at Rock Bottom, Oslo, Norway, October 6, 2005

BERNIE MARSDEN (Live at Rock Bottom, Oslo, Norway, October 6, 2005)
Photo: Per Olav Heimstad

Bernie Marsden recently paid Oslo a visit. The former Whitesnake guitarist is no stranger to Norway … during the last years he regularly has been playing several gigs all over the country. On many occasions he has brought with him Mick Moody, his one-time fellow Whitesnake axeman, but this time around he arrived with his own three-piece band unit.

Marsden has always been a huge admirer of the Blues, and along with his present band, he has no other means than taking care of the Blues traditions. The setlist was a mix of Marsden’s own compositions, some borrowed numbers, and a couple of Bluesified Rock songs. The latter category was represented by Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” and the old Whitesnake hit “Here I Go Again” (well, these two have never been far from the Blues anyway …).

Marsden performed the vocal duties himself, which he gets away with nicely. Even though the man never will be remembered as a notably strong singer, it is not only his guitar strings that convey emotions, but also his vocal cords that deliver a vast range of feeling. His voice sure handled the work. The rhythm section approached their tasks with a great amount of routines. John Gordon on bass let nobody down, while Jim Copley, Jeff beck’s drummer, hit the skins to everybody’s satisfaction.

Not a whole lot of people had showed up at Rock Bottom, though. The fact that Motörhead earlier the same evening had drawn attention to Oslo’s largest concert venue could hardly be an excuse. However, the ever-smiling Bernie Marsden joked about it and made a toast with “the only thing you won’t find on a Motörhead gig; a glass of water.”

He also made comments on M3, the band unit he played with the last time he visited Rock Bottom/Oslo. The three M’s main members are Marsden himself, Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), and the aforementioned Mick Moody. On vocals, they had back then brought in former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin, who Marsden now revealed “was a pain in the ass.” Then he ironically introduced “Gone, Gone, Gone,” one of the evening’s many numbers which is to be found on this lineup’s own recording, Stacks.

Before the night was over, Bernie Marsden had proved that he still is a great contributor to the music scene. Hopefully more people will acknowledge this and show up at his shows to enjoy skillfully performed music with feeling.


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