Home Events Barenaked Ladies At Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, April 2024 – In Flight UK Tour

Barenaked Ladies At Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, April 2024 – In Flight UK Tour

Canada's finest return for another brilliant UK Tour

by Dave Elliott

Canada’s brilliant Barenaked Ladies returned last week to the UK for a new tour, promoting their latest album ‘In Flight‘, and I had the chance to pop over to Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall, not only to see the gig but also the soundcheck with the band.

As regular visitors to the site may be aware, I have been following BNL since they released their first EP and album back in the early 90s. In fact, the first place I ever saw them live was back in 1994 at Wulfrun Hall as part of the “Tiny Little Tour”, so this was something of a homecoming for me… The hall itself and the band have been through some changes since then, but Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan, and Kevin Hearn returned to give a fantastic show.

The Sound Check / Photo Op

As with previous years, the band have been offering VIP passes to their gigs. This not only gets you priority entrance to the concert, but also lets you go and listen to the soundcheck, gets you a goodie bag of exclusive merchandise, and a chance to have a photo with the group. Previously, this had also included an opportunity to directly chat with the band and get things signed, however, that didn’t happen this year. I don’t know the reason for that, although there was some speculation amongst fans that it might have been due to an abundance of caution following the 2022 tour, where they had an outbreak of Covid in the band, leaving Ed and Ty to perform some of the gigs as a duo. Whilst those gigs were phenomenal and rather special, unique, events, I can’t imagine they’re something the band were keen to repeat!

Heading to Wulfrun Hall, I joined the other people with VIP passes to wait to be let in for the soundcheck. One of the lovely things about BNL fandom is the people you meet, many of whom are members of the BNL UK Fans Facebook group, and many faces I’d seen at previous gigs. Whilst I only tend to do one show a tour, there are a number of fans who will go to multiple dates, so we passed the time hanging out, chatting about how the rest of the tour had been so far, previous gigs, encounters with the band, (and how many of us got Covid following that 2022 gig in Birmingham!)

The soundcheck itself is always an interesting experience, as the ground play through some tunes, make changes to the setlist, some adjustments to instruments, and get the stage set up to their liking. I do find it fascinating how they’re still making tweaks to songs they must have played live multiple times before, but will still go “hey, why don’t we do this chord here?” or “we could add an extra bar here”. It’s just really interesting watching them work through stuff, still perfecting and changing things at this stage. Following the soundcheck, we went through to a side room for a photo with the band, and then headed back outside to wait for the gig in the evening.

The Gig

Just before 7pm, the doors opened, and (thanks to the VIP pass) we were let in first to get a good spot at the front of the stage. Should say, the staff at the Wulfrun were really excellent and friendly, with things running smoothly, and on time. The support act for the England part of the tour this time is Scottish singer/songwriter Callum Beattie, who was excellent. He’s not someone I was aware of prior to seeing him here, but I will be watching out for him in the future. Ed did joke later on stage that Callum is only doing the England dates as he’s too much of a big deal in Scotland, and they would have to be opening for him there. Callum has some great soulful and emotive songs, and sings with wonderful heart and soul. He also did an excellent cover of Cher’s ‘Believe’! Looking forward to seeing much more of him in future.

On to the main event, and the BNL guys take to the stage, opening with a rendition of classic track ‘The Old Apartment’, followed by new track ‘Too Old’ from their latest album ‘In Flight’. Next, we have something of a BNL tradition – the improv rap. Ed starts with a story about looking for food in Wolverhampton and ending up at a butcher’s shop… a rap then follows about meat pies (because, of course!) It’s the weird things like this that make me love this band so much. Next, we get a great crowd song, ‘Gonna Walk’ from the 2013 album ‘Grinning Streak’, and (to give Ed a bit of a rest), Jim takes lead vocals on ‘Just Wait’, also from the latest album. That’s followed by ‘Four Seconds’ from the album ‘All In Good Time’, which featured Ed and Ty on lead vocals, then on to another classic, ‘Pinch Me’ (including the obligatory throwing of underwear on stage). Kev then gets a chance to take on lead vocals with ‘Big Back Yard’, followed by the upbeat crowd pleasers ‘Odds Are’, and ‘Lookin’ Up’.

At this point in proceedings, the band alters the stage formation, bringing Ty out from behind the drums to a single drum front of stage, and Kev switching to accordion, for another new track, ‘What Do We Need?‘… Hilariously, Ty broke one of his sticks at the beginning of this song as the end flew off into the crowd, but was quickly replaced by one of the crew! Next, some real classics from their first album ‘Gordon’, which Ed pointed out is 32yrs old this year, and drew an audible “Oof…” from older members of the audience (such as myself!) Ty switched to bongos, and we got ‘Hello City’ and ‘Crazy’ before the band headed back to their original positions, and they launched into ‘Keepin’ It Real’ from ‘Grinning Streak’. Back to classic tracks, they followed up with ‘Brian Wilson’, where Ed’s mind wandered and he forgot the lyrics (hey, happens to everyone at some point!), followed by ‘Big Bang Theory’. Then a stunning bass solo from Jim, which led into their massive hits ‘One Week’, and the classic ‘If I Had A Million Dollars’.  Finally, we come to the close, which, as is tradition for BNL gigs, was a compilation of pop/rock hits, dancing and unleashing Ty on lead vocals, which is always a treat! After an encore and a fantastic, fun, night, it was time to head home.

As I said at the start of this, I’m a fan and have been for many years, so of course, I loved this gig. However, I would say, if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining night out, with great music, banter, and jokes, you really can not go wrong with a Barenaked Ladies gig. If you love live music and they’re playing near you, get tickets, you won’t be disappointed.

You can find more about Barenaked Ladies and their tour info on their website here.

You may also like

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments