Monday, May 24, 2010

Ghosts of princes in towers

I've just read the sad news that Steve New has lost his battle with terminal cancer. He was 49 years old. He was a fine musician and by all accounts a great character - witness Glen Matlock's comment that he died 'surrounded by family and friends, as always with Steve there were more birds than blokes there'. I loved the Rich Kids album when it came out, and the show they played back in January stands as a fitting tribute to the man. It's another sad loss to the musical fraternity.

Meanwhile, back on Earth after Earthbound...

Eddie and the Hot Rods have been one of my favourite bands since I first heard (and indeed bought) their 'Live At The Marquee' EP (for anybody young enough not to know that stands for 'extended play') way back in the summer of 1976. I first saw them a year or so later at Brunel University, and have seen them in various line-ups over the years. These days singer Barrie Masters is the only original member but they're still sounding good, and I for one was very pleased when The Flying Squad was booked to support them at The Beaverwood Rooms in Chislehurst (one of Pete Feenstra's many venues) last Thursday. Leaving aside the fact that as a musician I think it's great to play on the same bill as someone that you admire or have been inspired by I also thought they'd a band that we'd be compatible with in that their audience (mostly blokes my age!) would enjoy our Feelgoods - powered r & b - happily this turned out to be the case as our 30-odd minute set went down very well with all concerned as was evidenced by CD and t-shirt sales afterwards. The Hot Rods all turned out to be very nice chaps (I've known guitarist Richard for many years due to his involvement at The Square in Harlow) and played a fine set which included plenty of newer material alongside classics like 'I Might Be Lying', 'The Power And The Glory' and the inevitable 'Do Anything You Wanna Do'. There was even talk of us playing with them again - excellent!

Sunday it was time for the mighty Kris Dollimore to make a very welcome return visit to The Load of Hay. It had been the hottest day for ages which probably contributed to the low turn out - a dozen or so brave souls saw the great man deliver another extraordinary performance, with highlights including tremendous versions of 'Inner City Blues' (really!) and 'The Message' (no, really!) and some finger-busting instrumentals that moved East to comment 'it's like having Jimmy Page playing in your front room'. And it was. Support came from the excellent David Bristow who played half an hour or so of excellent blues despite his performance being hampered by a very noisy quiz machine - Grant the landlord turned the sound off in the end, and hopefully it hasn't put David off from returning in his own right in the Autumn. A fine evening although I sometimes wonder what you actually have to do to attract an audience these days? It'll be a long time before there's a better night of music than this and yet hardly anybody turns up to see it - maybe they were all at home moaning that they had nothing to do?

Talking of Load of Hay gigs Pete has written up his account of our recent Blue Five reunion show on his blog and East has put this clip of The Blue Five up on ETV; and before we leave Earthbound here is 'Man Down' from the brewery gig - I don't play the riff correctly once throughout!

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