Boisdale, at Canary Wharf, was the intimate setting for an evening with Cutting Crew. It’s a posh venue set over two floors. The first-floor Garden Terrace, which overlooks the fountain and other bars at the Wharf, was great for a drink and a chat. Tonight, the band were set up in the restaurant on the second floor.
Cutting Crew – Boisdale, Canary Wharf – 22 June 2023
Words: Miriam and Steve Ritchie
Photography: Steve Ritchie
“We have people from Colombia, Lithuania, six from Australia and Canada here tonight,” Nick Van Eede told us in an exclusive interview earlier in the evening.”
“And Surbiton,” smiled Gareth Moulton.
Once you get past the London prices, it is an intimate place. The room is laid-out restaurant style, with an elegant bar. The twelve-metre-wide shelving behind the bar is lit in gold, proudly displaying its 1,000+ bottles of malt whisky.
“For tonight’s show, it’s not our normal arena,” Nick told us earlier. “It’s a jazz blues place, so whether the rock ‘n’ roll thing will come over, but we’ll do our bit. As always, we got a few different songs in there for you.
“We’re cross pollenizing at the moment. We do a trio show, and I’m really enjoying doing that with Gareth and me and a guy who plays cajon and keyboards and sings.
“We’ve taken a few songs from that show and put them in tonight because it’s a more intimate venue. So I love that. I love playing the trio. It’s just different. Not better, but different.”
Resisting the spoiler urge to look at the setlist we had grabbed pre-show, the opening three songs were an awesome electric start. Any Colour, One For The Mockingbird, and I’ve Been In Love Before was such a fantastic opening that we forgot to take review notes.
A Nick and Gareth duo of You Do Something To Me was followed by the upbeat Till The Money Runs Out, after which Nick said we were all “shit clappers.”
Keep The Car Running, described by Nick as a song he loves, follows. Big smiles are on the stage and plenty of acoustic guitar posing. The phrasing of “sleep” made us smile. This was a funny and engagingly performed track, which gained big applause.
The area between Hastings and Scotland is covered before they break into One I Love. The band are rocking out and having a blast. This is impressive. There is a reggae interlude, but Gareth slings in some cool guitar, keeping the band’s rock description alive. The first set has built to a fine finale. Left Of Heaven gives Gareth his solo moment, which he takes in fine style. The guy can shred.
Then it’s Led Zeppelin time. Thank You finds Nick on acoustic guitar, Gareth on electric and Vinnie [Vinzenz Benjamin] on bass. This is a big surprise. It’s quiet in the room as everyone is concentrating. Phrases like “happiness” and “Mountains crumbling” are strikingly sung. With a glorious Pete Faint Keyboard outro, this is a top cover of a legendary Zeppelin song. The only shame is the bass from the bar downstairs is a bit loud.
The second half kicks off with The Scattering, and the full band join for San Ferian. For the latter, there are some Canadian stories told. Nick’s vocal is impressive here. This is a stripped-back version of beauty. “Don’t forget to sing the blues,” Nick says, and we all clap along.
This was a celebration. We all applaud as one. As the home straight beckons, Nick asks us if we want them to go on all night or join them in the hotel afterwards.
No Problem Child is inspiring. Nick plays the riff, the crowd are quiet, and the keyboards join in. Then the band joins in, drummer Philipp G pushing the song along wonderfully, and this becomes Gareth’s night. That guitar solo is just wow. It’s prog rock, a massive version of the song. Bombastic, powerful, it’s emotional and super. Gareth pushes the song to its finale with a blues-style solo. This is 100% spot on.
Berlin In Winter is heavy. Gareth again gives it good. Nick departs the stage, the keyboards start, and Gareth fills his boots with the Died intro. This is a great version of an epic song.
This is a restaurant. The manager warned me earlier about the only spot I was allowed to take photos from. They don’t like people blocking others views, which is understandable. By the time Boz Scaggs’ Lido Shuffle begins, the crowd tonight loses any semblance of respect, and it becomes a free for all dance session.
Can We Go Now? is the emotional finale. “The last song I wrote with Kevin,” Nick says. This is a poignant finish enhanced by the sweet piano. “Every single word,” the guys sing. The smiles are wonderful. Miriam has a tear in her eye.
It’s midnight and time to get home. A stunning set delivered by a friendly, great bunch of rockers. Everyone stayed to chat with the band. I can’t vouch for the hotel after-party, but Cutting Crew had an early morning flight as the shows across Europe ramp up.
There are times in your life when you worry about getting home after the event. Early in tonight’s set, the last train/taxi discussion took place in a nanosecond. We left with smiles as the Uber awaited.
London’s expensive, and I’ll check the bank balance in the morning.
Was it worth it? Hell yes. The Cutting Crew rockers shone.