THE MOODY BLUES LIVE AT BOURNEMOUTH INTERNATIONAL CENTRE 19th JUNE 2013

It’s only taken me 40 years to get round to seeing the Moody’s. Wouldn’t want to rush these things…. Given that I’ve been aware of them for nearly 50 years that’s quite a surprise! Anyways, I suppose I shouldn’t have been that shocked when Graeme Edge announced he was 72 years young and then launched (appropriately given it’s 1969 Man On The Moon inspiration) into a version of a song I’d not heard before, Higher And Higher, jigged about the stage nicely and chatted engagingly to the audience. More expected were Justin Hayward & John Lodge centrestage, and fair enough too, I’ve long been a fan of Justin’s singing voice (still got it) and solo excursions, and of his 1975 hit Blue Guitar with John Lodge, but I hadn’t realised how many John sang too. Nice surprise. As was the rocking young supporting band, 2 ladies 2 gents, to give a fairly boisterous performance, no support, two halves, and the audience fanbase seemed quite faithful too.

I enjoyed hearing the old songs, particularly the late 60’s and early 70’s stuff, as that was when I was most aware of them and they were appearing on Top Of The Pops. That said, I also liked their early 80’s American hits (minor UK hits). The big question for me was how their classic Nights In White Satin could possibly come over live, given it’s very ambitious orchestral setting, and I also hoped they would do (but also the same issues for) Isn’t Life Strange and Question. As it turned out, no worries! It sounded fabulous, and they did all the singles I wanted from that period, including Ride My See Saw, a fab track that ought to be re-issued, as an encore. I could nitpick, and say it was a pity they didn’t do their great song Simple Game (which I saw The Four Tops original line-up do on the same stage back in the 80‘s), or Blue Guitar as a bonus, but hey ho, plenty of others. It’s odd for me these days seeing pop stars from my youth not as young as they once were, but I’m still happy for them to tour if they can still put on a show. Older doesn’t mean old. I went to see Andy Williams when he was 80 and he was fine, and Glen Campbell the other year and he had Alzheimer’s and he was still great. As for the Moody’s, I’d go again!

My faves on the night:

  1. Nights In White Satin
  2. Ride My See-Saw
  3. Question
  4. Isn’t Life Strange
  5. The Voice
  6. I’m Just A Singer In A Rock n Roll Band
  7. Higher & Higher
  8. Gemini Dream
  9. Tuesday Afternoon
  10. Steppin’ In A Slide Zone

A Random List Of Acts I’ve Seen Live

Lulu! In concert Bournemouth Pavilion

Lulu! In concert Bournemouth Pavilion

OK it’s a list to remind me who I’ve seen (that I haven’t reviewed on here yet), stick on some photos, and if there is any interest I’ll do some reviews based on fading memories. That’ll be fairly short, then….

The act I’ve seen most times? Pet Shop Boys. Always reliable, always arty, always a great live show.

My fave live concert? Pet Shop Boys at the Barcelona  Poble Espanol 2009.(it’s a saga how I got to be there)

Random acts, great performances or great acts nearer the top:

U2, The Beach Boys, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Texas, The Pretenders, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Robbie Williams, The Human League, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Coldplay, The Monkees, Prince, Scissor Sisters, Michael jackson, George Michael, Eurythmics, Glen Campbell, The Jam, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Mary Wilson, The Bee Gees, INXS, Squeeze..

Pause for another batch, phew!

Lightning Seeds, Bryan Adams, New Order, Ultravox, Bobby Vee, Steppenwolf, Alice Cooper, Heart, La Roux, Bernard Butler, Lisa Stansfield, Duran Duran, Pulp, M People, Vic Reeves, Stereophonics, Gary Numan, Hurts, Dennis Loccorriere, Hot Chocolate, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Shakespear’s Sister, a-ha, The Sweet, Mud, Bananarama, Gary Glitter, The Glitter Band, Suzi Quatro, Katrina & The Waves, Boney M

oK another pause..

Peter Noone, The Boomtown Rats, Paul Weller, The Police, Elkie Brooks, Lindisfarne, Republica, OMD, Belinda carlisle, Thunder, Hall & Oates, Jethro Tull, Boy George & Culture Club, UB40, Danii Minogue, Altered Images, Kim Wilde, Kirsty Maccoll, The Three Degrees, Snap!, Roy Wood, Jon Bon Jovi, Mavis Staples, Semisonic, The Seahorses, Spandau Ballet…

Still here? I’ll continue, but I’m sure Ive forgotten quite a few more recent ones..

Technotronic, Cher, Tina Turner, David Essex, Tommy Roe, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Tremeloes, Status Quo, Natalie Cole, KWS, Marv Johnson, The Chi-Lites, The Corrs, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Joe Brown, Sam Brown, Edgar Winter, Hugh Cornwell, Mr Mister, Neil Sedaka, Andy Williams, 5 Star, Visage, Dollar, The Belle Stars, The Manfreds, The Blues Band, Depeche Mode, Nik Kershaw…

Well, I’m getting bored, and it’s my list…next batch

Big Country, 10CC, Bucks Fizz, Bad manners, Madness, Men At Work, Santana, Hue And Cry, Girlschool, Heaven 17, ABC, The Black Crowes, Lynden David Hall, Peter Sartsedt, Robin Sarstedt, Eden kane,  Bjorn Again, T.Rextasy, Simple Minds, Catatonia, Bush, Def Leppard, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich, Dave Berry, Blondie, Jocelyn Brown

and that’ll do for now. Another batch when Ive remembered them! Plus photos.

and here’s the next batch I’d forgotten..

The kaiser Chiefs, Tom Jones, Dionne warwick, Hazel Dean, Mike Oldfield, Lulu, Go West, The Guillemots, We Are Scientists, The Noisettes, The Who, Imelda May, Alan Price, Dave Edmunds, The Cheeky Girls, The Moody Blues, Laura Mvula, Olivia Newton-John, Paloma Faith, Dennis Locorriere, Shelley Nelson, The ELO Experience….

and there’s still more to come, I’m sure! I mean I forgot The Who and Tom Jones and Dionne Warwick!

Paloma Faith and Laura Mvula Bournemouth International Centre June 5th 2013

Bournemouth Daily Echo copyright see their review online

Bournemouth Daily Echo copyright see their review online

Paloma Faith is quirky, endearing, arty and lives her life as if life is art. Her enthusiasm and engaging attitude is matched by Laura Mvula, supporting ably with a few songs from the new album, most of them hard to categorise in today’s obsessively pigeon-holing music world. That’s good! As a description I’d plump for “African rhythms meets string quartet in a jazzysoulful stylee”. Laura’s also quite arty, if you consider that a good thing (I do) and she’s so likeable and full of enthusiasm for what she does, it’s a refreshing change from those carefully bored or stroppy successful pop stars going through the motions. Lovely tracks like Sing To The Moon, and the fab hit single Green Garden set the mood for Paloma nicely (and she came back to join Paloma on a cover of I Can’t Stand The Rain which was a nice touch, Paloma is generous with her enthusiastic support of others, so well done her!).

Talking of, I’d expected an untypical format for a live gig, and it was as much an art show as a concert, Paloma gently easing the audience in with mellow tracks off the new album before pulling the curtains back for the full backing band and singers and fabulously designed set, sort of Marlene Dietrich-era golden sculptures and effective backdrop, low-level mirrors and stage levels. Bet she designed it! First off, she’s a great soul singer and appeals across a wide age range, and everything is beautifully presented, right down to leaving the stage when introducing each of the band and singers so they got the attention. Like I said, generous and thoughtful. For me, while I like the new stuff (there’s nothing below standard with any of it, I’m just not as familar with it), it was the first album I rushed out to buy, I like the variety of styles more. So, Never Tear Us Apart was my first highlight, a great version of a great INXS song I watched them sing live on the same stage 20 years ago, Michael Hutchence was one of the great unsung rock frontmen, he was seriously on fire. Paloma did good, too! Followed soon after by a trio of singles from the first album, the fab Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful peaking with the awesome New York, one of the great records of recent years. The audience approved….!

Onwards with hints of the direction the next album might take, one great new track, and a few obscure 70’s soul covers from the likes of Candi Staton or better-known classics like Etta James I’d Rather Go Blind. If soul is the next flavour for the 3rd album, hey fine with me…. From hereon it was pulling out the best of the new stuff, for the encore (I wish all acts would follow her example and come back speedily, as she said, we all know it’s coming, the only question is how long you have to wait!) including the big hit single Picking Up The Pieces, clearly the audience fave, and one that I (and the UK public) had under-appreciated, the fabulous Just Be, Paloma lying on the piano to fine affect and to end the evening. I’d go again:)

So my faves on the night:

  1. New York
  2. Picking Up The Pieces
  3. Just Be
  4. Never Tear Us Apart
  5. Stone Cold Sober
  6. Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful
  7. I’d Rather Go Blind
  8. Black & Blue
  9. Freedom
  10. I’d Rather Be An Old Man’s Sweetheart

The Zombies Live at Wimborne Tivoli Theatre 31st May 2013

The latest in my occasional concert reviews…maybe I’ll go back to some old classics if I kept the notes,, sometime. Meantime, hot off the press….

There are few bands from the 60’s with critical acclaim still touring in 2013, but happily The Zombies remain one of the few. Both 67, the leading lights are keyboardist Rod Argent and vocalist Colin Blunstone, and you’d think they were a decade or two younger. I was too young for the The Zombies in the 60’s, though I was aware of them, and knew She’s Not There, but by 1972 they made an impact on my musical life: I got into the group Argent in late ’71, when legendary Alan Freeman played Hold Your Head Up and I recorded it on my reel to reel tape, and then in early ’72 I actually used my pocket money to buy Colin’s “Say You Don’t Mind” which I was mad on for a while. In those days, singles were almost 50pence, compared to about 79pence downloads now. The equivalent would be about £5 now I guess, cost of living adjusted, so you really had to want a single enough to save up for it!

Mores great singles followed for another year, then that was about it until I started going to Florida on holiday in the 90’s when oldies radio heavily played a song called Time Of The Season which I loved. Turns out album Odessey and Oracle is a bit of a referenced classic by hip acts young and old (Weller to Foo Fighters to Vaccines), and listed in Greatest album charts, despite stiffing on first release. Back together again, the Zombies have produced decent stuff over the last few years and are an actual active 60’s band making good music. Hooray!

So, Wimborne Tivoli’s theatre, I’m ashamed to say I’d never been before, despite living down the road, it’s a charming sort of 1930’s art deco venue, and just the right place to see a 1960’s charming arty act. Colin Blunstone’s honeysweet vocals were the big question, as some of the solo stuff in particular has challenging ranges, and I wasn’t sure if he’d get that final note in Denny laine’s Say You Don’t Mind. He did! Coming over as a likeable slightly-gangly Bambi figure, not much of a stage mover, that was more-or-less how I remembered him on now-tragically-lost (as far as I know) Top Of The Pops performances, and didn’t mind at all as his voice was the Main Thing.

Argent’s TOTP performances are also (as far as I know) also now-tragically-lost, but Rod Argent gave a couple of Argent’s keyboard-driven rock classics of theirs that brought a nostalgic tear to my eye, it was great to hear those largely-period-sounding organ sounds again, and Rod came over as an outward-going likeable crowd-pleaser. Great co-musicians, long-time and recent, it was a good evening, and quite varied, from the jazz-flavoured early Zombies and recent stuff, a bit of rock, gentle ballads, Gershwin & Little Anthony covers, and of course the psychedelic classics along with a great Alan Parsons Project song. It was always going to be a tough ask to do a strings version of Say You Don’t Mind, so we got a more uptempo version, and we got a fairly accurate version of Dave Stewart’s What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted (Colin sang lead on it) which I was never that excited by, the single version being a bit 80’s synthalong. Colin’s much better than that, so I would have preferred a stripped-down version of voice and organ, if I can nitpick a bit. Other than that, I say, if you get the chance, go along! I’d also add, at £18 a ticket, that’s the biggest concert bargain you’ll find anywhere, never mind for 60’s pop legends. There’s a little combo from then called the Strolling Stones, I think, who charge about £18 too. Per track.

These were my faves on the night, but there were plenty of others I enjoyed without knowing:

  1. Time Of The Season
  2. Hold Your Head Up
  3. She’s Not There
  4. God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You
  5. I Don’t Believe In Miracles (+ = 5. Goin’ Out Of My Head)
  6. Summertime
  7. Old And Wise
  8. Say You Don’t Mind
  9. A Rose For Emily
  10. Tell Her No
  11. This Will Be Our Year
  12. Care Of Cell 44
  13. I Love You
  14. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
  15. You Really Got A Hold Of Me.