Tag Archives: the move

31. A REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2014

A couple of my friends have recently asked if I planned to do a review of 2014. I’d like to; but time as always is against me! So I just thought I’d say a few words about the year with respect to my blog. Its been quite a remarkable 11 months since I kicked off with a review of the STRAWBS gig at TOUCHLINE LIVE MUSIC here in Essex. At first, I thought no one would be interested, but I was glad to see that’s not the case. Right from the off, I had quite a few followers. That first Strawbs review has remained one of the most popular too.

I’ve met a lot of helpful and interesting people during the course of the year – not just musicians; but promoters; writers; photographers; or just knowledgeable music lovers.  Some of those musos I have been a fan of since my teens  – MICKY MOODY and MARTIN TURNER to name but two especially. Its also very flattering when some of these musicians have personally invited me to gigs and sent CDs for me to review as well.

Anyway, here are just a few thoughts and facts on my blog’s year….

MOST POPULAR BLOG was #25, MTWA at Touchline Live Music. Second was The Move at the Boom Boom Club (#15). In third place was MTWA again (blog #5); and fourth. The Micky Moody Band at Coolham (#23). I’m glad to say that these entries are still attracting new readers through search engines too.

BEST ROCK ALBUM must go to VIRGIL AND THE ACCELERATORS for their superb second studio album Army Of Three. It was very flattering to be put on the Guest List by Virgil, and to meet and interview the band before their gig at the Touchline. (Blog #26). Looking forward to seeing what VATA will be up to in the new year.

BEST ROCK GIG for me was a difficult choice. I saw fabulous performances from THE MOVE; VATA;  and the THE STRAWBS. But I’d say MTWA at The Touchline just wins by a whisker (Blog #25). Nice of Martin Turner to agree to an interview beforehand too. This coming year, so far, I plan to see FOCUS and the PINK FAIRIES.

BEST BLUES-ROCK ALBUM. Difficult! Could be LARRY MILLER’s Soldier Of The Line;  BERNIE MARSDEN’s Shine; or  LAURENCE JONES’ Temptation; but I’d choose DEBORAH BONHAM’s Spirit I think. I was hoping for an interview with her too, but she unfortunately had to cancel her gig at the Touchline due to a chest infection.

BEST BLUES ALBUM: I enjoyed JAMES ANTHONY’s Some People Get It, which he sent from Canada for me to review. (Blog #24); and MILTON ‘n’ FARROW’s Skiffleodeon – also given to me by the band to review (Blog #22). RUBY TIGER’s Vistas was excellent as was MATT ANDERSEN’s Coal Mining Blues; but I took a shine to DANA GILLESPIE’s Cat’s Meow the most.

BEST BLUES GIG is another tough choice. Great shows by COCO MONTOYA (Blog #14); MICKY MOODY BAND (Blog #23); and RUBY AND THE REVELATORS (Blog #16); but the best for me, was the very special show put on for the BOOM BOOM CLUB’s 1,000th gig; which included superb performances from OTIS GRAND; ALAN DARBY; LAURENCE JONES and THE VOODOO SHEIKHS among others (Blog #30). In 2015 I’d like to see RED BUTLER and LARRY MILLER if I can.

BEST FOLK GIG  I attended during the year was OXJAM MUSIC FESTIVAL in Exeter. A great selection of West Country folk acts in one afternoon. I was invited by my good friends in DEVONBIRD who played a wonderful little set – as did every artist present. (Blog entry #28).

BEST FOLK ALBUM in my opinion was ANGE HARDY’s The Lament Of The Black Sheep. I’m hoping to review soon (see Blog #32).  Also in 2014, I heard ADRIAN NATION’s second album Fall Or Fly, which is excellent. As for 2015, I’m looking forward to the second DEVONBIRD album which should be released in the spring – they are recording as I write. For info on Devonbird, see Blog #4.

DOWNSIDES. I had a couple of negative comments made to me during the course of the year – one due to a misreading of my blog; and one due to a certain curmudgeonly singer-songwriter who wrote unpleasant and untrue things about me – even after I gave him a good review!  I never intend to cause offence – in fact, I’ve been criticised for liking everything! Well, I do seem to! (I suppose if I didn’t like something, I wouldn’t write about it). Anyway, the vast majority of those I’ve written about; and my readers too, have been very complimentary and supportive indeed; so I didn’t loose any kip over it!

REGRETS: ‘…..I have few, but then again, too few to mention’! These surround missed gigs. I was particularly peeved at missing LARRY MILLER; and TERRY REID because I couldn’t get time off work; and DEBORAH BONHAM’s gig at the Touchline was cancelled (as I said above) due to the fact that the poor lady had a chest infection.  I hope she’s well now and will play there soon.

FUTURE PROJECTS include a review of Ange Hardy’s Black Sheep album; an article on my friend, the song-writer TONY PARTIS; and continuing to go and see as many and as varied gigs as possible. I also plan to get into the studio myself to try to record some of my own songs (for what they’re worth!). And I shall continue to support and promote my friends’ projects too.

A SAD FAREWELL to those musicians who sadly passed away in 2014:  JOHNNY WINTER (See my blog #17); JACK BRUCE; JOE COCKER; PHIL EVERLY; ACKER BILK; PETE SEEGER; BOBBY WOMACK; TOMMY RAMONE; ALVIN STARDUST; and LYNSEY DE PAUL. These luminaries will be sadly missed; but leave us a fine legacy in their work which their fans will cherish for all time. R.I.P. (My apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone).

THANKS to all those who have supported; encouraged; offered constructive criticism; advice; photos; and other pics; and generally taken the time to read my blog. Those people are too numerous to mention but they know who they are; so thank you one and all! Here’s looking forward to more of the same in 2015.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! PTMQ

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!