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Junior Jump and the Bottom Line

Club Riga, Southend

04.12.12


The Groovy gang headed out mob handed, 16 of us, to reacquaint us with one of our old favourite bands from back in the day. Junior Jump and the Bottom Line, the first time I saw them must have been very early in the 90’s playing at the sadly defunct, Chelmsford Spectacular. They were on a stage at the rear of the main stage and I am pretty sure that Automatic Slim played on the same day as well. The next year they got promotion to the main stage. After that we saw them quite a few times at the also sadly defunct, Army and Navy. They always gave great performances and I was interested to find out if they had lost any of their magic. I can happily say they hadn’t, they gave a great show, about 2 hours of Soul and Funk. I can’t remember much of the set, even though I knew all the songs intimately. The problem is, I am full of a cold and was dosed up with Lemsip, with a load of beer as well, I was a bit woosy. I can recall great covers of “Memphis Soul Stew” “cant get next to you” “Papa was a rolling stone” “play that funky music white boy” “move on up” and “ain’t no mountain high enough.” They even played a more up to date song “Mercy” by Duffy. There were a couple of old standards that were left out, such as “Private number” “you keep me hanging on” and “tin soldiers” but you can’t have everything. What you can have though is the Club Riga, who I have criticised for the state of the beer. They now let you take beer through from the pub at the front, The Cricketers into the gig. So we enjoyed great music with a nice pint of Doome Bar. The night was great fun, lots of dancing, singing and laughs. The band are an 11 piece (unless I counted wrong) a four piece brass section, a full band, 2 girl singers and a lead singer. They play 60’s and 70’s soul, the right way and if I could afford them they would be the only band I would have at my own party. A great night out which finished with “it’s not unusual” On the way home the discussion is who are the greater soul bands from Essex and Junior Jump get my vote. As usual this morning after seeing Junior Jump, I got out some of my Temptations albums to play.

 

The night had good points and bad. The good were the band, the company and general night out. The bad was the Plough where we met in Chelmsford £3.05 for a pint of ale? And not hearing Eddie Floyd’s “raise your hand.” I do believe the band are playing Churchill’s at Southend on the 2nd of January, well worth a look if you get a chance.

 

Duncan, December 2010

 

Prima Donna

Eddie And The Hot Rods

The Square Harlow

12th November 2010

 

This was the first time Chelmsford Rocks had visited The Square in Harlow mainly because for a beer drinking Chelmsfordian, it is a ‘mare to get to. However, this was a ‘special’ occasion as it was my boys birthday and they were back in town for the weekend and have been Prima Donna fans for some time. For me, I think they’re great but I also wanted to the Eddie & The Hot Rods again, last time was at the Lee Brilleaux Memorial gig in May and that set wasn’t long enough.

 

First off, the venue. Slightly outside of the centre but has its own car park, looks like a council building where you’d go for evening classes. Holds 250 and is in two parts. Up 6 or so steps and you are in the gigging area. Small stage and the bands have to walk through the crowd to perform. Downstairs is a bar (didn’t get to try any beer) and through some doors to get outside to a burger van and smoking area.

 

I thought I would be the eldest there but of the 100 or so people in attendance, I reckon 70 were there for the Rods so I wasn’t out of place. Good tunes before the show, and the sound system sounded good. Anyway, the gig - First up was Barry & the gang. Usual fare, all the hits, a few covers (Stepping Stone, The Kids are Alright, Gloria etc.) and some album tracks from the dim and distant past. Thoroughly enjoyable but I’m biased. Over to my boys for a beginners opinion and they also gave the thumbs up, recognised some of the tunes and tapped their feet. They are a good band, can’t fault them musically and they still look like they enjoy themselves. Singer from Prima Donna stood in front of me and it was nice to see that Bands from the opposite sides of the World (well LA and Southend) have become such buddies.

Next up, the headline act (for this night, other gigs had Prima Donna on first) coming on to ‘Donna The Prima Donna’ by Dion. These guys supported Green Day and the singer is linked to a spin off band, The Foxboro Hottubs. If you had to define their sound, you would say it is akin to The New York Dolls but with keyboards and Sax thrown in (tastefully!). They only had a small audience to work with but gave it their all and the girls at the front loved it. Had me smiling too, loved the black eyeliner and finger nails, sucked in cheeks and shimmying. But most of all, I loved the music. Good old 70s Rock ,n, Roll. Played most of their last album and one or two new songs (Pink Suede was one I remember) and then the covers; I loved the covers – King Rocker, Ballroom Blitz, Wayne County’song (you know the one), Rebel Rebel, Keep a knockin’. Bassist from the Rods kept getting on stage to take photos, keeping the mutual love thing going. The next night in London they all jammed together – it’s on Youtube.

Anyway, top gig. Good venue, friendly staff, would happily return (especially if I don’t have to drive).

Ash November 2010

 

 

 

 

 


Blues meets Rock

 Dirty Work

Crossbow

 Great Waltham, British Legion 14/11/10

A phone call from my brother Colin and it’s away to see his mates band at Gt Waltham. It’s a nice way to spend a Saturday night, listening to a bit of music with a few beers with your brother. A lot better than X factor. We first tried the local hostelry, the Beehive, a very nice pint of old Hooky from Hook Norton Brewery, then a short walk to the Legion. It’s strange, Great Waltham is apparently Essex’s village of the year, so walking through the dark streets of the village; it can only remind you of a scene from Hot Fuzz. I think the British Legion there is on of the smallest ones I have been to. It might be a small one but we certainly got a big warm welcome there. A decent pint of Spitfire was available here.

There were 2 bands playing that night, all for £2. The first one we saw was Crossbow. A 5 piece heavy rock covers band. They were very accomplished as musicians and also were great fun to watch. They certainly looked as though they enjoyed themselves playing Thin Lizzy (including my favourite Lizzy songs “don’t believe a word), Ozzie Osborn, Zepplin, UFO songs. The lead guitarist was very talented but the rest of the band was not far behind him. They played there set and said they would come back on later.

Next on, was the Blues part of the show? These are Colin’s friends who go by the name of Dirty Work. I have seen them before at the Fleece and enjoyed them then. They played a mixture of Covers from Creams, Clapton, Dr Feelgood, Fleetwood Mac (before they got poncey), BB King and probably more but my memory is awful. They are a 5 piece with Keith Davis on vocals and harmonica and Colin’s mate Pete on lead guitar. I must say Pete is a very good guitarist and well suited to Rhythm and Blues. The rest of the band are good as well but I do not know there names. The best ones they done were “Roxette” “I can tell” and “Help me”. The only gripe I had was they weren’t on long enough as they play the kind of music that I love.

When Dirty Work finished Crossbow came on for another rocking set, but the beer was taking effect now and my mind has gone blank. I do remember a storming “Whole lotta Rosie” as an encore though.

This was a top night, music near enough from start to finish and if you get a chance to see either of these bands, I would highly recommend them. My ears are ringing even more after the Heavy Metal Kids Thursday night. I think that I’m a celebrity is now starting on a Sunday night so we might have to find some venues for Sundays now.

Duncan November 2010


Automatic Slim

St Anne's Castle

23/10/2010

If anyone has seen that masterpiece of televisual magic on Sunday nights “The only way is Essex,” well an Automatic Slim is nothing like that load of rubbish. This is true Essex at the oldest pub in the country (possibly). I have been watching them from the early 80’s and I know they have their own bands & projects but an Auto Slim gig is well worth a watch. Blistering rhythm and blues, great musicianship, wonderful tunes, all done with a fantastic sense of humour. The pub was as full as I have ever seen it and for the princely sum of £5, I am not surprised. The Slim went through their normal repertoire of Blues, sometimes with extra songs added into the mix, just proving that most of the old blues singers were ripped off by groups like Led Zep and the Stones. My particular favourites are House Rent Blues and Ford Cortina. The Cortina song is great taking you on Essex’s own route66, down the A127 from Gallows corner to Shoebury Ness. After watching the turgid Blues Band a couple of weeks ago, it was really refreshing to see Tim and the boys playing with fun. Highlight of the night has to be Howard J Bills and his werewolf of London.

A great night, lots of laughs and a few beers, some things should never change.

Duncan October 2010

 

 

 

 

 

P-A-U-L

St Annes Castle

 


I can’t believe it’s been a year since I last saw this band at the Fleece. All the way from Detroit to Great Leigh’s come this fantastic three piece group who play what I can only call a blues, rock, funk fusion. They are really loud and play hard rock and I think Paul, not the group, but Mr Eagle had it about right, they sound a bit like Pearl Jam with Motown thrown in. They have a sound which has got a lot of Detroit influences in it and they are all excellent musicians. The singer and guitarist Paul Lamb, certainly can play a good riff and played a riveting solo on one of their blues numbers, something about telephone lines being down in Texas. To be truthful I didn’t know many of the songs from the main set. I can remember “Detroit’s on fire” from the first time I saw them but my memory of anything more than 2 weeks old is rubbish. The bass guitarist, I think it’s Joey Spina (apologies if that is wrong), is a great big honey monster guy. Lots of Curley hair topped with sunglasses, a great player who certainly anchors the group with a strong bass line, he also takes the vocals on Stevie Wonders “Superstition.” Drummer Layla Hall is certainly something else. A small lady, who keeps the rhythm of the band going and is nonstop energy, I think to be truthful we have been ever so lucky to see a band of such quality twice in such small venues. The only down side to the evening was the poor turnout. It’s not often that you have a chance to see such a band for nothing. Most of the audience were old fans as most had seen them play before. I think they have played the Barhouse twice, The Bassment and definitely the Fleece They did pass round a hat at the end and I think they then got their biggest compliment then, Maurice actually put a fiver in, we all nearly fainted. After the gig he then harassed the poor bassist with questions, poor bloke thinks he has a stalker. I will be on the lookout next October to see if I can catch them again as it looks as though it is becoming another one of our annual gigs. I bought their latest CD so will review that a later date but as another one of Detroit’s finest bands sang “who says a rock band can’t play funk music.”

Duncan, October 2010.

 

The Blues Band, 100 Club, 01.10.10

 

 

I had been looking forward to this for a while, my birthday present from Duncan another visit to the great 100 club to see a band I had seen on numerous occasions in the late 80's early 90's taking me to great venues like 'The Half Moon, Putney' and 'The Mean Fiddler, Harlesden' The evening started as many do in The Plough, but this was short lived as the bitter was off, so we adjourned to The Railway, for a couple of nice pints of Brentwood Brewery IPA (Congrats of winning an Essex Enterprise Award for 2010). Onto London and as its the law we went into Hamilton Hall. Duncan and I are now fully paid up and card carrying members of CAMRA so we had some vouchers to spend. Next stop the 100 Club, this could be my last visit as i understand it is closing early 2011, it will be a shame its such a quirky venue, from just a doorway in Oxford Street, down 2 flights of stairs and into a narrow venue where it is always extremely difficult to get a good view of the whole stage. It's always exciting to stand near the changing room doors as the band brush past you to get to the stage can't see that happening at Wembley or V. The downside of the club is the expensive crap beer, I'm also not sure how quick you could get out in an emergency, prehaps thats why its closing. Onto the band, I would imagine they are all in there 60's but the rock and roll lifestyle as treated them well. they were on for 2 sets, prehaps they needed a breather in the middle to recharge. I'm not sure all of my group enjoyed them as they weren't lively enough, but I thought that the clue was in the title of the band and they do play the blues well. I particularly enjoyed 'Green Stuff' 'Grits ain't Groceries' and i think its called 'Jonah Lewie Blues'. They were more for the blues officinardo (thats probley not how you spell it) but with Dave Kellys guitar and Paul Jones voice and Harmonica playing they held my attention. I always liked harmonica playing and it was nice to hear as a main part of the set rather that as an extra like the Feelgoods (thats my only complaint of the original Feelgods more harp would have been good). My main complaint against the band was the continual plugging of CD's and DVD's, once would have been enoug rather than every 3 or 4 songs. It's sometimes good to remember that bands will sometimes do exacly what they say on the tin. The night ended with me cut to the quick when Nick reminded me how fat I was, thanks Nick I'm now in therapy.

 Colin Oct 2010

The Blues Band 100 Club 01/10/10

The Blues Band are a group I have seen a fair few times before and having a chance to see them in the legendary 100 club, seemed too good to miss. I have followed this band since about 1979 when they played the Shrimpers club at Southend United. As usual we started at the Plough, but horror of horrors, they had no real ale. Apparently they are shutting down for 6 weeks. We went to the Railway Tavern across the road, if last nights gig in the Chequers was like an episode in Heartbeat, then the railway is like the Winchester Club in 70’s series minder. All joking aside the Railway is a top pub and I had a pint of my new favourite tipple, Brentwood Brewery IPA. They also had another 3 ales on tap, including Anita’s favourite Doome Bar. After a couple of more stops and a train ride we got to the 100 club. I was a bit surprised that after all the fuss about the old club shutting, no one was there leafleting or trying to get you sign petitions. The band came on and it’s obvious as musicians they are top notch. They play blues and the group is a who’s who of the best session musician and recording stars in that kind of that scene in England. The problem for me is they are too good. It’s strange but even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t, if that makes sense. I am sure that when I saw them before there was a bit more rhythm. The only songs I can remember them doing was “Sitting on top of the world” and “Shake rattle and roll.” The band played 2 sets of blues and the audience there lapped it up. They did try a real heavy sell for their memorabilia, but when you saw the punters crowded around the merchandise stall, who can blame them. I did enjoy the night, but not one my standout gigs, I am pretty sure that Colin wouldn’t agree and he would wax lyrical.

 Duncan, October 2010

 

The Coverup The Chequers, Billericay High Street 30/09/10

Just had a good night at The Chequers watching a new band The Cover Up. A new venue for me as well, seemed strange walking along the sleepy high street, approaching a noise that was bouncing off the shops opposite. The nearer you got the more it sounded like London Calling. The actual pub is a nice old one, plenty of low beams and character. It looks as though it’s a Young’s house but there were other ales on pump, so the beers ok. Walking up to the pub I think Mo called it right, it was just like walking into the pub in Heartbeat. The outside had a few scooters with mirrors festooned upon them with a sprinkling of mods inside. The Chequers has weekly Thursday night band nights and was surprisingly packed out. http://www.thechequersbillericay.com/ The band were very tight and consisted of the classic guitar, bass and drum outfit but it also had the added bonus of a sax player. The band are ever so good and play the kind of music that you just can’t go wrong with. I am hopeless on set lists, but I definitely heard “Down in the tubestation at midnight” “That’s entertainment” “To be someone” that’s one of the Jams finest, a couple of Wilson Pickett songs “mustang Sally” and “In the midnight hour.” They went into glam as well with “20th Century boy”. For the youngsters there was “Chelsea Dagger” and “Parklife” (there probably not that new now, perhaps I am showing my age) For me there was one my favourite power tracks Jets “are you gonna be my girl.” The Who got a play as well with “my generation” and the best one of the night for me “the real me,” a truly powerful version. A lot of Ska was also played in the second set. The saxophone came into play here with Prince Buster’s “one step beyond” Madnesses, signature track “night boat to Cairo,” Dandy Livingstone’s “message to you Rudy” and the specials “too much too young.” I also forgot what a great fun song “Lip up fatty” was (Buster Bloodvessel was king). They finished up with “whatcha gonna do about it.” There were lots of other songs and they were all enjoyable A good night had by all. The band are very good and if someone was having a party and was looking for a band, I would have no problem recommending them. They are all musically good and compliment each other. From the lead singer to the drummer, all great and thanks for a good night. http://www.thecoverup.co.uk/ So as Paul Weller sang on Eton Rifles “some of the lads will be back next week,” I think I will be one of them.

Duncan September 2010

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Junior Zooky and the Freak Flags, Kings Head PH, Great Baddow 18.09.2010


 
Well how could you not go and see a band with such a name added to the fact that it was at a pub that had only been recently refurbished. So off I trundled with Mo and my neighbour Peter of 'Smokin Jackets' fame.

 The experience was too be two fold as this was only the second time I had been into the Kings Head since it had changed ownership.
The old pub was dark, dingy, clicky and for me quite uninviting a shame as this is my nearest pub,
I was pleasently surprised with the revamped version. It's very white and bright no smells with a huge mirror over
the bar making it feel a lot bigger than it actually is. They also sell a decent pint of Adnams which I managed to check a
few of.
 
So onto the band they were a five piece from I suppose Chelmsford who play a mixture of festival anthems (Mo's
comment) such as 'I predict a Riot' 'Sex on Fire' and 'One Way or Another' to more establish songs such as 'Superstition',
'Word Up' and my favourites of the night 'Long Train Running', 'Play that Funky Music White Boy' and 'Sweet Home Alabama'
They are a really good pub band who play lively uptempo covers who got the good people of Baddow rocking. The lead singer
as a good voice and is a decent front man and the drummer is only 12 years old but very good. All and all a good band well worth
checking out if they are playing locally especially somewhere other than the Kings Head. Although I will go and see another band
there if the opportunity arises it dosen't lend itself to music, its narrow rather than  deep pud, with a number of pillars and tables
to negoiate to get a decent view, but lets hope thet put on more music as its what Baddow needs.
 
As a footnote I looked up what 'Zooky' means and the only definition I could find was 'Awesome' and 'Freak Flag' is 'Your cool inner self'
Love and Peace Man.

Colin

 

 

 

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Happy Hour, Chelmsford Beer Festival, 16th July 2010

 


My one and only trip of the year to the dark side of Chelmsford and the Summer Beer Festival at Admirals Park. I have become a fully paid member of CAMRA for the princely sum of £20 which gave me entry, a free pint and the promise of £20 worth of Witherspoon Vouchers. So I can officially grow a beard, my hair wear a stupid T-shirt and talk about percentages of alcohol and specific gravity. I arrived about 5.15pm and waited for others to turn up. i was finally joined about 6.45pm by Duncan and that was it.
 
As always there was a fine selection of ales which I supped at least one of and sometimes more of 'Brentwood Brewery Gold', 'Butcombe Blond', 'Beartown Kodiak Gold' and 'Cliff Quay Tolly Roger' There were others but it soon becomes a blur.
 
The band came on about 8.30pm they were a 5 piece who were all in their late teens except for the lead singer who was in his mid 30's a strange combo but it worked. They started off with 'I want Hold Your Hand' which for me was not the greatest of starts but soon made amends with one of my favourite tracks of all times 'Happy Hour'. I think the band soon realised that the more modern music was the way forward with modern day classics like 'Teenage Dirtbag' 'Chelsea Dagger' 'I Predict A Riot' ' Shes So Lovely' this was interpersed with other favourites to sing and dance to 'Daydream Believer' 'Brown Eyed Girl' 'Teenage Kicks' 'I Fought The Law' 'Baggy Trousers' 'Summer Of ‘69', the marquee was really jumping
 
They finished with a really good version of 'Don't Look Back in Anger' to end a really good night, good beer, good music and good company shame for those who couldn't make it

Colin July 2010

 

The Hamsters, Kelvedon Music Festival 10th July 2010

 
 

The Kelvedon free festival comes around again and seems to get bigger and better every year. Because of family commitments I wasn't able to get there until about 6.15pm just before the Hamsters got on stage.
 
There must have been between 2 and 3,000 who had supped a few ales if the floor was anything to go by. Being a really hot day a pint of Brewers Gold would have gone down a treat if only he bar hadn't already been shut. This led to the novel experience of watching a band without the benefit of any alcohol. You would think that would make my memory better but unfortuanately not, prehaps its age rather then alcohol abuse.
 
Just of the front of the stage were seasoned festival goers the EAGLE's complete with chairs and cold box unfortunately Paul had finished all his beer.
 
So too the Hamsters a band I have seen on many occasions but now I can only see on the odd occasion as for me they become a bit samey. This was a more varied set then the last time I saw them which was very Hendrix dominated although they still di 'All Along The Watchtower' and 'Hey Joe'. These tracks were supplemented with the likes of 'Sharp Dressed Man' 'The Walk' and the finale 'Gimme Some Loving' which ended with the band all exchanging instruments a good trick showing that they are accomplished musicians.
 
Because of the licence held by the festival they had to finish at 7.30pm cutting their set down to about 50 mins, but an enjoyable 50 mins. I didn't see any of the earlier bands but Paul informs me there were decent local bands. Long live Kelvedon free Festival.

Colin July 2010


Fuze

 


British Legion, Great Baddow


30/05/10

 

I was asked by some friends if I wanted to go and see their son play in his new band. I always enjoy going to see live music and if there are a few beers included, all the better. The venue was the British Legion at Baddow; this place brings back a few memories. When we were about 15 we used to go and play bingo there, I don’t know why. Going into the legion the outside and interior have not changed in the 36 years since I had last been there.


The show I think was in aid of Help the Heroes and was well supported by a lot of teenagers and us old gits. Lesley and Richards’s son Ed kicked it off with an acoustic set of covers. The songs he done were “Fight for this Love” a surprising Cheryl Cole number. I must say it came across well. The Killers “Mr Brightside,” you can’t go wrong with that one and the song that I hear everyone singing at the moment, The Trashmen's “Surfin’ Bird.” I think Iggy Pop had this in his top ten. He played all of the songs well, with a good sense of humour and I think will go far in the murky waters of Rock and Roll. Next on came FUZE with the aforementioned Ed Alston as lead singer, George Kirchener on guitar, Jack Goldsmith on bass and Keir Adamson on drums. The band played high energy rock and have a very polished and confident stage show. The music was powerful and you could tell that they must rehearse a lot. Looking at there web page it is noticeable that though young, they have played some prestigious venues, such as the Standard at Black Horse Rd and the Bridgehouse at Canning Town. Both of these places have hosted top bands back in the day, especially the original Bridgehouse. I am not sure of the set list but I know that all of the songs were their own compositions. The first tune was “Lies” I remember that one from their myspace page.

http://www.myspace.com/fuzebanduk

They played about 5 or 6 songs, all good and fast. I never know whether my taste in music is all that so I watch the audience. They were enjoying it and dancing, so I must have been right. I think the song they finished with was “Jimmy.” This is a good track starting with a heavy bass guitar, then going from reggae into full pelt rock with lots of power chords. It reminds me a little bit of “Johnny Was” by Stiff Little Fingers (No bad thing). This was typical of the music that they served up and as I said all their own stuff. I will go to see them again, I might take the local rock historian, Maurice with me. As long as he promises not to pogo.


Summing up they are the sort of band that will get a local following and if they are lucky could make it into the big time. If I was a teenager (I wish), I would be seeing them hell of a lot. The bad part of the night was that my lovely wife Lee wanted to go straight after so I missed the next 7 bands. She likes Michael Buble??

Duncan May 10

 

 

 Lee Brillaux Memorial 7th May 2010

 

May always seem to be a good month FA Cup Final, Champions League FInal, planting my runner beans but prehaps the highlight of the month and one of my favourite nights of the year the Lee Briallaux Memorial at the Oysterfleet on Canvey Island. Theres a number of reasons I look forward to it overseas travel to an exotic destination, a good turnout (concert sold out about 6 weeks ago and 11 of us from Chelmsford), all in a good cause, easy for me to buy Duncan's birthday present and normally a good list of bands.
 
It started as always with meeting Paul in The White Horse where IPA is sold at the very reasonable price of £2.10(as cheap as the Baddow Club) and a good place to meet for next weekends FA Cup Final. Ali had already picked the other 6 in our taxi from The Plough and was with us spot on time. So we were off on our adventure spirits high having recently watched a re-run of 'Oil City Confidential' on BBC 4 and I had been told earlier that day that Wilko Johnson was due to be playing.
 
We arrived at the Oysterfleet about 6.45pm and straight into the bar which was already beginning to fill out, we seem to be creatures of habit as it was outside to the veranda with burger and chips to try and feed the carp in the lake. We didn't stay out to long as it was cold and fish weren't interested in our IPA.
 
Whilst in the bar came the first surprise of the night when we were able to rub shoulders with stars of the forthcoming show Wilko and Sparko. Wilko posed for a picture with Duncan and Paul and both he and Spako signed my ticket what anaddition to my ticket collection. The second surprise was in the gents loo's where the line up was posted which not only include the current Feelgoods, Wilko, Sparko and Figure playing together but also Eddie and the Hot Rods so things were getting better.
 
I went upto the ballroom with Ash where the music had already started we had missed the first band who were called something like 'Jetty Boys' who included a Lee Sparks, so apologises for missing them and having no idea what they were like.
 
On stage when we got there were the Steve Walwyn Band which compromised of 2 members of the current Feelgods, Steve and bass player Phil Mitchell, Pete Nash on keyboards who I think either is or was a member of Essex Blues Bank 'Booze and Blues' and on drums Big Figure (the last of the original Feelgoods I needed to sign my ticket). As is Steve Walway's want he is a more bluesy guitarist then Wilko so was able to showcase is skill with tracks from Muddy Waters to the Rory Gallaghar, I have to confess I can't now remember any of th titles but with the addition of the keyboards it was an excellent set. Whilst watching I stood next to Barry Masters who also signed my ticket after I had made some enane comment about the Rods being one of the best bands live I have seen recently. This ticket was fast becoming a prized possession to go with my signed copy of 'Be Seeing You'
 
Next on were the Rods, I don't think anyone who has read my previous reveiws will be in any doubt of my thoughts on them and again they didn't disappoint this must now be the 6th time I've seen them in 5 years and always they deliver a great live show. the set was only about 40 mins long but they crammed in all your favourites 'Do Anything You Want to do' 'Quit this Town' 'Teenage Depression' and I know Nick's favourite 'Gloria'.  What an unexpected treat.
 
Next up what turned out to be for me the main event of the night Wilko, Sparko and Figure back on stage with a lead singer/harmonica player (who I didn't know). They were excellent as always powering out a number of early Feelgood classics 'Roxette' 'Looking Back' and 'Down at the Jetty' (I think) mavellous stuff. They may have aged but they can still can bang it out its great to hear Wilko backed by the original powerful rhythm section. They were joined on stage by Lew Lewis who
Contributed two songs Wooly Bully & Boogie On The Streets with Lew on vocal and harmonica.

What struck me again then and earlier in the bar was how short Wilko and Sparko are. Too soon their slot had finished, and unfortunately I was in the loo at the end and missed Figure for the signature he promised prior to to the set, still I could wait to the end and get it then.
 


last on were thge current Feelgoods. I had seem them 2 months previous when they performed on their own and really enjoyed them, although I still beleive them to be a covers band, Dr Feelgood was, is and always will be about the singing and stage craft of Lee Brillaux. Another problem for them tonight was they had been preceeded by the Rods and the remaining originals so had a lot to live upto. They were good but not a patch on the previous 2 bands; they went through a lot of the Feelgood repotoire 'Down at the Doctors' 'Milk and Alcohol' but they just can't match up to the originals, things do not always change for the better, still they did round off a good evening.
 
Just a three of footnote points:
During the evening there was an auction for signed 'Oil City Confidential' poster which at one stage Maurice bid £350 for but I think he was releived when he was out bid. That poster made £600 all charity.
 
It was interesting to see Wilko and Steve Walway directly after each other playing Feelgood music. I don't profess to be any sort of expert I just know what I like. To me Walway is a more technical and maybe more skilled guitarist but for me you can't beat Wilko's machine gun style playing for good RnB music. The king isn't dead so long live the king.
 
I waited outside like some stage door johnny to see if I could added Figure's signature to my ticket but he didn't appear. As we were leaving I bumped into a young lady who claimed to be Figure's daughter I had seen her with him earlier. She promised she would get him to sign my ticket and would only take a minute. So like a fool I gave her my ticket and waited like a baffoon for her to return with his signature to complete the set. 10 minutes went by still no show from the silver tongued temptress. I was crushed and went home having lost my prized possession. Still lesson learnt 'There's No Fool like an Old Fool' Still roll on next year.

Colin May 2010

 

 

New York Dolls


KOKO


19/04/2010


A Monday night, strange night for a gig for us old fella’s who like to be in bed early but a chance to see one of the movers and shakers that inspired a lot of punk bands. As usual meet in the Plough early. It was quite amusing to see Maurice in his new jeans which he had forgot to take the labels of. We were having bets to see how long they would stay on till some idiot at the bar told him. One good thing about going to the pub is that I can recommend the Burger and Chips for £2.99. The bloody train was held up just outside Ilford, so instead of the usual drinks at the Hamilton Hall, we decided to go straight to Camden as it was getting late. When we got to Mornington Crescent, where the KOKO is, the pub opposite the venue was closed. A disaster looks as though it was going to be dry night. A short walk up the high street saw us in an Irish pub which only served IPA, still beggars can’t be choosers. We also had the pleasure of watching the happy Hammers trying their best to get relegated against Liverpool.


A short walk found us in the KOKO pleasantly surprised by how many people there as it was not a sell out. There were a lot of youngsters with a smattering of Grey hairs in the audience. I will not drink in this venue again though, I don’t mind paying over the odds for a drink, but over £4 for a can of John Smiths which is undrinkable. Apart from that the KOKO is a great place for music and has all the history of past and recent glories, including Nicky going on one with Whisky last time we were there. He was a lot more sensible this time. The band came on and David Johanson looking as though he could benefit with a good Steak pie dinner and a dapper Sylvain Sylvain, the 2 original band members, were both in fine fettle. They played good honest rock and roll and are well worth going to see. They are a bit of a cross between Glam, Punk and the Stones. To be truthful I do not know much of the Dolls material, but I certainly recognised “Frankenstein” “Personality crisis” “Trash” and a great Bo Diddley set of “Pills” “Bo Diddley” and “who do you love?” The band looked as though they were enjoying it and I know the audience were, apart from Rat who is a bit too refined for this (he saw a Nick Drake tribute at the Barbican and was waxing lyrical about that. He took his boy Jack to see that, he was bored rigid). It was a superb night and I can only recommend that people go and see these old bands, as when they are gone, they are gone and you have will no chance to see these rock and roll legends again. I was hoping to see Morrisey there as he is the president of the Dolls fan club in Britain. I didn’t see him but apparently Jonathon Ross was there.


A good night had by all.


Duncan April 2010

 

Unknown Band


Port Olympic


Barcelona

Cheating really, but I did actually see a band on my trip to watch Arsenal outclass Barcelona in the Camp Nou. Great few days away which started with flights from Birmingham airport after Breakfast and a couple of Beers at the airports Wetherspoons. The trip was made of Barry, Mark, Dave and I, none of us were expecting much from the game and that seemed the consensus of opinion from the travelling Gooners. We had a hotel outside Barca for the first night in quiet seaside town of Platja D’Aro. A serene place which is probably a typical resort where the Spanish holiday. A nice Paella, two bottles of Riocha and several beers later saw us promenade around a couple of bars, which ended with the Chelmsford townies getting a narrow 9-0 victory over the carrot crunchers at bar football. Much to our amusement Dave ended up the worst for wear and struggled to make breakfast and when he did went back to bed.


We set of for Barca for our second hotel. This was right in the town centre and just a short walk from the main throughfare Las Ramblas. Seeing that this is a very cultured city, it’s seems strange that among the street entertainers there are stalls selling chickens. We made our way to the Arsenal meeting point which was on the beach at the Port Olimpic (there spelling, not mine). After walking a good mile we decided to take a rikshaw for the other 2, money well spent I think. On arrival I thought that this would be one of those sterile, fabricated areas. What you got was footballs, bands, cheap beer and 2000 Arsenal fans of all ages, singing and dancing in a relaxed and happy atmosphere. Here’s where the music bit comes in. the band we saw were playing covers, they played all easy sing along songs the Beatles, the Monkees, Killers and Oasis which includes the one I dedicate to Spurs “Don’t look back in envy.” They were a good band and when they were off a DJ was there keeping the party going. This was a great idea, it kept all the boisterousness away from the town centre, but the good thing was that the Police kept such a low profile, you didn’t even notice them and you wasn’t penned in there and were free to go anywhere in the city. We left a rejuvinated Dave having a sing song there, to have a good leisurely meal at the harbour. I must be getting old as when the bill was paid the waiter brought over 2 complimentary bottles of schnaps. I only tried a glass out of each. 10 years ago I would have had a go at drinking at least one of the bottles. The fella on the table behind us wasn’t so sensible; I hope he made the match.


We made our way to the ground via the tube system, it seems a lot better and cleaner than London's, It’s a lot cheaper as well as 7 Euros got 4 of us to the Nou Camp and back. The rest is history, we had our 2 minutes of glory and then Messi woke up, we were sitting amongst the Barca fans who treated us well, I think they thought we were mad as they never bothered coming to London for the first leg, it’s a different culture though, Barcelona was covered in red and white before the game. When Messi got the fourth, the stadium was actually bouncing up and down; you could feel the concrete trembling and see the tier above you moving. To sum the game up, I think we were priviledged to be there that night, we saw probably the best team in the world as well as FC Barcelona (only joking). After the game we found out our hotel was on the edge of the red light district where we manfully resisted the charms of some ladies of the night. An uneventful flight home the next day saw me reflecting on a top couple of days away, a few beers, loads of rubbish being spoken and the friendliness of a great City and people. Thanks should go to Barry for the organisation, Dave’s wife Sue for finding the cheap flights and Barry, Dave and Mark for being such great company.


Duncan April 2010


The band were good, honest!!

 

 

The Stranglers


Hammersmith Apollo


19/03/10


The Stranglers again, seems like an annual pilgrimage to London to see the Stranglers. You might think that they would get a bit boring, but they delivered another blistering, high energy set again. It’s been a long time since I have been the Apollo or Odeon as I used to know it. The last time I had been there was to see either James Brown or Funkadelic in the late 70’s. The place is one of those historic music venues with all of the best bands playing there, in my collection I still have tickets for Thin Liz and the Godfather of Soul. For the more livelier bands they take the seats out downstairs which as everybody knows is the only way to watch a band, standing up. My wife Lee went there a couple of weeks before to see the auditions for Britains got talent, so where Simon Cowell normally sits there was a mass of middle aged, silver haired pogoers. Needless to say she doesn’t often come with me as our tastes differ so much. For all of these gigs which feature old punk bands there are always 2 distinct age groups, youngsters 18 to 21 who go to see them, probably because their Dads tell them they were good and the 45 to 55 year olds, not many in between. The one bad thing about going to gigs now is when you buy the tickets from agencies is that you have to print the tickets off yourself. I hate this because I keep all of my old tickets and have footie tickets going back to 73 and music ones to 76. Some of them are worth a few quid now and I love looking through them as most of them bring back great memories. Now you get a sheet of A4 paper which could come from anywhere. The agency also charge you £3 to £4 per ticket for the privilege.


Back to the Stranglers, the line up is the original one from the 70’s apart from guitarists and lead singer Hugh Cornwell; he has been replaced for about the last ten years by Baz Warne. As I had seen nearly all of the bigger punk and new wave bands in the 70’s, the Stranglers were one that I hadn’t seen until about 4 years ago so I don’t know the difference. The rest of the band are JJ Burnel on bass, Jet Black on drums and organist Dave Greenfield. They played all of their hits, and they had lots of them, also their more memorable album tracks. I can never remember play lists but we definitely got 5 minutes, get a grip, straighten out, peaches, always the sun, duchess, London lady, nice and sleazy, hanging around and loads more. I paticulary enjoyed “Go buddy go”, a great dancer with great memories , “Walk on by” just a great piece of music with a wonderful organ solo and “down in the sewer” another great piece of music from possibly one of the best albums ever. As the end of the evening came upon us, I went to the front for a pogo to the last of the 4 encores “no more heroes” here I met Maurice who had been down at the front for quite a while. I have never seen a man sweat as much, mind you though it was realy hot there. I suddenly saw a melee in the middle and I saw some people help an old fella who had ended up on the floor, Maurice.


If you have never seen them before I heartily recommend that you do. They are great entertainment and each time I have seen them they have never disappointed.

Duncan 2010

 

Dr Feelgood

 

Oysterfleet Hotel, Canvey Island

 

06/03/10

 

My little brother Colin rang up in the week to tell me he had 2 comps for the Saturday night of the Feelgood weekend at Canvey. Never having seen the new line-up on their own (only seen them in parts at the Lee Brilleaux memorials) I thought I would give it a go. I didn’t know what to expect as we arrived at the hotel at about 8 o’clock. A quick drink downstairs with all the posher people from Canvey, I think the rough ones go to the King Canute. Then upstairs to the ballroom to see what was going on. It was empty apart from a few older people sitting around the edges and Colin’s mate Pete and his son. Pete is a muso and plays guitar in RnB band Dirty Work (well worth going to see if you get a chance). They had a DJ on and he was the usual fellar who is at the memorial gig. Loads of old rock and roll, Rods and Thorogood played, perfect for the audience that is expected. The hall started to fill up with all the usual sorts you get to these places, Germans, Dutch and Belgians. All with black tees shirts and waistcoats (I was going to buy a waistcoat myself last year, but I think I would have had the piss ripped out of me). By the time the band got on stage there was quite a crowd, including scary looking rock chips with the leather boots. The band started off and I wont go into the playlist as I can never remember them, but I heard “She does it right” “She’s a wind up” “Back in the night” “Rollin and a tumblin” a great version of “Roxette” “Milk and Alchol” “99 and a ½ won’t do” do and finished the set with “Down at the Doctors.” They also done others which I can’t remember, even a couple that I didn’t recognise, perhaps later Feelogood songs or even their own. The main part of the show is an epic rendition of “Down by the jetty blues”. Guitarist Steve Walwyn enjoys this one. The encore was strange as the band didn’t leave the stage to be called but stayed on. It finnished up with old favourites “See you later alligator” “Bonie Moronie” “Tequilla” and “Route 66.” On the encores the lead singer Rob Kane introduced people from the audience who I must say had come long way to see the group. Chaps from Northern Ireland, Scotland, all your usual European types and Graham who came all the way from New Zealand for the weekend. Graham got up on stage and played with the band on Route 66. He brought his own harmonica as well. To be fair he wasn’t bad. I think there were also some people from Basildon as well.

 

Summing up I never would have paid money to watch the new band play on their own, even though I would have probably seen all the band (apart from the singer) with Lee Brilleaux before he died. I have changed my mind and will definateley go to watch them again, they were good fun and entertaining. I can remember watching the old band towards the end and they seemed only to go through the motions, unless they were playing a bigger gig such as in London. The problem they have is that people see them as tribute band and not a band in their own right. I don’t see this as a problem. The only thing that could go wrong was if they started to call it Tyne Delta music and not the Thames Delta.

 

Oil City Confidential


KOKO Camden Town


02/02/10

 

I knew from when I booked these tickets that it would be a special night. The Dr Feelgood documentary film, Oil City Confidential followed by a Wilko Johnson gig straight afterwards.

As usual the night started early in the Pub, it must have been quite important as everyone was there near enough on time and all were in a happy mood. Anyway a few pints there and on the train for a bit of celeb spotting, as Alvin Martin of West Ham and now Talksport fame got on at Romford. Off at Liverpool St and into Hamilton Hall to pick up the last 2 of our gang of 7. At the moment I am reliving my childhood and have read a few Enid Blyton books and like to think of us as the Secret Seven, Colin, Nick, Mo, Baz, Paul, Ash and myself. The more Rhythm and Blues orientated would probably think of us, as Lew Lewis’s Lucky 7, or as we was at the cinema, the Magnificent Seven. Luckily I had done my homework and knew that you had to get out at Mornington Crescent and not Camden Town, which would include a mile walk. Another pub then into the gig. The Koko used to be the Camden Palace and is an old Music Hall. If you can be bothered to look at it’s history it’s had quite a lot of punk bands playing there and one macabre item in it’s past, it was the last place that Bonn Scott of AC/DC was seen drinking before he died of alcohol poisoning in 1980. I’m surprised he could afford it, at £4 for a can of Guinness. The venue is classical looking from the outside all pillars and what you would expect from building built in Victorian times. The inside is something like out of the Good Old Days, if you can remember that. It was on 4 levels and was seemingly covered in red velvet, a fine place for the upcoming entertainment.

Keith Allen was the master of ceremonies, he introduced Julian Temple the director who gave a speech about when he saw them in 73 & 74. Then the film, it was filmed with lots of old news footage and showed how the band met and in the end split up. The main person in the film was Wilko with supporting roles from Figure, Sparko and Chris Fenwick the manager. There was some really interesting facts about the band. There were also some interviews with Lee Brilleaux, his wife and mum. A lot of it centred around that shit hole of Essex, Canvey Island. I can remember going over there to clubs like the Goldmine. You never quite knew whether you were safe and it always had sinister undercurrents. Canvey is one of those places that if you move there, it’s nearly impossible to move away. The only time I go there now is for the Lee Brilleaux memorial night every May. The film is superb though and captures the time exactly. It was strange watching the film though because it’s not a cinema and you had to stand up through the show. This was good as it meant you could go to the bar. As the film ended I think that every one in the packed audience was of the same age and had the same memories and all enjoyed it.

15 minutes later the band hit the stage, I have seen them many times before and they delivered another high adrenalin show. Wilko played a few tracks and then brought on his special guest, Basildon’s finest, the Belle of Bas Vegas Alison Moyet, she rattled through a few songs, “ All through the city” “I don’t mind” “Boom Boom” & “”Dimples”. I must say she was very good and she looks well. Wilko then gave the usual show with all the staple favourites in it “Paradise” “Every ones carrying a gun” and all the others which make his shows so good. He still has that stage presence and was ably supported by Barry Magowan look alike, the fabulous Norman Watt Roy on Bass and Dylan Howe on drums. The night ended with encores of “Johnny b goode” & “route 66”. One regret for the night was that the Figure and Sparko never got on stage and played with the band. They always do at the Lee Memorial at Canvey.

Summing up it was a great night but it left one a little sad. I always thought that when Wilko left the Feelgoods they lost a little something, not taking anything away from Gypie Mayo as he was excellent. Also Wilko never seemed as good when he left, don’t get me wrong he was still miles better than most of the stuff around, even now, but they were magic when they were all together.

If anyone fancies it Wilko is playing the Standard at Walthamstow March 5th.

 

Duncan Febuary 10

 Oil City Confidential Chelmsford Odeon
The Odeon was pretty full - not sure how many - not one of the big capacity screens - but there must have been a couple of hundred and a strong smell of beer and cans popping throughout!  Good atmosphere but when I saw you lot bopping around I SO wished I was in Camden!
What did you think of it all?
R

 

 

 

 

Automatic Slim


St Annes Castle


05/12/09

 

Back to our annual dose of Rhythm and Blues, at St Anne’s Castle, with the evergreen, Automatic Slim. This is the third year in a row we have seen them there and to be truthful I can’t wait for next year. I can’t really remember the set list as I had been working nights all the week before and it seemed as though the beer hit me a bit harder than normal, not drunk just mellow and forgetful. We started off at our usual watering hole for such occasions, the Plough. Here we treated ourselves to some beer from the Brains brewery, I can’t remember what it was, but it had a pleasant nutty taste and certainly went down well. A quick taxi for the 6 miles to the reputed oldest pub in England (I’m sure I’ve been in some other pubs that have claimed the same), St Anne’s Castle. This is a proper music pub, which has bands on several nights of the week. The landlord also keeps a good cellar. I started on one of my favourite ales Woodfords Wherry and caught the end of the support act. I am sorry I didn’t catch his name but he played proper blues on his own, very good but you had to be in the mood.

 


Automatic Slim hit the stage and the tempo increased straight away, as I said I can’t remember the set list to well but I can definitely remember “Going back home” “down at the doctors” “house rent blues” “beat box billy” “I drink alone” “bad to the bone” “little red rooster” “switchboard susan” “highway 61 revisited” “I’m a man” “doctor feelgood” “who do you love” and it wouldn’t be a Slim gig without “werewolves of London.” They played a lot more than this and not in this order. The band always give it their all and are great entertainers and showmen, I would recommend to anyone who has not seen them before to have a look, if they are lucky enough to catch them playing one of their rare gigs. You won’t be disappointed plenty of energy, great songs and very good musicians. They have a great knack of rolling songs into one. You can always catch snippets of other songs or riffs played into whatever they are playing. For example werewolves has a pop music and no woman, no cry intertwined into it. Led Zeps rock and roll and Frees the Hunter always turn up as well. I would like to say it was a pleasure to be there. The only downside was that the Wherry ran out, so we had to drink Youngs instead, that’s not to sad though. Great night had by all.


Duncan December 09




 




 


The Smokin’ Jackets Great Baddow Parish Hall

 

Golden Fleece Blues Rock Night

 

Oaklands Park Festival Saturday 25th July 2009

 

The Jack Eagle Retaliation


Lee Brilleaux Memorial 8th May 2009 The Oysterfleet Canvey Island

WELLERMAN LIVE AT THE ALMA CHELMSFORD

THE HAMSTERS ROYAL STANDARD WALTHAMSTOW 30/02/09

Sensational Alex Harvey Band Liquid Rooms (NOT) Edinburgh

Eddie And The Hot Rods Rga Music Bar Dec 2008

 Automatic Slim St Anns Castle December 2008

Stranglers, Shepherds Bush Empire, 15th November 2008

 V FESTIVAL CHELMSFORD 2008

V Festival 2008 Review From Judy Allinson

V Festival 2006: Being Backstage

Tony Mcphee The Bassment 29th April 2007 

Jackie Wilson Says The Bassment 22.04.07

SAHB review sent in by Laura from Scene South

THE STRANGLERS SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE 06/10/06

V 2006 Hylands Park Chelmsford

THE 13th LEE BRILLEAUX MEMORIAL SHOW 5/5/2006 THE OYSTERFLEET HOTEL CANVEY ISLAND ESSEX

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band The Mean Fiddler London 3rd Dec 2005


The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Live At The Moshulo 18.11.05.

Eskimo Blonde & Little Steps Drummonds Bar, Belmont St, Aberdeen. 18.11.05


John Otway, Wilko Johnson , The Hamsters, CLUB RIGA

KELVEDON FREE MUSIC FESTIVAL Saturday 9th July 2005

Eddie And The Hot Rods Review Live At Club Riga 2005




 


 

 

 

 

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