It’s late September and I really should be back at school. But instead I’m out on a Sunday night, early start be damned, rocking and rolling with successful school dropout, Rod Stewart - or the closest I’ll get to the real thing for a realistic price tag!
Paul Metcalfe, the mind and voice behind Some Guys Have All the Luck: The Rod Stewart Story is fantastic as the north
Taking a step up from your average tribute gig, this show uses the first half to chart the rise to success of our favourite Celtic fan. Interspersing funny snippets of storytelling with key songs or musical blasts, Metcalfe takes us from Mr & Mrs Stewart’s decision to ‘have an early night’ back in 1944, to Rod’s split with The Faces and world domination by 1975.
The tale is a lot of fun and makes use of some brilliant photos and press clippings from Rod’s scrapbook. His stripy 70s mankini definitely left nothing to the imagination! That said, you do feel there could have been a little more meat to the story, especially once he started to hit the big-time.
Cut to the second half and we’re in a full-blown (almost) Rod Stewart live concert. Here, the band really comes into its own, with each member showing great musicianship and character and bringing Rod’s hits to life. Metcalfe swings the mic stand, struts his stuff and belts out the sing-a-long numbers one after the other. It’s hugely entertaining with plenty of tartan and in-the-aisle dancing.
But despite the party atmosphere, the second half lacks the intimacy of the first. It would have been good to continue Rod’s story and let the hits breathe. Also, while Metcalfe has Rod’s vocals down to a tee, there were moments in The Killing of Georgie and Da Ya Think I’m Sexy where he couldn’t quite hold a torch to the original.
These are minor quibbles for this kind of show though. A tribute is never going to be the original, but if it can evoke the joy and enthusiasm of the original then it’s done its job. Metcalfe and his band achieved this and more; a rollicking ride through Rod’s remarkable hits.