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Garage, London
28th March 2002

Support: Ricky Warwick

If the return of the former Little Angels frontman after an absence of seven years seemed unlikely, so did Jepson’s choice of opening act.  Usually renowned for punkoid metal, aggression and tattoos, The Almighty’s Ricky Warwick traded all this in for a simple acoustic guitar as he introduced a set of songs destined for a solo record.

Once nerves subsided, Warwick quickly warmed to his troubadour role, and ‘Brand New Second Hand Heart’ and ‘Three Sides To Every Story’ should sound better still on record after being produced by Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott later this year.

Serving up a batch of brand new compositions, various selections from his post-Angels project Toby & The Whole Truth and a smattering of old favourites, Toby Jepson seemed genuinely thrilled to face even a modestly proportioned though defiantly vocal audience.

Yours truly was not among those gathered purely for nostalgic reasons.  To be honest, I found Little Angels’ later material twee and insubstantial, but ‘Don’t Pray For Me’, ‘Radical Your Lover’, ‘Young Gods (Stand Up, Stand Up)’ and ‘Too Much Too Young’, plus the slightly obscure ‘All Roads Lead To You’, all sounded way better than memory suggested.  Yet on the downside, 'Womankind’ remained as awful as it ever was, while ‘Kickin’ Up Dust’ was overlooked.

As a seasoned campaigner like Jepson will only be too aware, his fortunes depend upon the qualities of both his workmates and his new songs.  And there’s no problem on either score.  Nick Dunne is a guitar hero in the making, former Marshall Law bassist Roger Davis keeps the beats pumping , and horn player Dave Kemp fills out the bottom end nicely.

Should Jepson keep on writing material as impressive as ‘Breakdown’, ‘forgiveness’ and the brand new ‘Inside Out’, his comeback album will be a return of note.

Dave Ling (from Classic Rock - June 2002)


All Roads Lead To You
Some People Are More Equal Than Others
Young Gods
Slipping Through Your Fingers
Inside Out
Don't Prey For Me
Radical Your Lover
I Won't Be With You
Refresh Yourself
Too Much Too Young
Harder All The Time
The Way That I Live

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Photo: Classic Rock Magazine (June 2002)

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Above photos: Sheryl Brown