Would Colosseum have guessed this when they first disbanded in September 1971? Concerts by the legendary sextet have started again in 2021. The Farlowe-Clempson-Clarke front line is intact; there are three newcomers. Who can replace Jon Hiseman, founder/drummer/boss who tragically passed on in 2018? Clem Clempson: "Malcolm Mortimer, our new drummer [Gentle Giant, Arthur Brown, Frankie Miller] takes risks like Jon Hiseman! We needed a new drummer for the Hiseman Memorial in London‘s Shepherds Bush Empire. Ever since then, Malcom is drumming for Colosseum: not playing Hiseman, but whatever the song needs“
The saxophone slot in Colosseum is also crucial. Clem: „We had several contenders. One night we were sitting in a tiny little bar in Arnis, Northern Germany, when we saw the video of a Chris-Farlowe song featuring Kim. His solo really stunned us: he seemed the perfect player for Colosseum!“ Kim Nishikawara also toured with R&B legends like Cliff Bennett and Alan Price. And the new Greenslade? „When the search for a new keyboard player took up speed, it was Kim who recommended Nick Steed. Nick in turn supplied recordings. Those turned out to be impressive!“ In August 2021 in Hamburg, Nick steed showed how he can master the Colosseum trademarks with his own emotional stamp.
Mortimer, Nishikawara & Steed give the Farlowe-Clempson-Clarke triumvirate a mighty kick. Farlowe – at almost 81 – hasn’t lost anything at all with regard to his vocal powers – tackling the classic Colosseum songs with obvious joy and conviction, not forgetting his famous scat singing – injecting „Stormy Monday Blues“ with lyrical quotes like “Flip, Flop & Fly“ and “The girl can’t help it – she’s in love with - me!“
Clem Clempson – band- und cheer leader on stage – calls the shots and breaks, guides dramatic climaxes in the repertoire, celebrates solo passages with all his skills and feelings, topping all that with humorous extras, like in the epic “Lost Angeles“. Mark Clarke is the anchor with his bass foundations, which often introduce an exquisite second melody line. Clarke is also essential as a reliable backing vocalist and occasional lead singer. And so this is not an „Endangered Species“ operation, but a vibrating band, working hard and in your face!
Uli Twelker (GOOD TIMES)