WHITESNAKE LEGENDS REFORM FOR SHOWCASE
OF CLASSIC HITS
Three original members of legendary heavy rock supergroup, Whitesnake,
have reformed as The Company of Snakes for an Evening of Whitesnake
music. Guitarists Micky Moody & Bernie Marsden and bass player
Neil Murray are set to rekindle the magic of one the most successful
heavy rock bands of all time as they perform a set of Whitesnake anthems
from Fool For Your Loving to Here I Go Again. (The former track was
originally written for BB King).The Snakes will be joined by Don
Airey, keyboard ace with the Whitesnake line-up of the late 1980's
and a former player with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne and Gary Moore. Robert
Hart (Bad Company) and John Lingwood (Earth Band) complete
the lineup. Whitesnake was founded back in 1978 by David Coverdale,
Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody with the intention of developing a band
in the British rock and Blues tradition. Indeed, the original concept
of Whitesnake was more in tune with rhythm 'n' blues than heavy metal,
the band being greatly influenced by the likes of Muddy Waters and John
Lee Hooker. They recorded their first two albums, Trouble and Love Hunter,
with Marsden singing lead vocals (on Coverdale's insistence). The classic
incarnation of Whitesnake took shape in 1980, boasting a formidable
line-up of Moody, Marsden, Murray and Coverdale, complemented by keyboard
maestro, Jon Lord, and crack drummer, Ian Paice, both from Deep Purple.
Marsden CDs Available
Whitesnake CDs Available
With the song writing team of Coverdale, Marsden and Moody,
this best known of all Whitesnake line-ups released three albums between
1980 and 1982: Ready An' Willing, Live in The Heart Of The City and
Saints An' Sinners. Included among the songs recorded during this period
were the classics, Fool For Your Loving and Here I Go Again. A revised
version of the latter track became an international smash hit five years
later. Taken from the multi million selling album 1987, this Bernie
Marsden-penned song has now sold close to twenty million copies!
Together, Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden provided the unmistakable classic
Whitesnake soundtrack, the pair's fusion of instinctive Blues cleverly
integrated with powerful rock chords, melodic solos and harmony vocals
representing distinctive trademarks on the first six Whitesnake albums.
Following the break up of the original Whitesnake, Micky and Bernie
maintained their song writing and performing partnership with the Moody
/ Marsden Band, their recordings including a part acoustic / part electric
collection and a tribute album to Peter Green called Green In Blues.
Joining Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody in The Company of Snakes is fellow
former Whitesnake colleague and one of rock's most celebrated bass players,
In addition to his tenure with the original Whitesnake line-up, Neil
has performed with a host of top names that have included Black Sabbath,
the Brian May Band and Gary Moore, to name but three. Following a three
year break from Whitesnake, he rejoined the band in 1985 in time to
play the massive Rock in Rio festival with Queen and Iron Maiden in
front of 300,000 people. He was also a member of the Whitesnake line-up
that, two years later, would record the opus 1987, destined to become
one of the biggest selling albums of the rock era.During their show,
The Company of Snakes will perform all the Whitesnake classics, along
with others by Rainbow & Bad Company, as well as some new rock songs
written by The Snakes themselves. Awesome! Whitesnake fans of old will
again witness the duelling guitars of Marsden & Moody and the thundering
bass guitar of Neil Murray, while Don Airey's keyboards and singer,
Robert Hart's vocals, will add an additional dimension to the night's
THE COMPANY OF SNAKES
WAVENDON STABLES 11/4/99
A long anticipated concert, this one, and it lived up to
all expectations. As we arrived in the car park at the Stables, strains
of Since You've Been Gone could be heard from the auditorium, and as the
sound check was also easily audible from the foyer / bar area, we knew
one or two of the songs to expect well in advance.
The Stables is a weird venue - normally more of a jazz club, it probably
was once a stable - long and thin with the stage along the side rather
than at one end. The effect of this is that a majority of the audience
is at the sides of the stage rather than in front. Normally it's all seated,
but this was a 'dance floor' gig, so most of the seats had been removed.
With speakers stacked in each corner of the stage, itself only about 12
inches above the floor, the audience formed 3 distinct groups - one either
side and one in front. As Bernie Marsden remarked during the evening,
"it's like playing 3 concerts at once".
We got a good position right at the front of the 'stage left' audience.
This was the Don Airey / Bernie Marsden side of the stage. A small area
was cordoned off at this side where a roadie was positioned, but also
where the rest of the band went for a sit-down during the solo spots.
It was rather a weird feeling to have such legends so close. The rest
of the band was in view apart from the drummer, completely hidden from
us in the far corner - no great loss as I didn't really know who he was
The band consisted of the famous four of Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody,
Neil Murray and Don Airey, plus the 'ex Bad Co' vocalist Robert Hart,
and the annonymous drummer.
The band made their way through the audience to get on stage, and opened
with Sweet Talker. This was followed by Walkin' In The Shadow Of The Blues
and Trouble. The playing was excellent, with the guitarists the obvious
stars. They were obviously enjoying themselves as well.
The vocalist was OK - I'd heard he was a Coverdale soundalike, but can't
really agree with that. He did sound a bit like Paul Rodgers though, probably
why he was picked for the Bad Company job. He hadn't learned the songs
yet, and had to rely on a notebook strategically placed at the front of
the stage. He didn't make reading from it too obvious, though I'm told
he didn't take his eyes off it during Since You've Been Gone.
I wasn't sure if he'd been the vocalist when I'd seen Bad Co mid-80s,
but some reading up since has indicated he'd only been in that band during
the 90s. Exactly what connection he had with the three Bad Company numbers
played (Movin' On, Feel Like Makin' Love, Can't Get Enough) I don't know,
but it was good to hear them played live.
Most of the set was Whitesnake material, others I remember were Fool For
Your Lovin', Ready'n'Willing, Here I Go Again, Don't Break My Heart Again,
and Is This Love. One of the 'later era' Whitesnake songs was dedicated
to Cozy Powell.
Other highlights: the Micky Moody slide guitar solo, parts of which haven't
changed since the Whitesnake days; Ain't Gonna Cry No More, performed
acoustically (as originally written apparently) by Marsden & Moody
with Don Airey accompanying on keyboards; Airey's keyboard solo - based
around some familiar classical themes with one or two clues to his many
other jobs, such as the the introductions to Ozzy's Mr Crowley, and to
Rainbow's Eyes Of The World. I thought (well, hoped really) he was going
to break into a bit of Collosseum II stuff at one stage, but it was not
to be unfortunately.
Early on in the evening, two young girls (6 or 7 years old maybe) appeared
in the audience in front of Bernie Marsden, one of whom resembled him
so much, it must have been his daughter. They managed to annoy him a bit
by drinking from his glass of water which was positioned down by a monitor.
When a refill was brought in it was placed well out of reach! They were
also having a giggle at one or two of the 'wrinklies' freaking out around
them which added a surreal feel to proceedings.
The time basically flew by, and soon the set was 'over'. As the band couldn't
leave the stage without wading through the audience, they stayed on and
led the applause & calls for the encore, which duly arrived! The concert
ended with the usual singalong to Ain't No Love. .. encore, encore, encore