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162. PHIL ERICSON (aka PHIL THE MUSIC QUILL) AND FRIENDS at RFC. Tuesday 28th March 2017. A review by Gemma Boyd.

Phil Ericson’s Feature Night at Romford Folk Club, The Sun pub, Romford, East London – 28 March 2017

From left to right: Nora Kelson, Phil Ericson, Jackie Gregory and Jo Gregory. Photograph by Charlie Martin.

Better known by some as Phil the Music Quill, singer-songwriter, guitarist and music journalist Phil Ericson’s feature night marked the last performance after 24 years at The Sun pub for Romford Folk Club members before their migration to a new venue; The White Horse pub in Chadwell Health.

Club regulars were out in force to support Phil, whose two sets featured a well-assorted choice of original songs penned by both Phil and others of his songwriter friends, much-loved classics such as ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton, and a world premier! Especially warming was how Phil invited an array of his artist mates up on stage to join him, then served bread pudding to all with the introduction of his song (a personal favourite), ‘Nan’s Bread Pudd’n’’.

First up was ‘Mid-Life Crisis Blues’ by new retiree, Phil on vocals and guitar. His work is hallmarked by amusing but simultaneously poignant lyrics about his life and family, and for this number he was accompanied by Neal Price on Dobro. Neal’s stripped-down slide guitar solo added an authentic blues feel reminiscent of American Delta blues guitarist and singer, Booker White’s 1940 recording of ‘Aberdeen Mississipi Blues’.

Phil’s easy banter with the audience paved the way for his first ever performance of love song, ‘Two Hearts Become One’ (lyrics by Jose Gallindo-Herrador and music by Phil). This contained some pleasing modulations, an intriguing time signature, and was performed with real feeling.

For his song, ‘Grandad’s Seven Hats’, Phil added yet another layer of interest with his inclusion of comedian and author, Nick Barrett, who placed grandad’s seven hats on Phil’s head as he sang. You could hear a pin drop as the audience concentrated hard on, and resonated with his words: “Now I am a grandad and I wear an old flat cap. I look just like my own dad….”

‘Riding Thumb’ by Phil’s songwriter friend, Tony Partis, chugged along enjoyably, aided by Neal Price and Monzur Rahman on percussion. It’s a song about picking up a blonde hitchhiker who has “never-ending thighs” with a great twist at the end: The blonde turns out to be a mugger who pulls a gun on the narrator!

Following a round of cheering and thunderous applause from his audience, Phil concluded the evening with a fitting commemoration; his ‘Romford Folk Club Lament’, sung alongside Rod Standen on guitar and Glyn Protheroe on percussion. A ‘wet paint’ sign was hung on the wall behind them signalling the end of the club’s time in this soon to be commercially let basement.

One thing’s for sure, though – Phil Ericson and his music really put the ‘folk’ in Romford Folk Club, whose members will continue to meet every Tuesday at 8 pm to play acoustic folk, country and blues for years to come.

Gemma Boyd

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69. SON OF MAN with special guest DEKE LEONARD (+ STEVE KELLY and GAVIN LLOYD-WILSON) at the VILLAGE BLUES CLUB’s 7th Reunion. Dagenham Trades Hall. Saturday, 12th September, 2015. + a few words about the venue.

(Photo: PTMQ)

Empty stage (Photo: PTMQ)

Preamble: Well, its a great shame that the Village Blues Club couldn’t hold its twice-yearly reunion in its traditional home at the Dagenham Roundhouse, due to the venue being completely closed down. I don’t know what is exactly going on with this issue, but I know a lot of people who are very unhappy about it.

Anyway, I went along with my gig-mate, the guitarist Glyn Protheroe. Being a Welshman himself, he was very keen to reacquaint himself with, as he stereotypically said ‘…my Welsh boyos!’; and I met up with him at the venue. We had a pint in the public bar where we also met Darren Wisdom (who is known for his work for Martin Turner), before entering the Music Room.

The Venue: Not to be thwarted by being ousted from their traditional home, the club’s impresario Ken Ansted and his crew were able to book the nearby Dagenham Trades Hall. I’d never been to this venue before; but I was very impressed with it. There is a public bar that has its own stage at the front of the building; but we were booked for the large Music Room at the back. This is a very well designed venue; with a small stage at one end and a bar at the other. There is a good sized dance floor, with seating all around, including a raised seated area.

Support Act: Steve Kelly and Gavin Lloyd-Wilson (Photo: PTMQ)

Support Act: Steve Kelly and Gavin Lloyd-Wilson (Photo: PTMQ)

The Reunions: After very much enjoying the Village Blues Club’s 6th Reunion (featuring Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash, see my review #56), back in May (and still held at The Roundhouse), I was keen to go along for this Son Of Man gig. The bands chosen for the reunions are those that still exist (in some form or other) from those who played at The Roundhouse between 1969-75. For example, Wishbone Ash played there so MTWA were booked last time. Stray played there, so Del Bromham’s Stray have played at an earlier reunion. And of course, Man played, so Son Of Man were booked this time. Scheduled for the 8th jolly-up next May, is John Coughlan’s Quo. JC of course, is the original drummer of Status Quo who played the Roundhouse several times in their earlier days. Son Of Man also played at the 5th Reunion last year – a gig that I unfortunately missed; but which apparently was a great success too.

Support Act:  At the last reunion, support was from singer/song-writer Steve Kelly. He was here again; but this time joined by bassist Gavin Lloyd Wilson.  Steve is an erstwhile regular of The Village Blues Club, and now runs the music venue The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales; which Gavin also frequents. This apparently was only their second gig together as a duet, but they were musically tight. Gavin is an impressive bassist, and used both fretted and fretless bass guitars – both headless. Steve’s playing and vocals were very good too.

Micky Jones' SG (Photo: PTMQ)

Micky Jones’ SG (Photo: PTMQ)

Their set was similar to Steve’s last Reunion appearance, and consisted of a few well known covers: ‘Immigrant Song’; ‘In My Chair’; and ‘Lazy Sunday’. And some of Steve’s own very interesting compositions: ‘Butter No Parsnips’ (‘No matter how you dress it up its still the same old shit!’); ‘Long Way From Home’ (Both metaphorically and realistically, for all the Village Club regulars); ‘Suburban Villa’ (A Ray Davies-esque social observation song about how things have changed since the 50s, and how we recall the good, but block out the bad things); ‘Universal Brain’ (Dedicated to Syd Barrett – a fine line between madness and sanity: ‘Just a flick of the switch and you’ll be barking at the Moon!’); ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ (About our hopelessness in the face of natural events); ‘You Can Never Shine’ (Dedicated to Kevin Ayers. You can’t appreciate the mountains till you’ve been down in the valleys); ‘Oh No No No No’ (A sardonic, sarcastic song bemoaning the lack of protest about political events); and finally, ‘Sights And Sounds’ (A Music Hall style song imagining seaside promenading 100 years ago). A fine set.

Son Of Man:   As their name suggests, Son Of Man are descended from the legendary Welsh Psychedelic / Prog-Rockers, Man. Leading the band is George Jones (son of the much lamented original Man member Micky Jones) on guitar; who for a while played in Man himself with his Dad. He is joined by Bob Richards (one of Man’s many drummers); Glenn Quinn (previously of Tigertailz on guitar, vocals); and three ex-members of fellow Welsh rockers Sassafras: Richie Galloni (Vocals); Marco James (Keys; vocals); and (normally) Ray Jones (Bass; vocals). But unfortunately, Bassist Ray couldn’t make it for this gig due to having a hip op; so Peter Stradling (of George’s other band Scotch Corner) kindly stood in for him. Quite a remarkable line-up, then! The band play their own original material, as well as classics from the parent band’s repertoire, of course.

(Photo: PTMQ)

Son Of Man (Photo: PTMQ)

Deke Leonard:   Special guest for this gig was another founding member of Man, the inimitable Deke Leonard; now aged 70, but still gigging with Son Of Man occasionally. He also founded Iceberg; and has done solo work too. His advertised presence at this gig was eagerly awaited by the Man fans who had bought up all the tickets in advance.

The Son Of Man Set:  After a short interval, Master Of Ceremonies Ken Ansted introduced the headliners, Son Of Man, to great applause. George immediately armed himself with his Dad’s famous Gibson SG, and the band began with the old Man classic ‘Love Your Life’. It was a great, lively start. They followed up with the Bluesy ‘Talk About Morning’. It was clear, even from these two opening numbers that we were privileged to be witnessing this performance. The musicianship from all on the stage was second to none.

The more progressive piece ‘Back Together Again’ followed; and sounded really good. The next song was introduced by George: ‘This is a great song, written by the Dark Lord himself, Deke Leonard …’Hard Way To Die’, he said; and a fine performance it was too; with George playing bottleneck on a 54 year-old Strat (probably his Dad’s too). They gave us a newer song, ‘All Alone / C’mon’ next. This was new to me, but I liked it a lot; especially the Space-Rock vibe of ‘C’mon’. There are long instrumental passages in this, during which all of the band excelled. After receiving great wails of approval, George said: ‘You liked that then!’. Oh yes!

(Photo: PTMQ)

Deke (Photo: PTMQ)

The newish ‘Guiding Hand’ was next. Its another great Bluesy number. The Proggy ‘Otherside’ followed. It has an interesting arpeggiated intro, and great use of heavy reverb. Glenn on lead guitar was superb on this one. ‘Quasimode’ was then dedicated to all the late members of Man. Marco on Hammond was impressive here. With so many ex-members of Sassafras in the band, it would only be right to include one of their songs – ‘Ohio’. I was very glad to hear this again. It was a fine rendition. ‘Call Down The Moon’ was introduced next, with its distinctive wah-wah riff intro and solos. Brilliant!

Deke joins the band:   At this point George introduced the special guest – who else but the inimitable Deke Leonard? He climbed on stage and donned his distinctive SG with its psychedelic circles paint job, to chants of ‘Deke! Deke! Deke!’; and set off with ‘The Ride And The View’ – Deke’s mastery of the bottleneck still apparently sharp. And we fans showed our appreciation when it ended. The mental ’71 71 551′ followed; with three harmonised guitars belting it out. And finally the rousing Blues-Rocker ‘Romain’ finished the main set to raptures from the audience.

Bananas! (Photo: PTMQ)

Bananas! (Photo: PTMQ)

Encore!  There didn’t seem much point in the band leaving the stage as we all knew they’d be required for a well deserved encore! At this point my mate Glyn produced a banana and handed it to George on the stage; who ate it in spite of it having suffered for a few hours in his pocket – well, he said it’d been in his pocket, but who knows! Obviously we all knew which song would be next – the bizarre ‘Bananas’ of course! What a fantastic rendition it was, with a great keyboard solo from Marco. George promised that that the band would be back again next year before they finished with the unique ‘Spunk Rock’.

Aftermath:  What a fantastic show! What with the lights; dry ice; extended abstract solos; and copious use of the Wah-Wah pedal. It was the nearest I’ve been to a 70’s Prog-Rock gig since …well, the 70s! All that was missing was the smell of grass! Without exception, all of the band members were impressive – tight and highly competent. This could be my choice for Best Rock Gig at my end of year review …watch this space! After the show we met some of the band members; and had a nice little chat with Deke and some other people. Thanks to all the very talented musos that we saw on the night; Ken Ansted and all the staff of The Village Blues Club for their hard work and dedication; and to the staff of Trades Hall for a very memorable evening indeed. PTMQ

67. GORDON GILTRAP (+ GARY RANDLE and DEBBIE CARTER) at FAIRKYTES ARTS CENTRE, Hornchurch, Essex. Friday, 4th September, 2015. + A few words about the venue.

Gordon's guitars for the evening (Photo: PTMQ)

Gordon’s guitars for the evening (Photo: PTMQ)

Too many years had elapsed since I’d seen the acoustic maestro Gordon Giltrap in action; but that was a situation that was certainly put right this evening. When I heard a couple of months ago that he was due to play at Fairkytes Live – a venue close to my home – I was of course interested to get down to the gig. I immediately contacted my friend, the guitarist Glyn Protheroe, who I knew would be up for this one.

Fairkytes Arts Centre in Hornchurch, is run by the London Borough of Havering; and its musical wing – Fairkytes Live – has recently hosted gigs by some quite well known artists. These include: ‘The Queen Of Soul’ Mari Wilson; Bluesman Doug MacLeod; and ‘The Rose Of Alabama’ Lisa Mills. Future dates include Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges; guitarist Martin Harley; Jazz trumpeter Martin Shaw; and Punk icon Toyah Wilcox. Quite a variety then. I found manager Tony Matthews to be very welcoming and informative.

Stupidly Glyn and I didn’t realise that the show started so early, and didn’t arrive until near the end of the support act. But as we walked in to the full, darkened and hushed music room, we were very impressed (as everyone else evidently was), by the duet Gary Randle (guitar), and Debbie Carter (vocals). They had just begun performing a very good cover of the Ashley Hutchings song ‘Sway With Me’ – Debbie’s beautiful vocals and Gary’s guitar were both very impressive indeed.  Gary finished the set with his excellent instrumental inspired by a trip to the Great Orme in Wales: ‘From Up High’, in DADGAD tuning; which was fittingly very Giltrap-esque in essence – Gary being a big fan of his. I’d already been tipped off by Paul Ballantyne of Romfrord Folk Club that Gary would be playing tonight; and I had a word with him after the gig. He is a local man who began playing the guitar at the age of five. But at thirteen he heard Giltrap’s 1978 hit, ‘Heartsong’; and realised that there was a lot more he could do with an acoustic. Well he certainly couldn’t have picked a more inspiring master to learn from! He has been working with Debbie for about three years now; and also collaborates with Silvi Gonzalez.

The master at work! (Photo: PTMQ)

The master at work! (Photo: PTMQ)

Soon the star of the show was introduced by manager Tony.  After a little amusing preamble, Gordon began the first half of his set with ‘Maddy Goes West’. Then he talked about his charity work; and announced that he had recently been diagnosed with a non-malignant cancer (‘…the size of a melon!’) and is due to be operated on soon, which will of course keep him out of action for some months.  He then continued with  ‘Shining Morn’.

After lamenting the passing of some old friends from the mid-60s (‘…that Golden Age of music’ as he described it) such as John Renbourn, Davey Graham, and Bert Jansch; who sadly ‘…had left the crease’; and talking of the erstwhile Folk Club in Greek Street;  he then played George Harrison‘s ‘Here Comes The Sun’ – but it was a cover that was inimitably Giltrap through and through. The beautiful ‘Mrs.Singer’s Waltz’ was his next offering, during which he demonstrated his excellent use of a reverb pedal. Next he played a new (and as yet, untitled) piece – apparently composing this one ended an understandable writing block after being told he had ‘…this thing inside me’ (the cancer).

Gordon said proudly that the second album he ever bought was Bert Jansch’s ‘Blue Album’. A tune from this album, ‘Angie’ (originally penned by Davey Graham), was his next rendition; and a fine cover it was too. Again, he made it his own to a large extent. Unusually, our host then gave us a choice of two reverb settings from his Verbzilla FX pedal (‘What a naff title for an effects pedal – it sounds like a disease, doesn’t it?’ he joked).  But after giving us a sample of each, my friend Glyn and some others called out in favour of the second setting. Gordon then played his piece ‘Loren’ in honour of Bert Jansch and his wife, who tragically died within weeks of each other.

The Quill with Gordon (Photo: PTMQ)

The Quill with Gordon (Photo: PTMQ)

The finale, and highlight of the first set (and indeed for me, the whole show) was ‘Dodo’s Dream’. This is a piece that I’ve been familiar with for many years. It first appeared on Gordon’s 1980 album Peacock Party; and in my opinion is one of the best things ever written and recorded by him. I’d never heard it played like this before though (although it was reworked in its present form for the Shining Moon album of 2010). For this updated version, Gordon used a Loop Station effect. He explained how this was to be used and joked that this piece would sound like ‘a cross between  Pink Floyd and …the Beverley Sisters!’ The effect  enabled him to slowly build up several layers of sound to create a wondrously complex aural experience. It was quite a privilege to hear this, and I really enjoyed it.

Thus ended the first half of Gordon’s set. During the interval Glyn and I had a chat with him at the merch table, which was manned by his wife Hilary. I asked him about his finger picking style that he’d referred to during the first half. Apparently he uses a plectrum between thumb and forefinger, supplemented with his little finger; not using the middle two at all. This is of course very unusual, but seems to work nicely for him at least!

Part Two began with Gordon talking about his three-quarter-sized Spanish guitar that he claimed he bought for a fiver at a boot fair! Various modifications have been made to this guitar to make it a unique instrument – including the gaffer tape to cover a damage hole! It sounded great through the reverb pedal though!

Gordon is renown for his use of alternative tunings; DADGAD being a favourite. He joked that he’d been experimenting with a tuning ‘…called FAGBAG. Every time I play it, it just sounds horrible! I had the same trouble with BAGDAD tuning as well – it was a bit explosive!’ He then tuned to DADGAD and played the lovely ‘Isabella’s Wedding’.

We were then treated to some Blues: ‘Five Dollar Guitar’. It was a Blues the likes of which I’d never heard before – Giltrap Blues being like no other form of the genre! Brilliant though. Whilst tuning to Open-C, Gordon then told how he was daunted by finding out that the great John Williams was once in the audience at one of his gigs. Once tuned, he then played ‘Fiona’s Smile’ from his collaboration with Oliver Wakeman, Ravens And Lullabies. From the same album he then gave us ‘Anyone Can Fly’.

‘The Lord’s Seat’ was next. Its a piece inspired by Elizabethan lute music; and very beautiful it was too. He finished the main set with the piece that more than any other made his name: the iconic 1978 hit single, ‘Heartsong’. Before he played it, he told an amusing anecdote about appearing on BBC TV’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks. And on Our Show where he was on a panel sandwiched between Kate Bush and Joanna Lumley – ‘It was Hell, guys!’ he quipped. The number ended to well-deserved applause.

We the audience, were of course not keen to let the show end at that point; and required a final number from the guitarist. So he gave us his well-known ‘Lucifer’s Cage’ – another piece that features fast strumming sections. It is both musically and visually satisfying to hear and see. The piece ended to great and well-deserved applause.

This was a wonderful little gig in a nice little venue. Gordon was on form. He talked as much as he played; but he was at all times interesting and amusing; and I recommend seeing him if possible. I shouldn’t leave it so long before I see him again. He will be out of action for a while due to the aforementioned medical problem, but I hope to see him when he is fit enough to perform again. I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing him a full recovery and a speedy return to that which he loves – writing, recording, and most of all performing his music. PTMQ

Links:

Fairkytes Live:   https://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/Fairkytes-Live.aspx

Gordon Giltrap:    http://www.giltrap.co.uk/

27. STEVE HACKETT Genesis Extended Tour (+ Bryan and Livvy from MOSTLY AUTUMN) at CLIFF’S PAVILION, Essex. Tuesday, 28th October, 2014

Originally, I  was due to go to this gig with my friend Birdseye, who is a big GENESIS fan, but the poor old sod had an ear infection, so he had to cry-off sick at the last minute! Luckily, another friend put his hand up for the ticket at short notice. This was guitarist GLYN PROTHEROE – another self-confessed Genesis nut, and ex-member of the Genesis tribute band REGENESIS (You may have seen him – he played the PETER GABRIEL part from ’94 to ’98).

Bryan and Livvy of Mostly Autumn (Photo by PTMQ - and I apologise for the quality!)

Bryan and Livvy of Mostly Autumn (Photo by PTMQ – and I apologise for the quality!)

We were a little late entering the auditorium, and consequently didn’t get seated until near the end of the first song by the support act. This was BRYAN JOSH and OLIVIA SPARNENN of MOSTLY AUTUMN doing a short acoustic duet. I was very much looking forward to their set, so I was disappointed to miss the first song which I think was from their Passengers album. All was not lost however, as next up was the beautiful ‘Evergreen’ from my favourite Mostly Autumn album, (their 3rd) The Last Bright Light (2001). This was a fine acoustic arrangement of one of their classic songs. Bryan’s guitar work with Livvy’s vocals and flute-playing were a joy to hear.

Their next offering ‘The House On The Hill’, was from their new concept album Dressed In Voices. Which Livvy described as ‘…quite a dark concept, but…. surprisingly uplifting’. I quite enjoyed it. This was eclipsed for me, however, by another great MA favourite of mine ‘Heroes Never Die’; from their remarkable debut album For All We Shared (1998). I love this song. Again, it was an interesting conversion for an acoustic duet; that didn’t lose any of the emotion of the original. A privilege to listen to; and I thank the couple for performing it. The final choice of this micro-set, was the title track of the new album; and a fine song it is too.

All in all, Bryan and Livvy performed an excellent little set – personally, I think I could have sat through a couple of hours of MA unplugged if this was a sample of it!  My only disappointment is that I’d have liked to have heard ‘Shrinking Violet’ too; but time was obviously limited.  Fine acoustic guitar, vocals and harmonies throughout. At the break, Glyn and I had a little chat with the couple, and I bought the new album. We had a longer conversation with them later – after the Hackett set – and we found them to be very friendly and talkative. A pleasure to meet them both.

Mr.Hackett and band (Photo by PTMQ)

Mr.Hackett and band (Photo by PTMQ)

Back in the auditorium, we eagarly awaited the entrance of the headline act. They appeared on stage after a short wait – our host centre stage; Gibson Les Paul Gold-Top in hand. The band consists of STEVE HACKETT, of course, on guitars (who rquires no introduction from me); ROGER KING, Keyboards (who’s worked with numerous musos, including the late GARY MOORE); GARY O’TOOLE, Drums and Vocals (another veteran rock/blues/pop artist); ROB TOWNSEND, Wind and Percussion (a well-known Jazz musician and score-writer); NICK BEGGS, Bass and Guitar (ex-IONA, and among others on his CV, ’80s pop group Kajagoogoo); and the remarkable NAD SYLVAN, vocals (who, having a voice that sonds like both Gabriel and Collins at once, is entirely suited to the task in hand!) All in all, a fine looking line-up.

In the brief silence before the start, one fan immediately called out for ‘Spectral Mornings’! Hackett thanked him, and smiling, explained that as this was his Genesis Extended Tour, he’d only be playing material from the parent band, and unfortunately not his solo work. That clarified, the band launched into two tracks from A Trick Of The Tail (1976); namely, ‘Dance On A Volcano’ and ‘Squonk’. It was good to hear these old classics once again after all these years; and performed so close to the originals too. And it was clear from the off that we were in for a grand show; with the band in superb form – and Sylvan obviously being the right man for the vocals. The audience gave up rapturous applause. A rousing start.

Next was a particular favourite of mine: ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’, from Selling England By The Pound (1973). Again this was very well performed by the lads, and sung by Sylvan (this time in Gabriel mode), and as near as you will get to the original Genesis front-man. From The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974), it was then time for ‘Fly On A Windshield’. Drummer Gary did a fine job on vocals for this one; and Nick was remarkable with a stick-bass too.

Nursery Cryme’s ‘Return Of The Giant Hogweed’; ‘The Fountain Of Salmacis’; and ‘Musical Box’ were then performed; with a quality to which we’d already been accustomed to at this gig. And following these live favourites, the original band’s nearest thing to a hit single, ‘I Know What I Like’ (Selling Englnd…) was then presented to us. A great solo from Rod on this one.

After a short break, we found Steve alone on stage with a nylon-strung acoustic, ready to give us his brief, but beautiful, ‘Horizons’ (from Foxtrot, ’72). It was a sublime rendition – a pleasure to see and hear. Changing back to his Gold-Top, and with the band returning to the stage, we witnessed ‘Firth Of Fifth’ (Selling England…) with its classically inspired piano intro and its odd time-signatures. Good solos from Steve and Rob; and Nick did a fine job with his twin-necked bass/12-string (every bit a Prog-Rock instrument!)

And the old classics kept coming: ‘Lilly-White Lilith’ (The Lamb…) was the next song; with Nick playing a Chapman Stick – again, good solos from Steve and Rob. Our final piece of the main set was the lengthy ‘Supper’s Ready’ (Foxtrot). This was a fantastic rendition, with excellent 12-string sound; and went down very well.

The well-deserved encore consisted of another Foxtrot track: ‘Watcher Of The Skies’; which was followed aptly by  ‘Los Endos’. Rapturous applause ensued from the auditorium, full of Genesis aficionados. All in all, a well chosen set, I thought. My only slight disappointment was the omission of ‘Ripples’; but that’s a minor complaint!

Back down in the foyer, we awaited the appearance of Mr.Hackett to meet his fans. While we waited, we chatted again with Bryan and Livvy of Mostly Autumn. And who should I bump into but the ubiquitous Dave Kitteridge and his wife Trudie of Touchline Live Music. If this lovely couple are not hosting an excellent gig at their club, then they’re in the audience at someone else’s show – not a bad life at all! Well, we waited ages but SH didn’t show up. Glyn was still keen to see him though, so we went and found the stage door, and there he was just about to leave. We only had time for a quick hand-shake and to offer our congrats to him on a fine show before he was off.

My thanks to all the staff at the Cliffs Pavilion for their hard work; and to Glyn Protheroe for putting the info straight on a few points; and commiserations to Birdseye for missing the gig!  PTMQ.

 

11. GLYN PROTHEROE (again) at THE MORRIS DANCER (again) Friday 16th May 2014

This was one of those days when you are spoilt for choice. First Dave Kitteridge of The Touchline Club informs me that 60s group THE MOVE are booked for tonight (and it would be part of their last ever tour); then NICKY ‘ELVIS’ HART invites me to a gig he has booked at the Silver Hall Social Club, Rainham; then I find out that GLYN PROTHEROE is (at short notice) playing THE MORRIS DANCER in Harold Hill again – and I can’t be in three places at once! Well I may get a chance to see The Move at the Boom Boom Club, Sutton, later this month; and Nicky Hart I want to see again some time; but being as I live within walking distance of The Morris Dancer, Glyn had to be the choice for me.

It was short notice, but I managed to get a handful of blokes to come along to support Glyn; namely: Jimbo; Rambo; and Terry (of the rock band YELLOWHOUSE, who had no gig themselves tonight). The Morris Dancer was quiet compared to when I was last there (on Good Friday); so with the pub’s clientele thin on the ground, Glyn needed all the support he could get!

Glyn did essentially the same set as when he last played this venue – although he did slip in the classic ‘Hey Joe’ and the bizarre ‘Really Free’ too. There seemed little interest from the punters in Glyn during his two-part set, but afterwards, several people came up to him and genuinely congratulated him on a good show; so they must have been listening after all! We enjoyed it anyway.

10. GLYN PROTHEROE at ‘THE MORRIS DANCER’, Harold Hill, Essex. Good Friday, 18th April 2014

GLYN PROTHEROE Covers maestro! (Photo by PTMQ)

GLYN PROTHEROE 12-String maestro! (Photo by PTMQ)

I received a message the other day from NICKY ‘ELVIS’ HART telling me that our mutual friend and ex-colleague, the guitarist GLYN PROTHEROE had a solo gig booked for Good Friday at THE MORRIS DANCER – a pub in Harold Hill, Essex. As this is only a short distance from my home, I jumped at the chance to see my old friend in action!

I arrived at the pub with my daughter and her boyfriend just before 8pm. (I promised to buy her bf a few pints because I’d been making him paint bits of my house all day!). Nicky Hart turned up a little later. I had a good chat with Glyn before he went on – I hadn’t seen him for ages, so it was good to catch up. We talked music – about his set-list; his guitars; and about our mutual Friend Rob W. But before long it was time for the show to begin.

Glyn’s set-list was a very well-chosen collection of covers, suitable for the clientele of a good, ordinary English pub. The songs ranged from Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’; to Joe Jackson’s ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?’; to The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’. He strummed his way through stuff by The Beatles; Van Morrison; Led Zeppelin; Rod Stewart; Neil Diamond….the varied list goes on – there was something for everyone.

At the interval they all said I should do a turn. So Glyn fitted me up with his spare 6-string guitar, and I played my version of Elvis Presley’s ‘Mess Of The Blues’ – much to the surprise of Nicky Hart who of course is the recognised expert on such things! Nicky did a turn as well; singing an Elvis song too of course (‘Suspicious Minds’) with Glyn on guitar, which was excellent! Unfortunately though, this was a little marred by a tipsy lady interfering with the mic! Oh well; that’s Rock’n’roll for you!

The punters in The Morris Dancer at first didn’t seem too fussed about Glyn’s show, but I noticed more and more people taking an interest as the night progressed (and the drink flowed!). By the end, several ladies were up dancing the night away (not least of all my daughter, who loves dancing!), and the applause was louder too. All in all, he went down very well.

This kind of gig is bread and butter to someone like Glyn. He does it with ease; relaxed, and making jokes between songs. He is actually a far more skilful axe-player than tonight’s gig demonstrated though – being at one time a member of the GENESIS tribute band, GENOCIDE (later re-named REGENESIS) until 1998. And anyone who can play the guitar parts of Genesis’ guitarist Steve Hackett, is no strum-dummy!

Glyn tells me he’s hoping to play at The Morris Dancer regularly. That’s something to look forward to. So I’ll try to get a few more old friends and family down to see him next time. I think he was glad our little party turned up to show him support, but I think he’d have done OK anyway. A fun evening was had by all.

Gwyneud yn dda, Glyn! Phil The Music Quill