T-Rex are one of the 70s Glam-Rock legends. Since the tragic death of singer Marc Bolan in 1977, the band could never really continue their winning streak. Their history lists many line-up changes and attempts to get the band back on track, and also more deaths, so that T-Rex even disbanded for a while. It has become quiet about T-Rex in recent years, and this tour might be an attempt to find out how popular the band still is with its audiences.
I have to admit that I was sceptical a bit if this band would work at all without Marc Bolan. Although I never had a chance to see him live, the recordings from back then show a very charismatic front man, something what a new singer has to live up to.
The band on this evening consists of Jay Spargo, Paul Fenton, Graham Oliver (Ex-Saxon), Dave Major, Tony Allday and Linda Dawson. Their 10 day tour in Germany and Switzerland takes them to rather small clubs like the Galery in Pratteln. First it seems that not many people show interest int he band. Yet the audience – ranging from 20 to 70 year olds – luckily keeps growing until the beginning of the show. The band plays 2 sets of 45min. Singer Jay Spargo is the right choice, because he has charisma, an infectious laugh and the gift to attract the initially pretty reserved audience. As for the vocals, it´s a question of taste, and I think he does an excellent job. Jay is supported by background singer Linda Dawson, who keeps smiling throughout the set. Dave Major on keyboards provides the emotional tunes, and after the break he accompanies Jay during the acoustic set. On guitar Graham Oliver, who sometimes drifts off to other spheres, the skilled musician has been part of Saxon for many years. Drummer Paul Fenton and bass player Tony Allday are the oldest band members; Fenton – who sometimes goes off-beat and who delivers a demanding solo – obviously enjoys the fans´ attention.
Although you sometimes get the impression that he and bass player Tony do not so easily stand – or sit – on stage any more, both manage to inspire and show that you can be an active musician way beyond 60 years. Tony Allday, who stays cool, is indeed somebody special, seemingly fragile but covered all over in tattoos. In those 90min they play all their biggest hits and finally Spargo even dares to get the – unfortunately not that huge – audience into a sing-along, which works nicely. Summing up, I can say that I am positively surprised and I´d gladly attend another concert of this band, because they are brilliant entertainers and really likeable musicians.