REVIEW: The Illegal Eagles, Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Opening a terrific concert with the classic country-rock Take It Easy, the hooky How Long, and the deliciously heady Tequila Sunrise, the British Illegal Eagles delivered the sound of American supergroup The Eagles meticulously, stylishly and flawlessly.

The original Eagles wrote and performed sophisticated insightful narrative songs with intricate vocal harmonies, subtle chord patterns, and catchy instrumental licks.

Led by versatile drummer Phil Aldridge (who also plays piano and produces the excellent Carpenters Story show) this multi-talented six-piece nails the tricky sounds of the Eagles.

The first set features early material utilising the country music sound of banjo, mandolin, and steel guitar on the gorgeous Peaceful Easy Feeling and Best Of My Love.

As the Eagles’ style turned rockier, this tight band explores the harder sound of One Of These Nights, the edgy Witchy Woman, and the poppy Already Gone.

Highlights of the show are the soulful cowboy-flavoured Desperado, the bittersweet ballad in 3/4 time Take It To The Limit, and the eight-verse perceptive analysis of infidelity Lyin’ Eyes.

Unfortunately, like so many current shows, the music was interrupted by the narcissistic “selfie” band photo, and the self-indulgent inevitable mention of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The feel-good finale featured the chunky Life In The Fast Lane, and the rockin’ Party Tonight, The Heat Is On and Get Over It.

The standing ovation encore was the Eagles’ 1976 enigmatic, intriguing and surrealistic epic Hotel California.

Brendan McCusker