“Play the hits, Simone” yelled a member of the audience at Simone Felice as he tuned up before the third of his encores. The star of the show his supporting cast and the audience burst out laughing. Then he played one of Springsteen’s – “Atlantic City.”
Ironically the show, at The Lexington in North London, comprised pretty much the hits from the Felice songbook but was none the worse for that. His new album is the live record “From The Violent Banks of the Kaaterskill” which was recorded in front of a small invited audience at Applehead Studios earlier this year. Its songs are drawn from his time with the Felice Brothers, The Duke & The King, and his solo records.
Support for the evening comes from Anna Mitchell who hails from Co Cork and performs a largely self-penned set accompanying herself on keyboards.
She provided vocals, keys and tambourine on “Violent Banks” and does so again tonight joining Simone after the first 2 or 3 songs. They are also joined for several tunes by a lap steel player from Essex (Leigh on Sea I think they said) whose name I didn’t catch.
Like the album the set included the bulk of the hits – If You Ever Get Famous, Scarecrow, Radio Song, Water Spider and the mighty Union Street.
The sold out crowd clapped and sang along and brought them back for a triple encore bookended by covers of Wish You Were Here and the aforementioned Bruce cover. After which he bounded into the crowd to hug some friends and man the merch stand.
This was one of a number of shows on a mostly sold out tour. It was about 3 years since I saw him play last. It won’t be that long again.