Monthly Archives: November 2015

Corky Laing Plays Mountain. Fibbers. 9.11 2015. Part 2.

This is Part 2, as Part 1 features a slightly confusing history class.  But down to the gig.

Not been to the ‘new’ Fibbers in York before, but we got there early and ended up chatting to Joe Venti  and Phil Baker (Corky’s band mates)  outside. A couple of genuinely nice blokes.   Opening act Mantra came on pretty sharpish.  We weren’t really sure why there needed to be 2 support acts , but they played all original material apart from an encore of ‘Voodoo Chile’. A lot better than the usual pub covers outfits we see every week.    The Rainbreakers are the regular support on Corky’s short tour. Again, mostly their own songs (I have never heard anyone else cover a Wood Brothers song though).   They also finished up with a version of Cher’s ‘Bang Bang’ , done a la Vanilla Fudge’s 1967 variation.

So, onto Laurence Gordon Laing. The event was very poorly advertised, I only found out by a fluke, but we were well pleased to be standing feet from Corky Laing Plays Mountain.   Will leave a set list to the very end, in case anyone is reading this and is planning to see them (and doesn’t want know what was played .). Did they sound like Mountain?  Not really, but we were both happy to see Mountain songs played with enthusiasm.   I am sure Phil does not profess to be Leslie West, and Joe has actually ‘been’ Felix Pappalardi for longer. Joe played bass with Leslie West in the late 70s and had his ‘Project’ and K2,  a Mountain tribute. (And I believe he was briefly in Mountain c. 2005?) But Corky is our favourite drummer in the world and , having paid his dues, is totally justified in playing stuff he has played live since 1969.  No real surprises in the set, which included nods to Cream and West, Bruce and Laing,. We both enjoyed it, but the turnout was pitiful.  Less than 30, I counted just before they came on.  No flying drumsticks from Corky this time and we were hoping he may have brought some old Mountain T-shirts. But maybe there wasn’t enough room.  I asked  Joe about a keyboard player being considered, but he said they couldn’t afford it.  As always, Corky hung around to chat afterwards., a real gentleman.

 

Set List.   Silver Paper (spoken by Corky), Never in my Life, Long Red, Nantucket Sleighride, Mississippi Queen, Theme from an Imaginary Western, Dreams of Milk and Honey/ Blood of the Sun,  Like a Rolling Stone (Corky on his own),  Don’t Look Around, Sitting on a Rainbow, For Yasgur’s Farm, Travelling in the Dark, Politician, Sunshine of your Love, The Doctor.

Can’t believe that we heard two different outfits playing ‘Never in my Life’ and ‘Mississippi Queen’ in barely more than a week!

Corky Laing Plays Mountain. Part 1

A brief history lesson regarding Mountain before the gig  review from Fibbers.  ‘Mountain’s’ appearance on day 2 of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, sandwiched between Canned Heat and the Grateful Dead, has thrown up all sorts of differences of opinion.

I watched on Youtube an interview with Corky from last year, where he reveals to a stunned host that he never actually played at Woodstock. (I and other Mountain fans have known this for some time). Corky actually repeated this at the gig, and also iterated how he was asked to overdub Ric Lee’s drums on Ten Years After’s ‘Going Home’ because of a technical hitch.  So Corky actually got a gold record for sales of the triple LP soundtrack but was never there!  And Mountain weren’t on it either.

Things get even more complicated regarding the Woodstock 2 double lp. Two tracks from Mountain were on it, but it appeared that despite ‘Mountain’s’ introduction and Leslie West’s chat about ‘Theme for an Imaginary Western’ being genuine , the actual performances were from another gig. A subsequent Woodstock re-issue has stated that the tracks were indeed from Mountain’s set. The version of ‘Western’ on Woodstock 2 is definitely NOT the same as the one on Mountain’s Official Bootleg series Vol 7 featuring Woodstock. Felix Pappalardi messes up the first verse at Woodstock. The Woodstock 2 version is really good though.  And Corky plays on that!  And that’s before looking at the other track ‘Blood of the Sun’ and it’s provenance.

Corky also says in the interview that the group at Woodstock were technically not ‘Mountain’ and that Felix and Leslie asked him and Steve Knight to form Mountain with them after Woodstock. Corky also says Steve Knight didn’t play at Woodstock. I have to say that the footage is limited , but it certainly looks and sounds like Steve Knight!  But I will bow to Corky’s version and sadly Steve Knight died in 2013 so can’t say yes or no.  Quite a few internet sites say Mr Knight played at Woodstock though.  Some people reckon it was their first gig, some say it was their fourth.

And it gets more interesting, as 2 tracks from Mountain’s Woodstock gig appear on 1972’s Mountain Live lp, but the drummer at Woodstock , Norman Smart, doesn’t get a mention.

It may seem all pedantic and nitpicking to some, but it is actually important for a big reason…greenbacks!  These musicians are/were  professional, and should be paid for their work, just as anyone who works is.  Pappalardi and West won’t have lost any money, I reckon, but it is a minefield regarding who drummed on what and where and when.  OK, Woodstock 2 didn’t sell a million copies but Mountain Live was a good seller.

If Carlsberg made drummers, they would be Corky Laing!!  ‘A wizard, a true star’. ( Todd Rundgren)

Jared James Nichols. Duck and Drake. 31.10.2015

Andy in the D&D recommended that we do not miss this 5pm show from the power trio that is Jared, Erik and Dennis. We don’t always share the same opinions re music, eg he thinks Thin Lizzy were  great and Free were crap!  (Totally opposite to my and Her Ladyship’s views). But we both like JJ Cale, and we duly arrived very early to get a seat.

5.00 pm and on they come.  They start with a couple of ‘standards’ (‘Jesus Left Chicago’ and the instrumental ‘Steppin’ Out’) and then we get ‘Get Down’ from his last record ‘Old Glory and the Wild Revival’. Rick Derringer’s  ‘Rock and roll Hoochie Koo’ was an early song, but our hearts dropped when he asked if we had heard of ‘Free’  !!  But thankfully, we weren’t going to be subjected to the usual ‘All Right Now’ and ‘Wishing Well’.  No, we got cracking versions of ‘Ride on Pony’, ‘Stealer’ and ‘Fire and Water’.  Local blueser Dave Hanson had been on for a few numbers, including a couple of JJ Cale classics and a dodgy ‘Honky Tonk Woman’.  It was all very off-the-cuff, and not a total plug for Jared’s  own songs. In fact he never mentioned the title of his last CD (see above).    Further songs from there were’ Can’t you feel it’, ‘Haywire’ and ‘Come into my Kitchen’, and for those who aren’t familiar with it, it is pretty good (still on our car cd player).

He did the occasional Stan Webb walk into the appreciative crowd with his guitar, and wasn’t afraid to resurrect other classics such as ‘Standin’ on Shaky Ground’ and ‘Rock me Baby’ with a passion.  Young Mr N spotted my Mountain ‘Climbing’ T-shirt and duly obliged with ‘Never in my Life’ and ‘Mississippi Queen’.  And, yes, we did actually see Mountain in the last place on earth you would expect…Nashville!  Honest Jared!

So were they what we expected ? Absolutely and more.  Jared is a great guitarist and the rhythm section is spot on. ( I detected a definite Simon Kirke influence?). And not a pedal in sight!  I have seen pub covers outfits who have more pedals than Bradley Wiggins’ bloody shed!

One very slight ‘observation’ was that maybe Mr Hanson stayed a bit too long?  He is a decent guitarist, as was another ‘chum’ who joined in the Allmans-ish encore, but I think the stage should have been left to the trio at the end to soak in the huge applause.    OK, nitpicking maybe, but a tremendous performance from the trio. Highly recommended ,  it would be great to see them return. Just finishing their tour supporting  Glenn ‘The Ego’ Hughes, there was more than one person in the pub who reckoned Jared and Co had blown him away.