Tag Archives: Pete Feenstra

15. THE MOVE (+ THE GABRIELLA JONES BAND) at THE BOOM BOOM CLUB, Sutton, Surrey. Friday, 30th May 2014.

THE GABRILLA JONES BAND. Another great young band from Brum (Photo by PTMQ)

THE GABRILLA JONES BAND. Another good young band from Brum (Photo by PTMQ)

This was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in recent years – one of the best I’ve seen at the Boom Boom Club too. Having arrived at the club, cousin Charlie and myself were greeted at the door by none other than promoter PETE FEENSTRA himself for a genuinely warm welcome. Thanks Pete! It was obviously going to be a popular show as the place was filling up quite early – with middle-aged music punters (like Charlie and myself!)

First up was the support act THE GABRIELLA JONES BAND. Now, I was interested to see what they were all about as I didn’t have a clue, and hadn’t had time to research them. Perhaps I was expecting something like a 60s covers band; I didn’t know. I was pleasantly surprised to find however, that they were a young original band; and like THE MOVE (and many other great bands; too numerous to mention), hailed from the Birmingham area. Gabriella (armed with a Gibson Les Paul) + her boys, took to the stage and steamed into their opening number ‘Take It Literally’ – we did; and we enjoyed it! It was a good start. After a couple of numbers, she strapped on an acoustic and did her self-penned ‘Blue Hills And Purple Butterflies’ (Its on You tube). It was a pretty song and she played and sung it beautifully as a solo spot. She followed this with her own acoustic arrangement of the METALLICA hit, ‘Nothing Else Matters’. I was expecting the rest of the band to blast in for the finale of this classic (as in the original), but she did it totally alone; which was unexpected – and very good.

With reliable drumming from Tom Lewis; good steady bass playing from Reece Dillon; and competant guitar from Jon Moore (with what looked like an old Gretsch – I think); Gabriella performed a very good set of both original work, and covers. She has quite a presence on stage; and shows a confidence beyond what you’d expect for such a young artist (she told me afterwards that she was only recently 20). She fronts the band with a unique and feminine style; her delicate hands barely seemed to touch the guitar strings, yet she grasped barre chords with accuracy, and with no discernable mistakes – during both the quieter and the rockier songs. Her voice too is able to belt out the raunchy stuff as well as the sensitive – either way with a passion. For ‘Hold On’ she even sang without guitar at all; concentrating on the vocals. All in all, a fine performance from a young band with a potential to go far. Well done to them, and good luck for the future. Go and see them if you get a chance.

THE MOVE - California Men!  (Photo by PTMQ)

THE MOVE – A trip down Memory Lane and back up Blackberry Way! (Photo by PTMQ)

And now for the main course – one of the big, big names of the 60s music scene: THE MOVE. Now as a kid, just as I was begining to become aware of good music, I remember listening to the groups of the time on Radio 1; not realising at that tender age, that I was listening to some very ground-breaking sounds in the history of pop. All I knew was that I liked it. In particular the British bands of that memorable era (again, too numerous to name). But among them of course, was THE MOVE. Some of their songs have remained favourites of mine all these years: ‘Flowers In The Rain’; Fire Brigade’ and especially the iconic hit ‘Blackberry Way’. I’d never seen the band live before, so when I heard that they’d embarked upon their last ever tour, and were due to play THE BOOM BOOM CLUB, Sutton; I jumped at the chance (having missed them recently at THE TOUCHLINE CLUB in Essex).

Nowadays they consist of two original members: TREVOR BURTON on guitar; and BEV BEVAN on drums; and supplemented these days by PHIL TREE, bass; TONY KELSEY, guitar; and ABBY BRANT on keyboards (dubbed the ‘Movette’ by Burton!). Now there are those Move purists who would say that without the remarkable character and founder member ROY WOOD, (and perhaps other early members) they are not the same band and won’t be worth watching – but they would be very wrong; because this turned out to be a fantasticly enjoyable gig.

BEV BEVAN - anecdotes, quips and superb drumming! (Photo bt PTMQ)

BEV BEVAN – anecdotes, quips and superb drumming! (Photo bt PTMQ)

The lads climbed on stage to great applause from the audience, and immediately kicked off their set with their 1967 psychedelically inspired hit single ‘I Can Hear The Grass Grow’. This was a far rockier version than the original that I remembered, but it was excellent, and set the tone for the night. The cheers had barely died down when they gave us another old classic: ‘Fire Brigade’. Then Burton spoke briefly about their early residency at THE MARQUEE CLUB before they played a song reminiscent of that era: the R’n’R classic ‘Something Else’.

‘Flowers In The Rain’ was next. And Burton reminded us that it had the dubious honour of being the first record ever played on Radio 1 back in ’67! The band’s first ever single, ‘Night Of Fear’ (1966) soon followed. (To be honest I only remembered it when I heard it!) Keyboard player Abby Brant then sung the old ERMA FRANKLIN hit ‘Piece Of My Heart’ which the band apparently covered in the old days. She done it really well too. I didn’t realise (in my ignorance) that Roy Wood had penned the AMEN CORNER hit ‘Hello Suzie’; but he certainly did; and it was played next in The Move’s inimitable rock style.

The oft-covered Carole King song ‘Goin’ Back’ was up next; followed by ‘Wild Tiger Woman’; and ‘Brontosaurus’ (with a great slide guitar solo from Kelsey on his white Telecaster). Next was a great blues song which I didn’t know, called ‘Mercury Blues’; which (me being a big fan of the genre) I really enjoyed! Big hit ‘Do Ya’, was followed by a song which was never done by The Move, but by Burton’s own band: ‘Wild Young Thing’. Like everything they played, it went down really well.

Back in the late ’60s, The Move had an association with the legendary JIMI HENDRIX. So as a tribute to his genius, the band played a blinding version of ‘Hey Joe’; with superb lead guitar from Burton. Now lots of people do Hendrix covers, but you need to be good to do it well – Burton passed with flying colours – well done sir!

Well the show was nearly over, and they’d kept us waiting long enough for the two big ones! They stormed into their Rock’n’Roll classic ‘California Man’; and it hit us like a sledgehammer! But the highlight was the iconic ‘Blackberry Way’ – arguably their greatest hit (their only Number 1); and surely one of the most memorable songs of the late ’60s? An encore was demanded at this point; so without leaving the stage, they announced that they would play a song by another great Brummie musician and a great friend of theirs, STEVIE WINWOOD’s ‘Gimme Some Lovin’.

Apart from the music, and their brilliant performance of it; another thing I really liked about this gig was the fact that there was plenty of pre-amble between songs, where Burton and Bevan gave us anecdotes and quips about their adventures on the road and about people and places they’d been. It was a comedy show at times! Both Burton and Bevan have a great rapport with their fans, and it is appreciated. The band had as good a time as the audience. All in all a brilliant concert. There are a few dates left on this, The Move’s final tour (including The Isle Of Wight Festival); so if you get a chance, I’d recommend going to see them – you won’t be disappointed! To be honest though, I can’t see them wanting to give this up, even though they are getting on a bit. My guess is that it won’t be the last we’ll see of the group – let’s hope I’m right!

14. COCO MONTOYA (+ LAURENCE JONES) at THE BOOM BOOM CLUB, Sutton, Surrey. Friday, 23rd May 2014

'LAURENCE JONES - The future of British blues-rock' (Photo by PTMQ)

‘The future of British blues-rock’ Laurence Jones (Photo by PTMQ)

I hadn’t been to The Boom Boom Club for a few months. Although I like it there, I don’t live that close, so it has to be an exceptional artist that brings me along! So when I heard that promoter PETE FEENSTRA had booked the great bluesman COCO MONTOYA (who I’d never seen live before), I had no hesitation in getting a place booked (via cousin Charlie who lives nearby). To add icing to the cake LAURENCE JONES was to be the support act – had to be a winner of a gig!

Charlie and I arrived early and found ourselves a place at the front of the stage; eagerly awaiting the show. Support act Laurence Jones was soon climbing unpretentiously on stage, and launched into ‘Can’t Keep Living Like This’ from his new album “Temptation”. It was a whirlwind start to a breath-taking set of exceptionally good music from a young guitarist, who music writer NIGEL FOSTER describes as ‘the future of British blues-rock’, and I think that’s a fair comment. Its quite a compliment considering he’s up against the likes of: DAVY KNOWLES; OLI BROWN; and VIRGIL McMAHON.

Now I last saw Jones at this same venue almost exactly a year ago, supporting the veteran bluesman WALTER TROUT (who as I write is unfortunately seriously ill back in the USA – and no doubt all blues fans are praying for him). I remember being impressed at the time by this young lad; but what a difference that year has made! He is noticeably far more confident than he was last May; and his chops are greatly improved – his Strat’s fret-board was his, to be used as gently or as roughly as he saw fit – with equal precision. It was a nice touch when he dedicated the title track ‘Temptation’ to Trout, his hero, who guests on the new album; and I must say, he did the old master proud. Another highlight for me was his version of Hendrix’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’. This is often covered, of course, but Jones didn’t slavishly stick to the Hendrix format; rather making it his own, with a lengthy but interesting solo that show-cased his considerable skills. And a bloody good job he made of it too! I also liked ‘Fall From The Sky’ a lot; and ‘Soul Swamp River’ which he sang (partly) without a mic at the front of the stage.

Mention must be made of Jones’ excellent band too. I think these are a different bassist and drummer to those I remember from a year ago. Finnish drummer MIRI MIETTINEN was a reliable powerhouse at the back of the stage; and ROGER INNISS was exceptional with his monstrous 6-string bass, the size of a scaffold-board! But, Christ, could he play it!

I spoke briefly to LJ after the show, and found him to be a very nice bloke – modest and affable. Now that the tour with Montoya is finished, he tells me he’s off to the RORY GALLAGHER FESTIVAL in Ballyshannon, Ireland; along with another old veteran favourite of mine, BERNIE MARSDEN. With the company he keeps this boy is going far! I notice he’s back for a gig at THE NEW CRAWDADDY CLUB here in Essex in June – that’s one for the diary. (Just realised, its only a couple of weeks away!) Anyway, good luck to you, LJ!

Half-time was unusual: normally the intervals at gigs are filled with beer and music blah blah (and fair enough too!); but after Pete Feenstra had finished plugging the next two gigs over this Bank Holiday weekend, Nigel Foster got up on stage to present him with a special award for all the hard work he’d done in promoting all sorts of music acts over the years. It was well deserved, and Nigel summed it up excellently with some very well-chosen words. Charlie and I also got talking to the photographer JENNIFER NOBLE of BLUES MATTERS magazine and her husband. She is a big blues fan; very knowledgeable; and quite a character.

Coco Montoya -  now that's what I call the blues! (Photo by PTMQ)

Coco Montoya – ‘now THAT’S the blues!’ (Photo by PTMQ)

Now for the main event. I’d been waiting a long time to see Coco. In my mind I always lump Montoya, Trout and BUDDY WHITTINGTON together – all big American bluesmen from the prolific JOHN MAYALL’S BLUESBREAKERS stable. I’ve seen Trout and Whittington several times (and my son James and I have had the honour of meeting them both too. Unfortunately James couldn’t make it tonight), but I’ve been waiting for Montoya for years; having never seen him live. Tonight was to complete the trinity.

Coco Montoya and his band; consisting of Nate Brown on bass; Brant Leeper on keyboards; and Rene Beevers on drums; took to the stage to great applause. Brandishing a brilliant blue left-handed Strat, fitted with a right-handed neck; the big bluesman kicked off his set with ‘Wish I Could Be that Strong’. It was a great opener, and was quickly followed by ‘Hey Seniorita’, with its latin feel. Various favourites followed, including: ‘Too Much Water Under The Bridge’; the funky ‘Don’t Go Makin’ Plans’; and finishing with ‘Three Sides To Every Story’.

Coco’s repertoire is a blend of various well-known bluesy vibes – both traditional and modern in style; yet all of it with Coco’s personal stamp of genius at its core. The influence of his original mentor, the late great ALBERT COLLINS, is manifest; and the tutorship of JOHN MAYALL is apparent; but his feeling and understanding of the blues obviously comes from deep down inside. Jennifer Noble summed it up succinctly to me half-way through the set: ‘Now THAT’S the blues!’ she said.

I met Coco after the show and had a brief chat with him. We talked about his blue lefty Strat; and about flying back to the USA next day. He is like many great musicians: modest and approachable; and has a genuine love of, and gratitude towards his fans. He told me he’s not going to leave it so long this time before returning to the UK for another tour – let’s hope he means it as I think everyone there would be up for another Coco gig ASAP! Thanks Coco – it was a fantastic night!

A final word should also be said about the hard-working bar staff at the Boom Boom Club – you never have to wait long for a pint, and you are always served with a pretty smile – A BIG THANK YOU LADIES!

Here is a vid of Coco in action at this very gig…..

May the Blues be with you! Phil The Music Quill