manage two indie celebs, Bobby Gillespie and Mani, from Primal Scream. Am I the only one who thinks they’ve gone downhill fast over the last few years?
Stew had warmed the crowd up, and at 9pm, Love hit the stage to a standing ovation, and burst into My Little Red Book, which is a great way to open the show.
There were lots of photographers down the front for the first few numbers, so hopefully some of those will find their way into print. The sound was perfect, and the playing inspired. The band did brilliant versions of Live and Let Live (which has been fantastic on this tour – Arthur has been introducing it as ‘my epitaph’ and it certainly has taken on even greater meaning given the events of the last six years), You Set The Scene (which breaks me up every time I hear it), Andmoreagain (simply beautiful), A House is not a Motel (great bass from Dave Chapple), She Comes in Colors (great guitar from Mike) and The Daily Planet (just great everything!). It would be cool to see a legitimate Live release from this tour, and a DVD/video of a show would also be great (Gene! Any Chance?).
Arthur seemed in a great mood, and promised to come back ‘with a full orchestra’ soon. I’m sure Love could sell out a couple of London shows, perhaps one seated and one ‘club’ date, but whatever happens it’s going to be great!
After the show I spoke briefly to Mike, who gave me some hand-written diaries from Sheffield and Wolverhampton, which I typed up and Ed has posted – Thanks Ed! Michelle and I then headed home, floating on a cloud of great sound! This show was our ‘home’ date as we only live two miles from the QEH. Another perfect day ends.