Friday, 31 December 2010

Text Of Festival (7)

Here's some pics and videos to go with the sprawling gig history...

Genesis at Knebworth 1978
My first gig in a field! Only £5.50!! It didn't rain!!!

A slideshow....

Reading Festival 1978
My first three day festival...three nights in a Vauxhall Viva! It still didn't rain!!

See that scrawny young lad with the beer can in the centre of the pic walking from left to right?.... I do believe that's yours truly!

...and here's video evidence of Steve Hillage onstage with cartoon punks Sham '69....

Ultravox! doing Slow Motion - great band.

Penetration - Life's A Gamble. I had a thing for Pauline Murray - anyone remember that great album by Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls?...wonder what became of her?

Reading Festival 1979
We had a tent this time. It rained, but only a bit...

Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me. They were good fun...

Very little video footage other than Cheap Trick can be found, but here's a pic of a youthful looking Cure from the same festival.

Boys don't cry...

...and Peter Gabriel

Still in Rael guise

Reading Festival 1980
This was my last Reading Fest for some time as from here on in it became a hard rock/metal festival, attracting some right tossers both on stage and in the audience.

Here's the truly execrable White Spirit in action. Note the daft poses of the guitarist. I dare you to watch more than a minute!

....and in the audience, some tossers throwing cans

Rory Gallagher and last minute additions Slade apart, who were both great, I would rather have chewed my own arm off...

More next time..

Friday, 24 December 2010

Deep Purple - Burn

This is part of an occasional series of reviews of old albums that played a significant part in my formative years of musical appreciation.

What is rightly regarded as the classic Deep Purple line up fell apart in 1973 after a constant round of management propelled touring recording and touring again proved too much for Ian Gillan and Roger Glover who both quit that year. Their replacements were Glenn Hughes from funked up blues rockers Trapeze, and an unknown blues wailer from the North East of England, one David Coverdale. With this line up in place they had recorded and released Burn by February 1974, a year in which I was a mere 14 and this was my introduction to the "Purps", as they were known.

Although I was later to agree with the majority that the "MkII" line up of Blackmore/Lord/Gillan/Glover/Paice was indeed the best line up of the band, Burn still holds a special place in my aural vista. If you get past the fact that Coverdale was little more than a Percy clone, you have to admit that as a singer he had a better range than Gillan, and although he couldn't match Gillan in the blood-curdling scream department, he still had a good powerful bluesy voice. Glenn Hughes contributes a lot to this album, getting co-writing credits on five of the eight songs, and his funky style is all over songs like Might Just Take Your Life, the barrelhouse funky What's Going On Here, Lay Down Stay Down. Even on Sail Away which is credited to Blackmore & Coverdale, the funky swagger of the backline sounds like it comes from Stevie Wonder on downers, and has Hughes all over it.
The only conventional "Purps" sounding song is the storming opener and title track, which I reckon stands alongside any of their more uptempo MKII efforts. Showpiece song on the album is the seven minute blues Mistreated where Blackmore gets to show his blues chops, and you can almost hear the glove being thrown down to Jimmy Page! Co-written by Blackmore & Coverdale the singer puts in a fine shout too.

A varied if atypical Purps album that still sounds good to these old lugholes, and is well worth investigating. This line up only lasted until Blackmore left in 1975 and produced one more LP at the end of 1974, Stormbringer, which is not a patch on this album.

4 out of 5

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A small but eclectic year

I always like to think that I have fairly catholic taste when it comes to music, and a perusal of the CDs I have bought in 2010 hopefully shows just that :

Brian Eno & David Byrne - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Frogg CafĂ© - Bateless Edge

Midlake - The Courage Of Others

Joni Mitchell - Mingus

My Brother The Wind - Twilight In The Crystal Cabinet

Neu! - 75

The Pineapple Thief - Someone Here Is Missing

The Pineapple Thief - 3000 Days

The Pineapple Thief - Someone Here Is Live (download only)

French TV - I Forgive You My Unhappiness (download)

Soft Machine - Six/Seven

Soft Machine - BBC Radio 1971 - 1974

Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden

Scott Walker - Boy Child - The best of 1967-1970

Robert Wyatt - Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard

Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans

Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back

Scott Walker - In Five Easy Pieces

simakDialog - Demi Masa

Blow Up Hollywood - Fake (a freebie! Thanks Steve M)

Amplifier - The Octopus

Robert Wyatt - "….for the ghosts within"

Mercury Rev - The Peel Sessions

Deep Purple - Burn (remastered)

Hawkwind - In Search Of Space (remastered)

Fromuz - Seventh Story

A small but eclectic selection I hope you agree!

The last three are still in transit but will hopefully arrive before 31st December!

Season's Greetings - Roger T

RIP Don Van Vliet. A true maverick who will be sorely missed.

Words are not enough, so here's the man in action, starting with an interview on Letterman....

Sure 'Nuff'N Yes I Do

Ice Cream For Crow

Bug Eyed Beans From Venus

Upon The My Oh My (preceded by Mark Ellen & David Hepworth reminiscing on The Old Grey Whistle Test)

With the Magic Band in Belgium 1969....low fi, but fascinating!

Bat Chain Puller

Click Clack

There will never be another quite like him....

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Pineapple Thief - Someone Here Is Live

This is a great live album from a band that deserve success after a long time "paying their dues". For the princely sum of £8 (320 kbps mp3, or £10 for the FLAC version - see end of review for link) you can obtain nearly 2 hours of music recorded live with no overdubs from the band's European Tour in October 2010. A bargain!

Showcasing their Someone Here Is Missing album from earlier in the year, the album also includes many highlights mainly from the more recent part of their career. Some of the songs here are extended versions of the originals, and as such give one a good idea of the band's live dynamic.

Some nice wah guitar features in Tightly Wound, So We Row veers into space rock territory, the 14 and 1/2 minute Too Much To Lose is a lesson in building and releasing musical tension, 3000 Days has a great almost Zeppelin-like coda with some fine guitar thrashing from Bruce. Wake Up The Dead is the song that comes in for the dreaded Radiohead comparison in other reviews on sites like Prog Archives, but ignore that and take it on its own pulse-beat driving merits and it will have you jumping round the room. A great song to put on while getting ready to hit the town methinks...I was young once you know!

Unfairly compared elsewhere to Muse & Radiohead, The Pineapple Thief have over many years developed their own distinctive sound, and those who think otherwise are maybe blinded by their own prejudices. The only similarity to Muse and Radiohead is the sharing of a modern post rock sound, but The Pineapple Thief's songs stand on their own. This band lack the overblown pomposity of Muse, and they write more melodic material than Radiohead, a band that often fail to live up to their ambitions in my opinion.

A mighty fine post-rock tour de force, for someone unfamiliar with this band this is as good a place to start as any, and I highly recommend it.

More info here

4 out of 5

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