Blues rock legend Paul Rodgers shines in Chichester charity gig

Paul Rodgers – Chichester The Venue

View: front, left of stage. Ears: ringing

It's an old truism that blues rockers get better with age, and a packed out crowd in West Sussex were given ample evidence as ex-Free and Bad Company front man Paul Rodgers delivered a vintage show in his only UK appearance this year.

A little stagetime for some promising young local talent – including Lymington band Sub Faction and acoustic singer Tom Baird – was followed by a rousing set from the Deborah Bonham Band.

Standouts for the gutsy-voiced younger sister of the late Zep drummer included Jack Past 8, Fly from the new album due out next year, and a swashbuckling Rock 'N Roll to finish.

Deborah's lock-tight band, with the consummate Peter Bullick on guitar, backed Rodgers in this charity gig organized by Bonham in aid of The Racehorse Sanctuary. And 'The Voice' did not disappoint.

The expected crowd pleasers (My Brother Jake, Fire and Water, Wishing Well, Riding on a Pony) were mixed with newer songs like the US radio hit With Our Love, complete with sitar player.

Relaxed and joking with the crowd, Rodgers looked good at 62 and sounded better, inviting Bonham up for a touching duet and rocking the encore with Little Bit of Love, Can't Get Enough of Your Love and the obligatory All Right Now.

A top, top night.

Russ Bravo

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