ACADEMY OF MUSIC, NYC - Island recording artists took over the Academy for what proved to be an interesting show. Traffic headlined and was musically strong. There was little or no emotion showed during the set. The only person who really seemed to be enjoying himself was Rebop.
The group opened with a selection from Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory, followed by Rock & Roll Stew and Many A Mile To Freedom. The new material came across well but as is generally the case, the audience had reservations about it. One new song was entitled Sometimes I Feel So Uninspired. There's some difficulty in hearing Chris Wood on sax; this may be the result of all his electronic gimmicks. Barry is the new man on organ relieving Stevie who now concentrates on guitar and piano.
Heartbreaker, the latest LP from Free, was given a lot of exposure during the group's performance as well as two of the band's older songs: Fire And Water and All Right Now. The group has toned down quite a bit since their last appearance. Now one can sit back and listen to the outfit. Paul Rodgers singing lead vocals still has a lot of energy but the rest of the band does not come up to his level. Free's new single Wishing Well was performed adequately.
Guitarist John Martyn opened the festivities and did a fine job. Appearing alone (which with the competition of Free and Traffic might prove difficult) he too used a multitude of electronic gadgets all plugged into his acoustic guitar. These miracles of the day and age made his guitar playing seem complicated which it really wasn't. He does have ten very fast and flexible fingers that are constantly moving. All his vocals are stylishly mumbled.
John played the Academy on 9 and 10 February 1973, two sets a night.
This review was printed in Cash Box of 24 February 1973 (page 22, Talent On Stage). The author P.S. remains as yet unknown. In the same issue Solid Air was reviewed.