Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Della Grants. Duck and Drake, Leeds. 27.02.2016

We missed these lads at the Rock and Blues Skeggy weekend , so were pleased that the Duck and Drake managed another coup by bringing them to Leeds.

Only in their second year, but they are just that bit different from the young ‘fastest guitar in the West’ bluesers that seem to overrun a lot of blues festivals.  Great sound from a battered left-handed Strat, ably supported by top-notch harmonica and solid rhythm section.

As usual for us, we could only manage the first set before having to go for the ‘alehouse’ bus home. Fortunately, we got to hear stuff from their debut LP and their new EP. A good mix of originals plus Fats Domino’s ‘Blue Monday’, Etta James’s  ”Something got a hold on me’ and Muddy Waters’ ubiquitous ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’.

They are playing at at least one blues festival we are going to this year, and we will be there for the duration.

Highly recommended.

PS. Congratulations Wayne, on your nomination for the MPPITP award.  (Most Pissed Person In The Pub)

PPS You were the only nominee

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Dan Stuart. The Library, Leeds. 24.02.2016

Green on Red’s Dan Stuart played a great gig in Leeds in September 2012 (see earlier review), so were were excited at the prospect of a return to Leeds.  Last time, he was playing stuff from his ‘Marlowe Billings’ disc, and this time he did that along with songs from his second Marlowe Billings offering. Plus Green on Red stuff.

His chum Fernando was due to start proceedings at 8.00pm, but the audience at that time numbered two (a very handsome couple with tickets 80 and 81), so maybe it was delayed by 30 minutes to allow for latecomers.  So Fernando eventually came on and strummed and sang some of his songs for about half an hour.

Dan’s guitar-for-hire Tom Heyman quickly took over, with some more intricate guitar playing and songs.  Her Ladyship thought an early song had a hint of Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ and he finished with the late Phil Ochs’s ‘I ain’t marching any more’.

Dan Stuart.  I had this thought in my mind   ‘Dear Mr Casting Director, Could you please have Dan Stuart as a bar owner in Men In Black 4?’.  He would be perfect!  Starting out with some relatively recent songs, his first instantly recognisable song was Lou Reed’s ‘Vicious’, which he played on his gigs with Sacri Cuori.   ‘That’s what dreams’ , from 1985’s ‘Gas Food Lodgings’ is great as a bare acoustic number, and was bloody good as a full-on electric song in Green on Red days too. ‘Rock n Roll Disease’ from the sublime ‘Here come the Snakes’ gets an airing, followed by ’16 Ways’.  ‘Gringo go Home’ from the first Marlowe Billings disc is great.  His song ‘The Greatest’ referencing Muhammed Ali , had Her Ladyship’s lip quivering. Dan spotted her and apologised for nearly messing the song up!  But it is almost part of the magnetism of the man, you KNOW he is going to drop a boll*ck somewhere!   He finishes off with the Stones’ ‘Dead Flowers’, and is straight down to chat afterwards. He played a lot more Green on Red classics last time,  but there wasn’t a moment where the standard dropped tonight.

The crowd might have been a hundred, and I just can’t comprehend how such a legend isn’t playing to bigger crowds. Then again, Green on Red should have been up there with REM.  Before we left home for the gig, I found some festival updates about how ‘fantastic’ it is that Dreadzone are headlining somewhere and ‘don’t miss out’ on some Pink Floyd copy act in Cambridge.  We were in the presence of greatness for about 90 minutes,  but Dreadzone and  Dot-to-dot Floyd are seemingly more important.

Keep treading the boards please, Mr Stuart. To use a Steve Earle song title…Hard Core Troubadour

 

Farmer Phil’s Festival 2016

It was our first visit to Farmer Phil’s last year. Apparently Dreadzone are a recently announced headliner, we won’t be holding our breath to wait for the other.*

So it is official then?  The festival is to be renamed as Farmer Phil’s Jumping up and Down Festival?  For some bizarre reason, we have been under the impression that is not unreasonable to buy tickets to a music festival and to actually watch and listen to the music…preferably sitting comfortably. It appears not.   And, ironically, I have just watched a clip of arguably the most iconic music festival ever, namely Woodstock. For pretty much all of the time the crowd seem to be sitting down.  (And, no, I wasn’t one of the crowd!).  **The song by Cream that had the same title as one by Mary Hopkins springs to mind.

* Update…The Selecter.

**Those were the Days.

Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash. The ARC, Stockton-on-Tees. 19.02.2016

Our second Martin Turner gig in less than a month (see review of Butlins Rock and Blues from January).  This time it is the full show.

MT started the Butlins gig with two new numbers, and his full show has the entire ‘Written in the Stars’ cd  as the first set.  A brave move, but did it work?  Back in the 70s, I saw Pink Floyd do it with DSOTM and Jethro Tull with TAAB.  Elton John came a cropper at Wembley by trying to follow the Beach Boys with the complete ‘Captain Fantastic…’LP.  Even Hugh Cornwell has tried the idea more recently.

The first set at the ARC drew polite applause, and the material sounds pretty good, but I am not sure if the idea of a set of new material  is a success…whoever tries it.  It is always a bit of a giveaway when people are looking at their watches.  A brief break, and the second set kicks off with ‘The King will Come’.  There is plenty more to come from ‘Argus’ , unsurprisingly,  and they are performed pretty well.  Martin’s voice strayed occasionally , but guitarist Danny and drummer Tim provide very good backing vocals.  The rest of Martin’s 70s catalogue is well represented, with a track each from the first LP, Wishbone 4, Pilgrimage,  There’s the Rub,  No smoke without fire and Just Testing. Nothing from the reformed Mk 1 era, but the whole second set is pretty well paced and performed.

Not a huge venue, but there were some hard-core Wishbone Ash fans there.  All in all,  a good night.

Tribute Acts…Ad Nauseum. Swinging Blue Jeans. Dr Feelgood. Yes

Her ladyship noticed another discussion regarding exactly what is a ‘tribute’ act.  Some people seem to confuse the concept with a covers act.  Skeggy has brought up the Dr Feelgood question, re their now having no original. members.  We class it as a metamorphosis with a brief hiatus to regroup (no pun intended).

Is our chum McTaff, a decades-long fan of Yes, currently holding tickets to go and see a tribute act then?(Yes do not have any original members now, neither have Man). Ask their fans.

Our last visit to a 60s Skeggy weekend (see earlier review), genuinely revealed not a single member of ANY act on Saturday night who was in the line-up in the 60s!  ‘Festival of the not in the sixties’ then?

The recent goings on with the Swinging Blue Jeans is interesting, do a search.

Am I right in thinking that the three original members of Sugababes reformed but had to use another name , as the existing Sugababes (with no original members) had the ‘name’

A Leeds Utd supporter since 1975 once asked me how I could not regard Dr Feelgood as now being a tribute act. I said that , coincidentally, I had been a fan since 1975. The Leeds Utd team he currently supported has a different line-up to 1975, what’s the difference?!  They certainly don’t have any original members now!  (From 1919!)

The Acoustic Festival of Britain now has 4 tribute acts on this year. It wasn’t so long ago that they reluctantly had 1.  But the most requested act  to return this year is The Counterfeit Stones, and it is those voters who buy the tickets.    So I had to have a little chuckle when a ‘cute’ poster appeared on their Facebook page, one sentence says ‘DON’T  BE A COPY. THE WORLD NEEDS ORIGINALS. ‘