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Splinter Group Review (London, Swan Theatre)

HEADLINE: Peter Green: Martin Somers reviews the living blues legend

BODY:
On Saturday night the Swan theatre was filled with leather jacketed 40 somethings' who took the opportunity of showing off their long hair or more often the remains of what was long hair, left from the dizzy 60's.

The reason was that the founding member of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, was in town with his Splinter Group bringing their honed skills of the blues.

Peter Green, who started the band in 1967, has been back on the scene, since his disappearance from the music industry back in 1984. He unexpectedly materialised and joined together with the Splinter Group in 1996.

It was virtually a full house as the curtains pulled back revealing an unexpected acoustic set complete with acoustic guitars, piano and minimal drums. During the 35 minute set we were treated to tracks such as Sweet Home Chicago and their signature piece, and number one single, Albatross. The band finished this song to huge applause because, although they may have played this track hundreds of times, the feeling was still there and we knew it.

The second set was back to the standard band structure. Full electric guitars and upbeat with the blues wailing through distortion and slide guitar and Peter Green taking more of a front role in the vocals hitting out the hits of Little Red Rooster and The Green Manalishi.

Peter Green often looked like he would prefer not to be taking this front role and many times seemed uncomfortable. It was almost as if he wished he was just playing to a more intimate crowd maybe in someone's lounge than on the stage of the Swan. The band, however were comfortable having fun and enjoying the occasion and took us with them. Peter Green once said that that he was "after fulfilment now more than enjoyment".

Like a good cheese, they have taken time to mature and the result was their Cold 100 tour named after their recent album release. When they said goodbye the audience reacted with a standing ovation.