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Primal Scream @ The Scala

 

May 21st 2019

A stripped down Primal Scream played their smallest London gig in many years to promote their new singles collection Maximum Rock’n’Roll, pretty much the bands raison d’etre . Absurdly svelte singer Bobby Gillespie plus fellow founding members Andrew Innes on guitars and Martin Duffy on keyboards were joined by long serving drummer Darrin Mooney and more recent bass guitarist Simone Butler. They went all the way back to 1986 for a delightful Velocity Girl (Innes jangling away on a Rickenbacker) and delivered an audience-assisted Movin’ On Up and a sensitive (I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind. The big hitters of Loaded, Country Girl and Rocks turned the intimate Scala into a sweaty mosh pit,  the enthusiastic crowd response clearly delighting Gillespie and Innes. With minimal staging – only a smoke machine and some strobes for Swastika Eyes –  tonight needed high quality songs and a committed performance and the Scream delivered on both counts.

This review was written for Record Collector magazine

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 Dublin Castle, Camden May 19th 2019

 Standout collectibles: none

 Tonight was a benefit to finance an operation for poorly ex-New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain. The musical highlight was a short but sweet set from two punk-rock veterans, JC Carroll from the Members and John Perry from The Only Ones (Members Only, geddit ?). Opener The Sound Of The Suburbs highlighted the interplay between JC’s erratic accoustic and Perry’s dependable Les Paul Junior, as well as the delicate balance of JCs lead vocals and JP’s surprisingly strong backing vocals. In the Beginning features on JC’s latest LP and allowed space for a thoughtful Perry solo that paid its respects to vintage Peter Green. Ever wondered what the Shadows playing Delilah would sound like? Wonder no more – it sounded great with the crowd singing along. Working Girl featured strong harmonies, the guitar solo in Another Girl Another Planet made up for JC’s mangling of the words and a cracking version of The Mersey’s Sorrow made for a fine set closer. 

Review written for Record Collector magazine

Trash Get Boxed!

Great review of PP Arnold EP!

Ian McCann at Record Collector really, really likes our latest release….

 

Mott The Hoople, Shepherds Bush Empire

Friday 26th April

Ian Hunter marked his amazing 80th year by touring under the Mott The Hoople 1974 banner, his usual Rant band augmented by Mott’s flamboyant lead guitarist Ariel Bender and champagne-quaffing keyboard player Morgan Fisher. These gigs had a very different vibe to the Hammersmith Apollo reunion 2009 gigs when Buffin was still alive – his replacement on the drum stool Steve Holley did a great job, as do James Mastro (guitar, saxophone, mandolin), Mark Bosch (guitar), Paul Page (bass) and Dennis Dibrizzi (keyboards, backing vocals). The setlist featured only tracks recorded in 1974. A taped David Bowie introduced the set, where a snippet of American Pie lead into The Golden Age of Rock’n’Roll. The singles Roll Away The Stone and Honaloochie Boogie were obvious highlights, whilst the ’50’s jive of Pearl and Roy was an unexpected treat.  The lengthy live medley from Mott Live was faithfully recreated with original violinist Graham Preskett appearing for Violence. Guest Brian May added additional guitar to All The Way From Memphis and after a moving Saturday Gigs the final encore could only be All The Young Dudes where the choruses included Stan Tippins (original Mott singer), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) and a cast of thousands. Ian Hunter personally selected openers Tax The Heat and their Zeppelinesque stomp was well received by a mature crowd. A triumphant celebration of not going gently into that good night.

Review written for Record Collector magazine

 

DJ Playlist

I had the great privilege of playing 7” vinyl singles before the bands on both nights and here is a list of everything I played, albeit not in the correct order. If you were there, I hope you heard something you enjoyed – all were released as singles in 1974.

My thanks to Mick Brown for making this happen and to Josh, Mark and the stage crew for their assistance.

Johnnie Allan – Promised Land

David Bowie – Rebel Rebel and Diamond Dogs

Brinsley Schwarz – (What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love And Understanding

John Cale – The Man Who Couldn’t Afford To Orgy

Dr Feelgood – Roxette

Ducks Deluxe – Love’s Melody and Fireball

Eno – Seven Deadly Finns

Faces – You Can Make Me Dance… and As Long As You Tell Him

Bryan Ferry – The In Crowd

J Geils Band – Musta Got Lost and Funky Judge

Grin – You’re The Weight

Ronnie Lane – The Poacher

Lulu – Watch That Man and The Man Who Stole The World

Andy McKay – Wild Weekend

Man – Hard Way To Live

New Your Dolls – Who Are The Mystery Girls? and Stranded In The Jungle

Raspberries – Overnite Sensation

Lou Reed – How Do You Think It Feels?

Rolling Stones – Through The Lonely Nights, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg and It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

Mick Ronson – Slaughter On Tenth Avenue

Roxy Music – All I Want Is You and The Thrill Of It All

Todd Rundgren – A Dream Goes On Forever

Bob Seeger – Get Out Of Denver

Sharks – Kung Fu

Slade – How Does It Feel and Far Far Away

Steely Dan- Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Robert Wyatt – I’m A Believer

Ronnie Wood – I Can Feel The Fire

Neil Young – Walk On

PS This morning I got this lovely note from Mott’s production manager

The DJ set each night really helped set the mood, just as you did at The Replacements and to see Bobby Gillespie and Mick Jones, both get up and dance on separate sides of the hall at the same time, when you played the Dolls, is a memory that will stay with me a long time.

Sunday Sessions  @  The Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, April 13th 2019

Serendipity is a wonderful thing. After waiting 43 years to see Todd Rundgren, I approached the Sunday Sessions knowing nothing and expecting less. It was delightful to be so richly rewarded.

 The Marine Theatre is the epicentre of the thriving arts scene in Lyme Regis, hosting everything from All About Eve live from the National Theatre through to forthcoming gigs from the Alabama 3 and Robyn Hitchcock. It is a lovely building, originally built for indoor sea bathing. The Sunday Sessions take place “post-lunch” on an irregular basis in the packed upstairs bar.

 This session featured Jack Harrison, Aidan Simpson, Don Dickinson and Matt Benjamin. Jack, Aidan and Dan all played acoustic guitars and sang; Matt played cello. For some reason Dan is also known as Son Of Richard. Despite a somewhat disorganized approach to who was playing what and with whom the original songs played were first rate and tightly arranged. I particularly liked Jack’s Do What You Like and Dan’s Memento Mori and The State We’re In.  The covers played will give you an idea of the sound – Please Mrs Henry, Corrina Corrina, Keep The Customer Satisfied and Hesitation Blues. I reckon they could do a great version of You Ain’t Going Nowhere.

All the vocals blended really well together with confident harmonies and occasional added light and shade from distant harmonica. Matt’s cello was key, combining with the acoustics to echo the quieter parts of Big Star Third (think Blue Moon and For You) and there is no higher praise.

 There is more info on these guys below. If the Basement Tapes or Rolling Thunder is your thing you will have a great time. 

https://www.facebook.com/JackHarrisonMusic/

https://www.facebook.com/aidansimpsonmusic/

https://sonofrichard.bandcamp.com

 

December 3rd 1977 – Trash support Wire in High Wycombe!

Thanks to the vigilance of John Perry the following info has just come to light

http://www.wycombegigs.co.uk/category/years/1970s/1977/    and scroll down

Does anyone remember anything about this gig ? All I remember is chatting to  a Wire-person backstage who claimed to have never heard of the Velvet Underground but was a big fan of J.J (not John)Cale . With the wisdom of hindsight this may not have been true.

Anyone else ?