Cinderella’s only UK date for their 25th Anniversary tour was always going to be a cause for excitement – despite the faux pas of the year booking them at Shepherds Bush Empire on the same date that Bon Jovi played Hyde Park for Hard Rock Calling!
The show was opened by homegrown favourites Voodoo Six who kicked off an eclectic mix of rock bands old and new. They are a relatively young band whose sound resonates with classic rock fans: heavy guitar, powerhouse vocals and a sound that is both familiar yet all their own.
Vocalist Luke Purdie was as cool and collected on stage bashing out favourites Something For You, Take the Blame and Take Aim as if he was playing to a select few in a pub instead of a crowd of nearly 2,000. Tony Newton (bass) and Chris Jones (guitar) looked as though they were enjoying every minute of their half hour set, and by the time they exited the stage the crowd was duly warmed up and ready for more.
Cinderella took to the stage with a massive cheer but with an odd choice to open their set – Once Upon A Time. However, when they launched into Shake Me the venue erupted as Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham, Fred Coury and Jeff Lebar – the classic Cinderella line up – took the crowd back in time 20 years.
The quartet went from strength to strength as the evening went on, pleasing the crowd by playing their back catalogue of hits including Heartbreak Station, Gypsy Road, Save Me, and Long Cold Winter. Worries about Tom Keifer’s voice were quickly set aside as his trademark gravelly tone filled the venue and never deteriorated for the duration of a short yet sweet 85-minute set.
Cinderella were a band that came out of the 80s hair metal scene with their musical integrity intact – pigeonholed at the time into the Sunset Strip glam rock movement. But they always boasted the talent to stand out as a more bluesy alternative to their sleazier counterparts.
And in 2011 Cinderella continue to display this love of the blues and this set featured live slide guitar for The More Things Change and piano for one of the highlights of the evening Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone). They rounded off their night with an encore of Nobody’s Fool and left the crowd hoping that this is a new era for Cinderella – free from health issues and with the hope of new material and a full UK tour to come.
Viki Ridley and Sian Wintle