Saturday, 25 July 2009

Richie Unterberger's Velvet Underground book

On Tuesday night I went along to hear Richie Unterberger talk about his new book on The Velvet Underground. He’s been doing a libraries tour of London and surrounds, which shouldn’t be that radical, but is something of a new departure in this country. It happens a lot in the States and he actually suggested it to Jawbone who were initially sceptical. As it was there were close to 100 people at Swiss Cottage Library on a damp night.

The book is White Light/White Heat The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day. It’s the story of the band told as a chronology. I haven’t read it yet but I dipped in to see if the show I went to in October 1971 is mentioned (it’s not though adjacent ones are). It’s over 350 pages and there’s lots to read and a load of splendid black and white photographs.

Richie didn’t read as such. He told stories, showed clips, and talked through a slide show of photos. Finishing up with a couple of clips from the Bataclan Cale/Reed/Nico show of 1972. A very worthwhile enterprise for which thanks are due to Jon Mills of Jawbone (and Shindig) and Camden Libraries.

Some Groovies in Hoboken

Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney played at Maxwells in Hoboken on Thursday night (and at Southpaw in Brooklyn yesterday). Here's 'Shake Some Action'.

Fairport Convention last Saturday

Here are now a couple of clips from the Barbican show last Saturday night

'Meet On The Ledge'; the final encore. Wait for Thompson's verse.

Linde Nijland sings 'Fotheringay'

Monday, 20 July 2009

Fairport Convention at the Barbican

The Fairport Convention show on Saturday was simply a joy to witness. With the exception of Dave Swarbrick it seemed everybody who could be was there. And despite a slight quibble over the sound, in that Richard Thompson’s guitar could have done with being a bit louder, particularly when Chris Leslie was playing fiddle, and my personal wish that they play Eric Andersen’s ‘Close The Door Lightly’ not being fulfilled, there was no cause to carp.

The show began with Judy Dyble, Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, and Simon Nicol taking to the stage and, after a few words from Judy, beginning the proceedings with ‘Satisfied Mind’. Then Joe Boyd appeared and recounted seeing them in Soho playing an American song he didn’t know and being convinced he should manage them. This song was ‘Time Will Show The Wiser’ which, joined by Iain Matthews and Dave Mattacks, they proceeded to play. It proved a highlight even from a first half full of highlights.

This first half features songs from the first three records revisited, with a variety of guest vocalists taking the Sandy Denny role; Linde Nijland for ‘Fotheringay”, Kellie While for a fabulous ‘I’ll Keep It With Mine’, and Kamilla Thompson joining brother Teddy for ‘Who knows Where The Time Goes’. Teddy himself does an excellent job on ‘Genesis Hall’. Martin Carthy had been expected to sing ‘A Sailor’s Life’ but Norma Waterson’s ill-health prevented him appearing. Thus Kellie took the vocals on what turned out to be a pretty fine reading. This was though the moment where one did wish Thompson’s guitar was more prominent.

After the interval it was on to Liege And Lief and Full House. Singing duties now taken over by Christine While, Kellie’s mum. Fine versions of ‘Come All Ye” ‘Tam Lin’ ‘The Deserter’ and ‘Matty Groves’, then Christine’s exit followed by the arrival of Dave Pegg for ‘Walk Awhile’, ‘Doctor Of Physic’, Sir Patrick Spens’ and ‘Dirty Linen’.

That seemed to be it but in calling for an encore we knew there was at least one song that still needed to be heard. And in fact there were two, with almost all the company present and augmented by Linda Thompson, still in her raincoat. First the hit, as Simon Nicol explained it, ‘Si Tu Dois Partir’ and then inevitably, thankfully, ‘Meet On The Ledge’ in which Richard Thompson’s third verse induced a massive tingle down the personal, and I’d guess collective, spine.

Set List

Satisfied Mind
Time Will Show The Wiser
One Sure Thing
Jack O'Diamonds
Some Sweet Day
I’ll Keep It With Mine
Genesis Hall
Who Knows Where The Time Goes
A Sailor's Life

- Interval -

Come All Ye
Tam Lin
The Deserter
Crazy Man Michael
Matty Groves
Walk Awhile
Doctor Of Physic
Sir Patrick Spens
Dirty Linen

- Encore -

Si Tu Dois Partir
Meet On The Ledge

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Barry Melton - Two London Gigs

Barry Melton of The Fish is playing a couple of gigs this week. On Wednesday he's at What's Cookin' and on Thursday at the Cross Keys in Kings Cross. The latter is a benefit and costs a fiver. Graham Larkbey and The Escape Committee are also playing and will be his backing band.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Big Star in Hyde Park - 1st July

Simon Wright
reviews the show on his My Space page

Here's the setlist

In The Street
Don’t Lie To me
When My Baby’s Beside Me
I Am The Cosmos
Way Out West
Till The End Of The Day
The Ballad Of El Goodo
Do You Wanna Make It
For You
September Gurls
Patty Girl
Mine Exclusively
Thank You Friends

Johnny Clash MBE at Tate Britain

It's tonight so it's short notice but Brother Lloyd Coombes is spinning discs for Richard Long