At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., July 24, 2019

LIVING COLOUR (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., July 24, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s difficult to overstate just how important a release Living Colour’s debut album, Vivid, was in 1988. An intoxicating amalgam of Hard Rock, Funk, Soul with a dash of Blues and Jazz was at odds with just about anything else around at that time and when Mick Jagger sat up and took notice you just knew that Vivid was a ground-breaking album.

Of course, Sly and The Family Stone, The Undisputed Truth, Mother’s Finest and even Aerosmith and Zeppelin all brought Funk influences into a Hard Rock environment but none did it in such a vibrant, exciting way as Living Colour.

When they last played in Newcastle in 2017, it was their first visit to the region in almost 25 years so it was certainly pleasing to see them return again so swiftly for a show to mark the 30th anniversary of Vivid.

Before the show started lead singer Corey Glover put everything into perspective commenting on a man who had climbed up the Tyne Bridge earlier in the evening, wishing him well and dedicating the show to his safe rescue.

Dressed in a dapper black and while suit, shades and a particularly swish hat, Glover exuded cool as Living Colour opened with Ignorance Is Bliss before announcing that tonight’s show would celebrate the release of Vivid by performing the whole album, start to finish in its original running order which meant that traditional set closer and Grammy winning, Cult Of Personality came much sooner in the set which also meant an early boost in energy levels.

The variety of material and pacing of Vivid was pretty much perfect for a live show. Often when albums are performed in full there’s a couple of songs that don’t quite work in a live setting however Vivid is a rare beast indeed. All killer and no filler as they say with Middle Man and Desperate People heavy on Vernon Reid’s riffs but also deep on the groove as bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun locking tightly together.

Corey Glover’s supremely soulful and passionate delivery of Open Letter (To A Landlord) even had the security guy in the photo pit applauding at what was a stunning vocal performance.

When Gonzo and Phil Sandoval from Metal legends Armored Saint fly over from a European tour just to catch Living Colour live you know this was an unmissable show and their enthusiasm for the Calypos-esq Glamour Boys and the heavy Funk of What’s Your Favorite Color and Which Way To America was matched by the exuberant crowd as Vivid reached its gloriously Funked up end, sounding every bit as fresh and exciting as it did 3 decades ago.

Hit single Love Rears Its Ugly Head, Elvis Is Dead and a particularly punchy Type from Vivid’s follow up, Time’s Up wrapped up the show as the entire band headed into the photo pit for a celebratory high five with the crowd.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.