Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

Lesley-Ann Jones I have sometimes caught myself wondering

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I have sometimes caught myself wondering: what will be the last gig I ever attend, and will I know it's the last one, or be simply oblivious? I came close to knowing last night, I think, at the Indigo O2, where Steve Harley reunited with his old partners in crime: sublime guitarist Jim Cregan (Rod Stewart), Stuart Elliot (Kate Bush, Macca, Al Stewart) and Duncan Mackay (10CC), playing together for the first time since 1976. Long-serving Cockney Rebeller, Barry Wickens was there, of course, on violin and guitar. Austrian twins Mona and Lisa Wagner, YES their real names, lent fantastic second guitar, percussion and backing vocals. They performed the entire 'Best Years of Our Lives' album plus a selection of greats - 'Sebastian', and 'the pension fund': 'Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)', which Steve promised years ago to perform at my funeral. Every time I see him, he asks me if I've got a date. Who knows, maybe I have, I just don't know it yet. After Jim Diamond, anything can happen.

How fab, Julie Driscoll, Rod Stewart and his wife Penny in the audience. Rod's acclaimed new album 'Another Country' features a song penned by Steve and Jim in 2001. 'A Friend for Life' is the one that's going to haunt me for the rest of the century. Said Rod, 'I dropped one of my own songs off the album so that I could include this one. I've always wanted to record it. Steve's over the moon about it. He needed a new roof for his house.'

A whole lotta love in that place last night. Maybe it sounds trite, but who cares. It was as musical as it gets. I was reminded what a proud, creative, sensational musician Steve is. What a deeply probing lyricist. What a good geezer. Underrated for most of his life, but it don't bother him none. He has everything he needs,

The last gig? Who knows. Who can ever know. But if that was it, I'll have no complaints. Come up and see me.

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