As the guitar dive bombs into a familiar sound, I have to be honest I had a lump in my throat but as soon as ‘Wild West’ unleashed its histrionics on my ears, I quickly decided that it was a great way to celebrate an iconic and much-loved exponent of the six-string and what better way to celebrate a life loved than in his natural environment – on stage banging out great Rock n Roll at high volume. Bernie Tormé was a Rock n Rolla from the moment he stepped out right up to his untimely departure on the eve of his 67th Birthday.

Tormé chose to let his music do the talking and naming his final tour – ‘Final Fling’ seems hauntingly prophetic now. The shows each night proved time and again that the Irishman had lost none of his joy of playing live, every night was the same in that he gave his all and it was always  – loud, brash, energetic, and did I say loud? and honest.

What you had live was the definition of power trio and after the decision not to record any of the shows, the band regretted not doing so – so loaded the gear into a live room and set up one more time to run through a set of classics numbers, spanning Tormé’s career. Featuring classics from across his solo career, as well as nods to his days in Ozzy Osbourne’s band and Gillan, ‘Final Fling’ captures the essence of what made Bernie Tormé so special.

The set list is of such a high pedigree with barnstorming takes on classics like ‘No Easy Way’ from his Gillan era as well as a few excellent Ozzy takes on ‘Mr Crowley’ and especially ‘Crazy Train’ complete with some dazzling guitar wizardry from those fingers. But if I was to pick a favourite over all the covers and tips of the hat to his past I’d go for the stunning ‘Star’ but the band is on fire on ‘Can’t Beat Rock n Roll’ and the Gillan era Elvis track ‘Trouble’ and this take of ‘New Orleans’ which always lit up a Gillan set. To be fair Tormé’s CV is quite exceptional from Ozzy and Gillan through his solo work or having Phil Lewis do some of his best work with Bernie or his time spend with Dee Snider through his solo material and the quite exceptional GMT line up Torme certainly saw it, bought the t-shirt and quite possibly played on the record.

Blow off some cobwebs on your speakers by blasting out this ‘Final Fling’ its exactly how a live recording should sound and having no audience is as it should be so Rest In Peace Mr Tormé and make sure there’s a Marshall stack and plenty of speakers up there for when you need to plug in and play on. Turn this bad boy up and let it rip!

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Author: Dom Daley