First English Artist Rocks

After some local bands and a tired and uninspiring set by Deus, Ian Brown brought the Bangkok 100 Rock Festival to life with an energetic and career affirming set.

Resplendent in a pink tracksuit and bearing more than a passing resemblance to an indie Jimmy Saville, the Mancunian legend had the crowd in his palm with his frequent use of the Thai language and general welcoming demeanour.

A bass-heavy 'Golden Gaze' opened the set as Brown exasperated the technical staff by dragging his microphone cable from one of the stage to the other. However, this was no act of petulance but merely the singer trying to communicate with as much of the crowd as possible. Looking around and seeing the front section of the crowd all putting their hands in the air in a hip-hop style showed that Brown was right to get the people involved. The pricing structure and layout of the event may have been open for debate but Brown tried his best to make the night special for all who were there.

The following track needed no introduction as 'Waterfall' cascaded out and sounded as fresh as it did nearly twenty years ago. Brown has only recently started playing his old Stone Roses hits again, and this was probably in response to John Squire who was butchering them with his own act. Although there has never been time when the Stone Roses music wasn't played by indie kids but it sounds lively again with the manner that Brown has reclaimed the songs.

Ian Brown has never been the world's greatest singer but when his heart is in it; his showmanship can more than make amends. Enticing the crowd into some shoulder shimmies only further won the crowd over into his corner.

From here on in, Brown was on a roll with his band giving him their full support. With the Balearic tinged brass sounds of his latest material and the harmonica enhanced 'Corpses In Her Mouth' all adding variety to the set, the musical accompaniment was vibrant throughout.

Brown also took the time to fire off a broadside at the U.S. Army before 'My Star' and also paid homage to some musical heroes with The Beatles 'Dear Prudence' and a few reggae numbers slipping into the show.

To close, there was a one-two of 'She Bangs The Drums' and 'F.E.A.R.' which finally got the crowd dancing and left Ian Brown feeling like a clear winner in the Bangkok heat.