Went to see It Bites last night (March 6th) at the grotty old Manchester Academy 3 (the tiny venue at the top of the stairs) and it was the best I have seen them since John Mitchell joined. John’s voice got off to a slighly raspy start with the opening number Bullet in the Barrel, but soon picked up after that. I still feel he struggles a bit on the Dunnery material, though.
The place was more or less packed, but clearly not sold out – same as it was the last time I saw them them. Incidentally, the support act Aynsley Lister was pretty good: in a Bryan Adams/John Maher kind-a-way. Indeed, the place was packed when they were on but once they had finished around 9 o-clock the crowd thinned out somewhat.
Regardless, It Bites performed Underneath Your Pillow (with changed lyrics) for the first time with John and it was a knockout. They also did most of the marvellous Tall Ships CD and it was great to notice that most of the assembled knew the songs! They also cranked out a superb Old Man and the Angel and, wait for it, the full 14+ minutes of the utterly brilliant Once Around the World. This was simply awesome and I’m sure I could see some folks wrapped up in prog glow! The song went down a storm. Crack the champagne indeed!
In summary, a great gig (though way too loud) – well balanced between the Dunnery material and the Tall Ships stuff. Also great to see some neglected classics being giving an airing, too!