The ARK Appreciation Pages

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25th April 1992 - World Animal Day Benefit Festival, Birmingham

World Animal Day Benefit Festival, Birmingham
25th April, 1992.

Another Festival, this time in the great outdoors. As this was the first time ARK had performed in the open air, it was going to be quiet a virginal experience!

The majority of the audience was made up of punk fans, who had come to see G.B.H., and were due to follow ARK. This gave the impression that ARK had a tough job on their hands. However, their natural exuberance and good songs, easily won alot of appreciation and indeed a large portion of the crowd were seen to be quite merrily dancing by the end of the set

ARK hit the stage with an opening gambit of Train and Cover Me With Rain, locking the grove in tight, feet began tapping. The band's presence on stage could quite easily have been lost, due to the distance between the stage and the crowd, but all apart from Paul (well it's a bit difficult to run around on stage with a 4 shell drum kit) made excellent use of the stage front. At several points during the set, the monitors got left behind.

Message To The World, slowed the pace, until Pete's guitar solo whipped up a storm. Safe Sex provided a brief interlude, before the band ripped the speakers apart with a no holds barred version of Monkey On A Stick. The crowd were roused into action, and even saw some literally kick off their boots to join in the fun and games down the front.

The stage performance during Monkey was exceptional, with Pete taking the front of the stage with his guitar behind head antics. Gel, Ant and Steve positioned themselves in front of the drum kit, in a three man axe attack (Ant making a rare appearance on air guitar).

This Is The Way and Walk All Over Me provided the sing-a-long element of the set, together with the now familiar Ant Stomp! By now night was drawing in, and the stage lights began to have better effect. Despite Barbie not performing his normal outstanding efforts on the lighting desk (today's role was on stage technician and photographer), the resident engineer did a fine job.

Final song of the set was Nowhere's Ark, Deadie giving a bit of a surprise to those who'd not seen the band before. After leaving the stage, the crowd cheered for more, and with a little coaxing from the compere, the band returned on stage with Celebrate.

Another excellent set, and fine preparation for the debut appearance at Donnington!

The Set : Train, Cover Me With Rain, Message To The World, Safe Sex, Monkey On A Stick, This Is The Way, Walk All Over Me & Nowhere's Ark
Encore : Celebrate