Monthly Archives: April 2016

Webb Wilder. Seven Arts. Leeds. 23.04 2016

More than 25 years ago, Her Ladyship went with a friend to see the Georgia Satellites at the Leeds Irish Centre. She didn’t know much about them, but came home raving about the support act. They were so good she thought they must have been the headliners. Said support act returned a couple of years later to headline and , yes, they were absolutely great. It was, of course, Webb Wilder ‘The man’, Webb Wilder ‘The band’.

And he has finally found Leeds again, albeit as a one-man acoustic show. Got there nice and early for a front row seat in an extremely ‘intimate’ setting (capacity of about 100?).   Maria (promoter and Webb-fan) treated us to a few songs with her fiddling friend Seonaid (have I spelt it right ?) , including ditties from Steve Earle and James Taylor, before His Webbness ambled  on.

Starting out with ‘No Great Shakes’ ( the first of many R.S. Field songs), from ‘Acres of Suede’, he showed he was quite comfortable in a solo setting. He followed up with ‘If it ain’t broke’ from the recent ‘Mississippi Moderne, one of many from that record. Coincidentally, the only one he had on sale! But he was essentially very much ‘travelling light’.   Their first LP ‘It came from Nashville’ provided a few numbers, as did the follow-up ‘Hybrid Vigor’.  In fact, we got a good range from the last quarter of a century plus.

As well as Bobby Field songs, Webb covered the likes of Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty and Steve Earle, with a tease of ‘You’re still on my Mind’ thrown in.  We got references to John Merrick and Elvis too.

He needed to ask for his capo (or ‘caypo’ as Americans pronounce it). We were treated to the obligatory dickhead shouting out ‘It’s Cappo’ every time Webb mentioned the device .(I wonder if Webb was thinking “Twayt” like the rest of us were). He tried to meet any requests, but, as Maria suggested, ” Let him get on with it!”.  All those people shouting out ‘Human Cannonball’. It is like shouting out ‘Freebird’ at a bloody Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, do they really think they haven’t played it at every single gig since it was written!?

A great gig, split into 2 sets. Webb happily chatted and signed stuff at half-time too.  We would love to see the return of the ‘electrifying artist’ in a full group setting, but it was still worth the wait.



Flamin’ Groovies. Brudenell Social Club. 20.04.2016

Two support acts before San Francisco’s finest (certainly one of the finest) are due on. I was a bit nervous about doing the review though. Always difficult when it is such a legendary name.

The Breakdowns. 4-piece from Nottingham, boldly advertised as ‘Garage Rock ‘n’ Roll Power Pop’. I think a reference to The Ramones wouldn’t be out of order either. The lead guitarist had a definite Johnny R stance, although doing a lead break broke the mould!  ‘ Rave on’ got a typical Ramones beefing up of a pop/rock ‘n’ roll standard. The singer / guitarist donned some sunglasses for’ Saturday Girl’, and ‘Don’t go’ was the obligatory slow number. Again, the sort of strategy adopted by da bruddas from Noo York.  A nod in the direction of Chuck Berry brought their short set to a close, and we enjoyed it very much. An extra point to the bassist for wearing a T-shirt from one of my all-time faves…Big Star

Nervous Twitch. Male drummer, male lead guitarist, female lead vocalist/bassist, female guitarist/back-up vocalist.  From the start, it was difficult to remove the image of the B52s in the Flintstones movie. No bad thing, of course, but there will never be another Kate Pearson.  An instrumental, a sort of ‘Son of’  ‘Wipe Out’ was good. It wouldn’t be fair of me to try and give an objective opinion, as we know one of the group. However, if I could say one thing?  It sounded better when the lead vocalist gave her bass to the female guitarist, and played keyboard while singing.

Flamin’ Groovies. Formed in 1965 by guitarist Cyril Jordan and vocalist Roy Loney, they have been touring, recording, breaking up, getting back together for the last fifty years. Many have come and gone , but Mr Jordan has been a constant.  Tonight’s  line up featured Jordan, George Alexander on bass (from the 60s), Chris Wilson (who joined when Loney left in 1971) on vocals and guitar and Victor Penalosa on drums. So a line-up with some authenticity.  They kicked off with ‘Yeah my baby’ a 2-chord wonder (!) and quickly followed up with the criminally-underrated Gene Clark’s Byrds song ‘Feel a whole lot better’. The rest of the set was a cracking ‘Best of..’ selection. No ‘Here is our new record in its entirety’ and , as always, plenty of cover versions. Chris Wilson has been quoted as preferring to play more of their own stuff, but Cyril is the one who likes to play some covers. Hey, The Grateful Dead had hours of their own material but played lots of covers on stage. It worked fine for them.  So we got ‘You tore me down’, the Beatles-esque ‘Please Please Girl’, ‘I can’t hide’, along with ‘Tallahassee Lassie’, ‘St Louis Blues’, ‘Don’t you lie to me’, ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and NRBQ’s ‘I want you bad’. And of course, no Groovies gig would be allowed without ‘Slow Death’, ‘Shake some Action’ and the final number ‘Teenage Head’. George got to show of his very good set of pipes too.

A great night, from a front line who will never again see their sixtieth birthdays. They all seemed to really enjoy it, Wilson in particular. Compare it with Bob Dylan’s appearances for at least the last thirty years, which involve coming on , grunting and going off.  Interesting to see someone with a T-shirt reproducing the seminal gig poster from the Roundhouse 4 July 1976. An important landmark in the history of ‘punk’, with The Ramones and The Stranglers supporting the Flamin’ Groovies. So £16 for tonight’s gig was criminally good value. I reckon it would be twice as much to see  The Stranglers, and probably about three times as much if The Ramones were still with us.

Sound was good, room for a few more. Drinks very good value. As usual, apologies for any errors.

Atomic Rooster

An interesting addition to the Cambridge Rock Festival bill.  Those out there who reckon that any act who does not have any original members cannot be ‘the real thing’ ( No, not The Real Thing!), will have a field day. (Dr Feelgood is the usual example quoted). The current line-up of Atomic Rooster does not have any of the people who were on the first LP.*

Ir would be quite difficult to do, as they are all dead. But they have 2 members from the 70s who have flown the flag for some time.

Ironically, CRF has a Thursday full of tribute acts.


*Update 14.6.2016

Copy acts

After many years waiting for Leeds to get a decent-size arena, we are told that the Clone Roses are coming.  Is it possible to raise an on-line petition which means punters can only pay with ‘copy’ fivers, tenners etc? That might put an end to them.

The Petty Heartbreakers. Duck and Drake. 3.4.2016

Regular readers ( yes, both of you)  will be aware that we do not ‘do’ copy groups, but there are exceptions to the rule. When the best such group in Leeds are playing in the best pub in Leeds, that is one such exception.

The lads are regularly changing their set list, so avoiding being on automatic pilot with a ‘Greatest Hits’ show.  Looking at today’s set list (thanks for providing it, Rich), I worked out that 14 studio lps are delved into, plus other tracks from the ‘Greatest Hits’, the live ‘Pack up the Plantation’ ,  ‘Live Anthology’ and the Travelling Wilburys.

Kick off around 6.30pm, they start with ‘Honey Bee’ and follow it up with the more recognisable ‘Change of Heart’ and ‘Listen to her Heart’.  Interesting that we got two people doing ‘Something in the Air’ on consecutive nights , especially as pianist Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman has recently died.

As usual, a brief break after about fifty minutes and it was about 8.45 before they finally managed to get offstage (after a few unscheduled encores).

Another great show, with an appreciative crowd too.

Set List.  Part 1.    Honey Bee/Change of heart/Listen to her heart/Something in the air/Learning to fly/Into the great wide open/Jammin’ me/Don’t come around here no more/The apartment song/Have love will travel/Walls/Anything that’s rock and roll/Running down a dream.             Part 2.    Saving grace/Handle with care/I won’t back down/I should have known it/All you can carry/Shadow of a doubt/Breakdown/Free fallin’/So you want to be a rock and roll star/I need to know/American girl.    Encores. Refugee/Mary Jane’s last dance/Oh well.   Plus unscheduled stuff.

Full Moon Fever had the most ‘plays’, but one of my favourites ‘The waiting'(from ‘Long after dark’) has been rested. As has ‘King’s Highway’.  Requests for next time?  How about following ‘Rock and roll star’ with ‘Needles and pins’, as on the live lp?  Ok, so no Stevie Nicks to sing with, but they managed ‘Walls’ without Lindsey Buckingham.

Thanks again lads. IMG_20160403_194009371


The KirkbyBeats. The Lion, Castleford. 2.4.2016

The music on offer at The Lion is mainly rock covers outfits, with the accent firmly on AC/DC and Thin Lizzy. But every so often they have groups who have a 60s repertoire and The KirkbyBeats (have I spelled it correctly?) is one such group.

60s pub/club groups are ten a penny. The songs are generally relatively easy to play and even the customers who weren’t around in the 60s seem to know all the words.

The songs from The KirkbyBeats are all familiar. Plenty of Rolling  Stones and Animals numbers plus well-known  Beatles, Who, Byrds tracks.   ‘Something in the Air’ was the most recent song.

Not much different to the set lists from other 60s cover acts, although the deceptively tricky ‘Please Please Me’ is rarely featured by many others.  And that is one reason why this lot are a bit different. Most of the 60s groups range from adequate to awful, but The KirkbyBeats are probably the best we have seen…and we have seen a lot!

Good playing, good vocals, good sound and no naff ‘club’ banter. The pub was pretty full when they started, people had obviously seen them here before.

It is very rare that we risk stopping until 11.00pm and pray that the last bus home doesn’t miss. This was one occasion when we decided it was worth staying.  Heartily recommended for anyone thinking about a birthday party booking maybe, not just a Saturday night in the pub.