Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
There was hardly a parking space to be found when I arrived at The Hawth in Crawley, with my husband last night (12 April 2018). For a cover band, this immediately shows the quality of the musicians that are performing the wonderful Eagles music. Having loved The Eagles since I was tiny I have had the pleasure of watching the Illegal Eagles perform four times previously and I couldn’t wait to hear them again.
We had seats near the front of the stage where we enjoyed watching the band introduce each performance, sing and play their guitars. There are six amazing musicians playing guitar, keyboards, mandolin and drums but most could play multiple instruments and often swapped between guitar and keyboard for example.
There were some new members since I last saw the band a year ago, including Mike Baker, a relatively young musician in his early 30’s who took plenty of light-hearted stick from the other members of the band. The newer members blended in seamlessly, and the guitar playing and harmonies were as incredible as I remembered. I recognised the roadie as I had previously tried to keep count of the amount of times he brought in different guitars, practically every track had a change of guitar.
The majority of the songs were introduced before playing with dates and facts about when each band member was also introduced, why and where they were written and with some history about bands they had played with in the past. The camaraderie amongst the band was clear even though there were some newer members and there was plenty of jokes and laughter amongst the band members. The audience all enjoyed the banter and there was a lot of laughter ringing round the auditorium. This was mixed with periods of absolute silence when a ballad or acoustic track was played with precision and sung in perfect harmony.
The first half started with Take It Easy, and went through lots of hits including Tequila Sunrise, and my personal favourite, Heart of the Matter sung beautifully by Gregg Webb. After playing for around an hour the first half ended on a fast note with the brilliant, Get Over It.
There was a twenty minute interval, just time for a quick drink, and they were back with more favourite tracks such as Life in The Fast Lane and Don Henley’s solo hit Boys of Summer, ending the set with a fantastic performance of Desperado sung by Garreth Hincklin.
On completion of the second half they left the stage with everyone shouting and stamping until they came back on and the epic Hotel California followed by Heartache Tonight.
Having seen this band four times before, and several of my friends having gone multiple times they receive a definite 5 out of 5. We saw them at The Hawth in Crawley where the acoustics are brilliant, and every seat has a fantastic view. I highly recommend you see this band if you get a chance. They will be back at The Hawth in May 2019 but in the meantime they are doing a 140 date tour this year so check out their website to see where they are touring near you.
The Illegal Eagles are currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit illegaleagles.com.
For other shows at The Hawth in Crawley visit hawth.co.uk or call the box office on 01293 553636.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636