4/2/2023 The Doors Alive Review by Claire Spencer

The last time The Doors Alive played The Flowerpot was in September 2021 just as we were getting back to some sort of normality after the Covid restrictions. On this occasion 'Jim Morrison' had been denied entry to the UK from Holland due to issues with the Brexit, but Jade Williams, a professional singer who maybe bore a passing resemblance to Grace Slick, stood in for him, and did a sterling job.

The gig was a sell out, with some very well dressed people turning up, so people watching was interesting, with quite a few leather trousers in evidence, which made me wish that I'd dug mine out for the event.

This time Jim, or rather Mike Griffioen, really did break on through to the other side, and what followed was truly spectacular. From the moment that he stepped on stage, to cheers and screams as the opening bars of 'Break on Through' were played on an identical Rhodes Piano Bass that Ray Manzarek used, I knew there was something special about this band as I had that hair raising cold chill of excitement so rarely experienced even with the top acts. Here was The Lizard King in all his glory, with a commanding stage presence complete with the same provocative movements of the great man himself with a band that actually looked and sounded like the real thing. For starters, Hungarian born Norbert Varga really did look like Ray Manzarek, whilst guitarist Barrington Meyer captured the intricate and delicate fretwork of Robby Krieger, and with drummer Buzz Allan following closely in John Densmore's footsteps with a genuine Ludwig drum kit, the magic was working full tilt, and the illusion was complete.

The band did an incredible set that revisited some of The Doors best loved numbers; 'Touch Me' sounded incredible, and restarted the screaming, whilst the longer tracks allowed Jim time to recite his poetry mingled with the smells of burning joss sticks over the long instrumentals of 'Riders on the Storm' and 'Light My Fire.'

As before, and as expected, the gig finished with 'The End,' and spookily so, with Jim getting the spoken words off perfectly, and you might just for more than a fleeting moment really believe that Jim had not died. In fact, I visited Jim Morrison's tomb in Paris on a college trip in 1980, and I began to have wistful ideas that it had all been an elaborate cover for Jim to retire quietly, and that tonight he'd come out of retirement.

The Doors Alive go above and beyond your run of the mill tribute bands, and short of hitching a ride with Dr. Who in the Tardis to The Whisky A Go Go, you're not going to get a better experience.