~~~~~~~~~ VIEW FROM THE SOUTH BANK ~~~~~~~~~

Copyright Steve Jackson

The following articles have been submitted to Fizgig, for our use by Steve Jackson, Music Correspondent for the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. We would like to thank Steve for permission to use these articles.

You can send me any band news and gig details for this column via my new e-mail address which is now:

stephen.jackson8@ntlworld.com

Alternatively snail mail still works and any correspondence can be sent direct to me at :

60 Washdyke Lane, Nettleham, Lincolnshire, LN2 2PY

******************************************************************************


New Articles (Jul 2004)

| Jun 2004 | 19 Jul 2004 |


New Articles (Oct 2003)

Dick Picks, Steve Strums | Hoping For A Trip To Wolverhampton | Manfreds Play To The Max |


New Articles added 26 Nov 2001

| Ready For Eddie? | Rock'n'Roll Stairway The Heaven | Purple Reign at Grimsby | All The Way From Melbourne |


New Articles added - 9 Aug 2001

| Lee Baker | Guitar Greats | Gene Parsons | Rockin' On Heavens Door | The Melt | Jazz Weekend | Rock'n'Roll Gold |

| Slack Alice | Ploughmans Bunch | Internazionale | Status Quo | Judy Clay | Jazz Watch |

******************************************************************************

Additional Articles from May 2001 (added 9 Aug 2001)

| Untold | Rod & Steve | Stray | Last Post | Royal Sound from Steve Crayn |

******************************************************************************

New Articles added - 9th May 2001

Shoeshine Records | Bolan at Boston CD | Bulldog Bash | Carley's Popstar Aim |

| Company Of Snakes | Steven Crayn CD Single | Death of Isaac Guillory | Doobies Album |

| Experience Hendrix | Lo Beam | Marbella | Moths In The Glasshouse |

| Neil Young | Papa John | Q Project | Roxy Reunion |

******************************************************************************

Articles added 26 Dec 2000

The Web In January | The Last Post | James Hunter Back At Woodman |

| The Gravitational Pull Of Strangeways | Check Out Fizgig | Get Jazzy This Christmas

RIP Melody Maker | Rod And Steve Top My List | Clapton At Sheffield

| Rare Gems From The Cult | Flurry Of Activity At The Beachcomber

| Curl Unfurl Live Date |

******************************************************************************

Articles added 8 Dec 2000

| The Who At Sheffield | Music To Grab Your Tentacles |

| Final Regional Dates For Parasite | Long John's In Town | Popular Punk Poet Date

| Greenslade Go Large | First Studio Album in 10 Years From The Doobies

| Lamb Back At Spilsby | Tiny Purple Fishes Date |

A Special Kind Of Blues At The Woodman | Maximum R & B At The Auditorium |

| Dance Sound From The Docklands |

******************************************************************************

Articles added 16 Sept 2000

| Climb Aboard The Bus | Denmark Street Recording by Crayn

| Country Cats! | Curl Mass Identity Crisis | Dr Robert ~ Other Folk

| Bob Dylan - Sheffield Date | Garden City Angels | King Of The Blues Harp

| Leash On CD | Hearing is Leering | 25 Years Of Motorhead |

| Not Always The Right Note | Osibisa | Ozsome | Zoddy Boots On CD |

| Piggies Back For One Night Only | Look Out For Folkham Hall | Great Sound From Cisco

| Parasite Bow Out | Whole lotta Piggies | Something Different From Willie

******************************************************************************

Articles added 7 June 2000

| Sand In My CD Player! | A Taylor Made Talent | Que For Quo Expected

| Select A Beachy Date | These Are The Times From Navarone

| Mayall And Green Play The Blues | A Fiddle Catches My Ear | Bon Appetite |

| Classic Songs From Hank And Woody | Blue Dots - Expect The Unexpected

******************************************************************************

View older Southbank articles by Steve Jackson

click above to view 1999 & articles prior to June 2000

******************************************************************************

Email address

Just a reminder that you can send any band news, comments and gig details for this column via my e-mail address which is

" stephen.jackson8@ntlworld.com"

Alternatively snail mail still works and any correspondence can be sent direct to me at :

60 Washdyke Lane,

Nettleham,

Lincolnshire,

LN2 2PY


11 Jul 2004

Cleethorpes Winter Gardens

The Hard-Ons

The Hard-Ons have been playing together for what seems like forever. In 1982 three guys from Sydney's west decided to get together and make some noise. It was 1985 when the Hard-Ons took the first major step on the road to cult status.

The release of "Girl In The Sweater" in 1986 signaled the beginning of a long relationship with Waterfront records.

Towards the end of 1988, saw the release of "Dickcheese" throughout Australia (on Waterfront), Europe (on Vinyl Solution0 and the US (on Taang!). "It's a raw, hardcore thrash album." Ray said. "Just 100 miles an hour and everything's on ten and everything's louder than everything else

1989 was another big year for the Hard-Ons. It saw the release of the "Just Being With You" single, the "Love is a Battlefield of Wounded Hearts" LP and a 48 show tour of Europe. The single and album were both receiving rave reviews, and the band held their own headlining alongside the likes of the Hoodoo Gurus, Bad Brains and Stone Roses. From November 1990 to December 1991 the Hard-Ons played 180 shows throughout 21 countries including shows in Australia with the Ramones and the Butthole Surfers, and with the Dickies in Europe. They played Japan for the first time, putting on three shows, and were mobbed in a train by a group of Japanese girls.

the Chili Peppers specifically asked the Hard-Ons to open for them.

It would turn out that our worries were premature. In 1997 the Hard-Ons were back together again playing at Sydney's Hordern Pavillion.."

And it wasn't a one-off. The Hard-Ons are as busy as ever. They have toured Europe twice already this millennium, and released a new album "This Terrible Place". That unmistakable sonic energy is still evident on some of tracks, but with it comes some of those new sounds that the three were after.

guests Xanda, Shrik, Hamster Ranch, D.B.Sweeney

thursday 15th july 2004 advance ticket £7.00


Spiders web

SECOND MONDAY (LOCKJAW RECORDS)

Second Monday-'If it calls out to you' EP

Second Monday are a four-piece emo punk outfit from Winchester. Surprisingly good for such a young band, already signed to lockjaw records, all members being only sixteen! As the legend De Reem once saidthings can only get better. Baring that pearl of wisdom in mind, if this EP is anything to go by, Second Monday are going to be fantastic! This debut EP, shows great potential. Influenced then by bands such as saves the day and thrice, with a less punky version of the starting line poking through, drummer Fred insists they have changed and matured. Well I think they had a winning mix to begin with! The feel good 'without answers' gives a funeral for a friend style take on melodic hardcore. A brilliant EP, however, I eagerly wait the release of the new EPreleased through lockjaw on June 28th.

WHY?

MAINLINE

FRIDAY 16TH JULY 2004 ADVANCE TICKET £4.00 / £5.00 AT DOOR


Rock artist;a Guitarist and Singer Songwriter with an edge.

The new single 'Another Cold Beer' on Counterfeit Records is also available as a download from imgifted. Influences include Alice Cooper, Hendrix, T. Rex, Manic Street Preachers, The Darkness.

Biography

London College of Music Graduate yet a free spirit.

Recently recorded at Tin Pan Alley studios in London's Denmark Street, hosts to legends such as Hendrix, The Kinks and the Sex Pistols. Produced by Steve Kent who has worked with George Michael, combining hard rock with tunes!

Debut album 'Make That Money' came out in 2001 on Sexy records and peoplesound. com reissued with


THE HEART OF LINCOLNSHIRE FOLK, ROOTS & BLUES CLUB

THE SWAMPNOBS

THURSDAY 22nd JULY @ EAGLE LODGE HOTEL, WOODHALL SPA

Tickets / Info ~ Tel. 01526 343989

One of the most talked about acts at the Heart Of Lincolnshire Folk, Roots & Blues Club last season The Swampnobs are back for a special end of season party at the club on Thursday 22nd July.

The Swampnobs are Galen Wood & Dr Pete. Galen is a retired headmaster following his dreams just to see where he might end up whilst Dr Pete, a brilliant young performer is training to be a classical musician at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Together the unlikely pair follow their interest into blues by delving deep into its history and reviving the big brother of rock, soul and funk in a way that is highly appealing to modern day audiences. As well as reviving Piedmont style blues, The Swampnobs write original songs with a bluesy flavour and often humourous lyrical content.

The duo are offically launching their second CD 'Broken Souls' at the concert which takes place at the Eagle Lodge Hotel in Woodhall Spa. Some of the songs on the new album were actually written whilst the duo were staying in the Lincolnshire village last summer.

As well as the album launch the duo will bring a special roadshow with them featuring acoustic guitarist Boo who will be performing acoustic solo spots and with blues singer Suzy Martell, whose single 'Dose Of You' is currently riding high in the blues charts in Memphis, they will also accompany The Swampnobs for some songs.

Tickets for the concert which starts at 8.30pm approximately are priced at £5.00, tel. 01526 343989 for ticket reservations or more information.

Willie Smith

Stephen.jackson8@ntlworld.com


Oct 2003 Articles

Dick Picks, Steve Strums

Guitar maestro Dick Appleton is appearing at the Bargate Club on Bargate in Grimsby this Saturday 4th October playing a selection from his eclectic bag of blues n' folk songs and tunes, all on a variety of guitars. Music starts at 8.30pm and Dick will be playing a couple of sets concentrating on his new CD "GuitarPlayer.com" which contains 19 tracks. Colin Harper of Mojo magazine has been in contact with Mr Appleton over a track he recorded which features legendary folkie Annie Briggs on backing vocals. Looks like the track may be part of a new Appleton album.

As an added bonus or deterrent, I will be playing a short 20/25 minute set in between Dick's stuff and the raffle! I'm planning to give something I play called a "strummer" a bit of an airing. It's a stringed instrument which sounds a bit like a cross between a mandolin, banjo and dulcimer. Come along and hear for yourself!


Hoping For A Trip To Wolverhampton

Grimsby rock trio `Tripp` are appearing at an unsigned band festival being held at `The Lea Manor` in Wolverhampton city centre on Sunday the 5th of October. A multitude of bands from around the country, will playing and competing for a record contract with Pure Music Records. It's an all day event and the requirement to enter is that each band has to sell at least 20 tickets at £5 each. Transport will be provided if "Tripp" get the necessary response. Tickets are available from The Old Musician pub in Grimsby and more information on the festival can be obtained from .


Manfreds Play To The Max

The Maximum Rhythm 'n' Blues tour featuring The Manfreds touches down at the Grimsby Auditorium on Friday 10th October. With special guests Alan Price, Colin Blunstone and PP Arnold it's a great line-up.

Maximum Rhythm 'n' Blues reunites original Manfred Mann members Paul Jones, Mike D'Abo, Tom McGuinness and Mike Hugg running through those timeless chart hits like Do Wah Diddy Diddy, 5-4-3-2-1, Pretty Flamingo, Ha! Ha! Said the Clown and Mighty Quinn.

Alan Price was a founding member of The Animals whose hits include House of the Rising Sun, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and Gotta Get Out of this Place. Leaving The Animals behind Alan pursued his own career and produced a string of chart hits I Put A Spell On You, Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear and The House That Jack Built among them. Rosetta gave him another smash hit during his collaboration with Georgie Fame as Fame and Price before broadening his musical career further.

Also on the bill is Colin Blunstone who initially found fame as a member of the Zombies with classics such as She's Not There. However is it possibly his success as a solo artist with songs in the calibre of Say you don't mind and I don't believe in Miracles that has established that breathy high ranged vocal style.

Completing the bill is PP Arnold, once a member of the Ikettes, the backing vocalists for Ike and Tina Turner who had sixties hits in her own right with Angel of the Morning and the classic Cat Stevens song "First Cut is the Deepest".

Tickets are priced at £17.50, £16.50 & £13.50 . For availability please contact the Box Office on 01472 - 311311

Appearing at the Spiders Web, Grimsby this Friday 3rd October are Headshock, Springs To Mind and Unless. Admission is £4 at the door


2001 ARTICLES


Ready For Eddie?

The "Eddie Martin Band" are the next group booked to appear at the Blues Of The Month Club, staged at the Queens Hotel in Sea View Street, Cleethorpes. The monthly club kicked off in September is going from strength to strength. Eddie's a very popular performer and I'm sure this will be another sell-out show. If you don't want to be disappointed then book your tickets now via Graeme Walster on 01472-601447.

Eddie has five solo albums to his name and his latest release "Keep On moving" came out earlier this year. Eddie's also recently appeared at the Womad, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festivals and Colne Blues Festival.

Also check out the website at "www.eddiemartin.com"


A Rock n' Roll Stairway To Heaven

The "Rockin On Heavens Door" tour hits Grimsby Auditorium on Sunday 2nd December

It's a jam packed hit after hit event which features lookalike soundalikes of Elvis Presley (Richard Atkins), Roy Orbison( Johnny Curtis), Buddy Holly (Marc Robinson) and Eddie Cochran (Rebel Dean).

The concept behind the show is a sure fire hit and that's been proved by the number of bottoms on seats on this never ending UK tour. All the performers involved are no longer with us so to get "The Big O" and "The Pelvis" to sing together has a definite novelty value and of course there are other permutations during the evening. Each of the artists does a solo spot and then everyone is back on stage for the big finale.

Richard Atkins is a tall but likeable Elvis and does the whole jump suit thing which usually includes a stroll around the theatre dishing out scarves! Johnny Curtis as Roy Orbison has captured that pop meets operatic voice and has the demeanour of Orbison. Marc Robinson is also a crowd pleaser which I'm sure the Grimsby crowd will lap up with his energetic Holly tribute and actor musician Rebel Dean has studied the film footage of Eddie Cochran to capture the sound and likeness.

By the end of the evening I can pretty much guarantee that the whole Auditorium audience will be on their feet clapping and singing along. There's show merchandise on sale in the foyer after the show and usually a meet and greet session with the performers (in costume) which is a nice touch.

Tickets are priced at £12.50 and £11.50 and available from the box office on 01472- 311311


Purple Reign At Auditorium

Quite a coup for the Grimsby Auditorium with their booking of the godfathers of heavy rock "Deep Purple". The show takes place on Wednesday 6th February and tickets are priced at £26.50 for seating and £24 if you want to stand up and jump about! Sitting down at a Purple concert seems to go against the grain a little bit but when you think about it most of their original fans will be of such an age that they will require the odd home comfort.

The Purple of 2002 feature the classic Gillan, Paice, Glover and Lord line-up with American Steve Morse filling Blackmore's boots but without the grumpiness.

A night of classic rock is in store so get those tickets now! The box office number is 01472- 311311.


All The Way From Melbourne

"Sanctum" are headlining at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Saturday 1st December. Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 95 the band took a decision to relocate to London to spread the word and that's just what they've been doing ever since! Definitely a band to fill the mosh pits, it's a sound that knocks the dust of your book shelves.

Their two track demo CD "All Love Lost" and "I Regret Nothing" captures the essence of the band. A spicy burger with extra chilli "Sanctum" are all rapid fire drums, stop start time changes, a big guitar sound, something akin to a musical firing squad!

Advance tickets are on sale now from Solid Entertainments on Grimsby 349222.


Lee Get's On His Bike To Make Music

The technology is there through computers to make fine home recordings in the comfort of your own living room.

Lee Baker's "Boy On A Bike" is a good example of what can be achieved. Lee is a Lincoln based songwriter and musician who over a period of around four months has put together " Boy On A Bike", painstakingly recording all the instruments and vocals himself. The album contains six original pieces alongside a handful of cover versions.

Standout of the covers is Lee's atmospheric rendition of "Little Wing" which shows the strength of his guitar playing abilities and the Hendrix classic also suits his vocal style.

The title track "Boy On A Bike" has a short spoken introduction before that bike goes hell for leather on a fast paced guitar instrumental. There's a touch of the Mike Oldfield's or the King Crimson's running through Lee's musical veins. It's a rock sound with interwoven guitar patterns to the fore. Hiwayman (yes that's the spelling) is also in this mould. "Wrong Way Down A Wrong Way" is more of a folky singaround with some thoughtful environmental lyrics. "Table Of Bills" is more than a strong reference to Tubular Bells and "Ride" is Lee at his most commercial with a combination of melody and an almost reggae feel. The last of the originals "Jungle" has Lee Moving into synth techno territory.

A strong recording that gives you an insight into Lee's own musical world. Some live dates would be nice and this computer technology stuff really emphasises how you can get good results within walking distance of your own fridge!

***************************************************************************

Guitar Greats

I was struck by something Grimsby guitarist Dave Markham sent in an email to me. Dave's currently in the classic rock covers band "DMG" and in a letter to guitarist magazine he goes on to list his favourite guitarists from the area. John Clay from Scunthorpe, Grimsby's Rick Lockwood who is in the Eddie Van Halen/George Lynch style, and Dave's ultimate Grimsby guitar hero Pete Fisk.

Other local greats include Chris Riley and two who sadly are no longer with us, Mick Mortimer and Pip Smith who both played with the Brothers Band, an institution in the Grimsby area in the seventies.

I've seen all the above in action and that certainly is a roll call of fretboard talent!

***************************************************************************

Gene Let's Us In To His Solo Show

Former Byrd, Stringbender guitar maestro and all around good guy Gene Parsons has recently performed his first ever all solo concert. Gene and his wife Meridian Green played a trio of memorable Lincolnshire dates a couple of years back, including the Spiders Web in Grimsby and Spilsby Theatre. I'm pleased to say I had a hand in putting these on, being a long time Parson's fan.

The good news is the concert recorded in Gene's home state of California at Mendocino College is available on CD and in view of the fine quality of the recording I have to say "Hey Gene" what took you so long to do a solo show?

Like those fine tuned motorbikes Gene is fond of riding in outback desert towns, the Parson's vocal style is a rich, cool water drink that refreshes the musical tastebuds. It's a sound that's stripped bare and shows Gene's ample talents on the banjo, guitar harmonica and storytelling. His musical heritage is diverse and he pretty much plays any instrument he puts his hands to, why I'm sure he could even get a few notes out of his Triumph motorbike if he put his mind to it!

"I Hope They Let Us In" is a line from "Gunga Din " one of Gene's finest songwriting credits with the Byrds and it's the title of the album. Seventeen tracks are included which run the gauntlet of Gene's career. Americana classics like "Willin", the Parson's original "Sweet Desert Childhood", the folksome "Old Blue" and old timey "Way Out There" are all included. " I Must Be A Tree" is just a peach of a tune and a particular Jackson favourite..

The CD is available now at "www.stringbender.com" and it should be in all good record shops.

***************************************************************************

A Rock n' Roll Stairway To Heaven

I have to confess I've not been to the refurbished Embassy Centre at Skegness but I did go the opening Saturday night of the Summer run of "Rockin On Heavens Door" last week.

It's a jam packed hit after hit event which features lookalike soundalikes of Elvis Presley (Richard Atkins), Roy Orbison( Johnny Curtis), Buddy Holly (Marc Robinson) and Eddie Cochran (Rebel Dean).

As a venue the revamped Embassy has a pub restaurant adjoining the venue and another adjoining bar on the opposite side and there's a spacious feel to the facilities.

I think the guys who put this package together are on to a sure fire hit. All the performers are no longer with us so to get "The Big O" and "The Pelvis" to sing together has a definite novelty value and of course there are other permutations during the evening. Each of the artists does a solo spot and then everyone is back on stage for the big finale.

Richard Atkins is a tall but likeable Elvis and does the whole jump suit thing including a stroll around the theatre dishing out scarves! Johnny Curtis as Roy Orbison has captured that pop meets operatic voice and has the demeanour of Orbison. Marc Robinson also had the audience lapping up his energetic Holly tribute and actor musician Rebel Dean has studied the film footage of Eddie Cochran to capture the sound and likeness.

By the end of the evening the whole Embassy Theatre were up on their feet clapping and singing along and as a measure of success you can't do more than that. There's show merchandise in the foyer and a meet and greet session with the performers (in costume) which is a nice touch.

"Rockin On Heavens Door" runs right through on each and every Saturday night at the Embassy Theatre until the 8th September. Tickets are priced at £12.50 and £10 and there's half price rates for children and senior citizens. Telephone the box office for further details on 01754-768333.

***************************************************************************

A Kind Of Jazz On Tap

Appearing at the Tap and Spile in Grimsby on Saturday 11th August is the jazz tinged instrumental trio "Internazionale". OK, they may sound like an Italian football team but they do sound very good judging from their 3 track CD of self penned material.

The line-up is accordian, guitar and double bass and it's a world music tinged sound which seems based in jazz but also has rock and folk influences. Each of the tracks is around 9 minutes long so you get extended jams and an exploration of the tunes. Keeping it instrumental, means it's got to be good to maintain your attention and because "Internazionale" are difficult to pigeon hole, the music keeps your ears interested.

As for the band, two of the members are at the Leeds Music college and the group describe themselves as "sort of based in Lincoln".

The line -up is Liam Robinson on diatonic accordion, Nik Svarc on guitar and Emlyn Vaughan on double bass.

***************************************************************************

Melt With Lister

Having played at the Spiders Web a couple of months back with Aynsley Lister, Skegness band "The Melt" are returning to play in their own right on Friday 3rd August.

"The Melt" are a young five piece rock and blues band influenced by the likes of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the like.

They've played venues like the Woodman in Louth and are nearly regulars the Axe And Cleaver in Boston, this is just their second appearance in Grimsby. They mix classic covers with original material are fast building a name for themselves along Lincolnshire's East Coast.

***************************************************************************

Jazz Weekend On It's Way

The "Beachcomber Jazz Weekend" takes place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of September and over the course of the three days features 14 top jazz bands. A great value early bird weekend pass is available until the end of July for only £27 for the three days.

The Beachcomber is really geared up for this with accommodation and food available and smoking and non smoking areas. Seating is unreserved and each band will play two 45 minute sets with a short interval.

As for who's on , it's a pretty impressive list and in no particular order performers include The Andy Sheppard Trio, Acoustic Mania, Jim Mullen Trio, Tim Richard's Great Spirit, Humphrey Lyttelton ( can he really be 80!), Pat McCarthy Big Band, Dennis Rollin's Bad Bone & Co, Leo Soloman and the Andy Panayi Quartet. Now that doesn't include everyone but it certainly gives a strong flavour to activate those musical tastebuds.

The important bit at the moment is how to book those tickets. The telephone hotline is Grimsby 812666, or you can call in person at the Beachcomber or the National Fishing Heritage Centre or the Cleethorpes Tourist Information Centre, Alexandra Road, Cleethorpes.

***************************************************************************

Rock n' Roll Gold

I see the 2001 Solid Gold Rock n' Roll Show touches down at the Grimsby Auditorium on Wednesday 10th October. The five artists involved seem to make this an annual event and I saw this line-up in action about 5 years ago.

The performers are Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, Marty Wilde and the Wildcats, John Leyton, Eden Kane and the Vernon Sisters. The standout performer for me was easily Joe Brown who can turn his hand to a range of styles and is also a fine guitarist. Joe is also contemporary, unlike the others where it's strictly a nostalgia ride. Having said that audiences lap it up and all the artists involved have a range of hit singles to choose from.

The beauty of these shows is that each performer doesn't overstay their welcome, because with five acts on the bill they're not on stage long enough!

The posters for these events always make me smile because the publicity pictures used always date from the fifties and sixties rather than the present day. Reminds me of some politicians and their election literature!

For ticket enquiries the Grimsby Auditorium box office number is 01472- 311311. The show is also on at the Embassy Theatre, Skegness a few days later on Saturday 13th October. The Skegness box office number is 01754-768333

***************************************************************************

Alice At The Web

Slack Alice are something of an institution in British rock and blues circles. The band from the North of England have been together for something like 25 years and still feature original members Cliff Stocker, Allan Parkinson and Malcolm Crossley.

The six piece group first emerged in the seventies, released several albums and were a regular support band on the rock circuit, one particular highlight being an appearance on BBC TV's Old Grey Whistle Test.

Check out the group's website at www.slack-alice.co.uk

It's a 70's influenced British blues rock sound from the band and this is their second appearance at the Spiders Web, Grimsby which takes place on Friday 17th August.

Admission is £5 on the door.

***************************************************************************

Standing Room Only For The Quo

There are still some "standing room only" tickets left for the visit of "The Quo" to the Grimsby Auditorium on Tuesday November 13th. Featuring the double act of Rossi and Parfitt, "Status Quo" at one time had the midas touch with everything they released zooming up the singles and albums charts.

The band perfected that golden 12 bar heads down boogie wall of sound and nobody did it better, before or since.

After Alan Lancaster and John Coughlan departed from the classic seventies line-up, the band traded a poppier and more commercially successful direction to become firm TV favourites.

The benchmark of a quality band is being able to wade through a tide of musical trends over many years and remain afloat. The Quo have achieved this. Standing room only tickets are still on sale and available from the Auditorium Box Office on 01472-311311.

***************************************************************************

A Stateside Reminder

Judy Clay's name is one that doesn't trip off the tongue but her story is part of the darker side of the American music business. Judy who was 62 died just a few weeks ago and is probably best know for her duet with William Bell "Private Number" which I seem to recall the "Rumble Band" used to feature in their set.

For many years during the sixties Judy was part of a singing duo with Billy Vera, but here's the sting, they were the USA's first racially integrated duo which means that their TV exposure was virtually non existent. They would be booked for shows, segments would even be taped but never televised. To add to their frustration they would find their songs performed on network TV by same race couples.

America gave us Motown but some aspects of their music scene are often overlooked, the myth and the reality can be two different things.

***************************************************************************

Jazz Watch

Dont forget the "Beachcomber Jazz Weekend" takes place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of September and over the course of the three days features 14 top jazz bands.

I've got a wadge of CD's of a number of the performers to listen to so I may well be growing a goatee and sporting a beret in the near future!

Accommodation and food is available and there are smoking and non smoking areas. Seating is unreserved and each band will play two 45 minute sets with a short interval.

Performers include top sax man Andy Sheppard, Acoustic Mania, Jim Mullen Trio, Tim Richard's Great Spirit, Humphrey Lyttelton, Pat McCarthy Big Band, Dennis Rollin's Bad Bone & Co, Leo Soloman and the Andy Panayi Quartet.

The telephone hotline is Grimsby 812666, or you can call in person at the Beachcomber or the National Fishing Heritage Centre or the Cleethorpes Tourist Information Centre, Alexandra Road, Cleethorpes.

*******************************************************************************

Ploughmens Bunch On CD

Look out for a forthcoming review in the Grimsby Telegraph of the debut CD from the Lincolnshire folk meets blues n'country based band "Ploughmens Bunch".

When I'm not doing my day job or writing this column I have been known to strum a guitar and attempt a tune or two and the end result is I now find I'm in a band and putting my head on the artistic chopping block!

So far we've only made one foray into Grimsby which was a short support slot when former Byrd Gene Parsons and his partner Meridian Green appeared at the Spiders Web in early September. As I was standing at the bar in O'Neill's a couple of weeks back a young lady reminded me I'd made a hash of the words to "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" on that particular night, which means at least someone was paying attention to us. In fact this lady works for a London based record label and I know she hadn't come to see us, but hey that's the music business.

I've had a lot of really positive feedback about the Gene and Meridian gig which I've forwarded to their California base. In fact Gene agreed a deadline with me for the first draft of his autobiography which he's currently writing. This was after I suggested he really should have a date to aim at, so September 2000 is now in the Parson's diary. His is a fascinating story, he grew up in the California desert , his parents were staunch communists, his mother had to go into hiding in 50's America and that's all before you get on to his musical exploits, adventures and inventions.

As for "Ploughmens Bunch" I have been approached about playing some more Grimsby dates and interest in the album which is on sale at our gigs, is growing. It includes original songs like the Humber Rhumba, Mavis Enderby, Even The Best Grow Old and Tractor Blues amongst a mix of original and traditional instrumentals.

I won't be writing the review of the album you'll be pleased to know but do look out for it!

*******************************************************************************

Untold On CD EP

"Some Place" is the title of the three track CD from Grimsby indie rock band "Untold".

Before I comment on the music, the sleeve has some eye-catching photographic work from Roy "Stone" Naylor . I've sung "Stones" praises before but he really is Mr Creativity!

Recorded at Docklands Studio in Grimsby the three tracks clock in at just under fifteen minutes and the recording quality is spot on. With so many bands around of this type it's difficult to sound different and "Untold" have opted for an upbeat commercial sound as highlighted by the opener "Some Place" which has a memorable hook

"Don't Go" starts in the dark indie riff vein but then goes for some subtle guitar picking before the crashing chords return. At over six minutes it's probably a little too long studio wise but I could see it stretching out in a live situation.

Acoustic guitars on "Misled" with some strong vocals which shows another side of the band. I was waiting for the sweeping orchestration to appear but appreciate the band haven't got an unlimited budget. The song seems to cry out for this and would add that extra dimension to their sound which I would now classify as intelligent indie rock.

The EP is a really good showcase for "Untold" and I like the fact they've restricted themselves to three quality tunes as opposed to the mistake so many bands make in cramming too much in.

*******************************************************************************

Rod And Steve Top My List

A question I'm often asked is "who was the biggest musical name to come from the Grimsby area" in pop/rock terms.

It's an easy question to answer and it's not down to opinion but has a sound basis in fact.

The biggest commercial success goes to Rod Temperton who was born in Humberstone. Rod who, I hear you ask? Well Rod was part of seventies disco band "Heatwave" and wrote major UK and USA hit singles like Boogie Nights, Always and Forever and Mind Blowing Decisions. Now that alone would be enough to qualify Rod but he then went on to write "Thriller" for Michael Jackson, the title track to the world's biggest ever selling album with sales of something like 40 million plus at the last count!

He also worked with famed record producer Quincy Jones on a number of projects and has written other songs for Jacko and contributed a couple of songs to Karen Carpenter's last album. He's very much a studio based composer, writer and arranger and I suspect as you read this Rod's locked away somewhere in a studio doing his thing!

As for profile, that would have to go to the late Steve Currie from Grimsby who was part of the original Rumble Band. Steve played base with the original Rumble and then continued with the group as they evolved into a rock band with Dave Ranshaw, Noel Skelton and Keith Line.

Steve joined T.Rex who circa 72 were certainly the biggest band in the UK notching up No 1 hit after hit. Not since Beatlemania had the British music scene seen anything like it. With Marc Bolan at the helm the hits like Hot Love, Get It On, Telegram Sam and Metal Guru flowed thick and fast and all with the quiet Grimbarian providing the bass lines. The 1972 film "Born To Boogie" which was directed by Ringo Starr features footage of T.Rex live at the Empire Pool ,Wembley and shows the band at the peak of their fame.

The last ever T.Rex gig was at the Portsmouth Locarno on March 2nd 1977 although Steve was no longer part of the line-up but he did continue to periodically record with Marc before his death in a road accident on September 16th 1977.

Tragically Steve Currie died in April 1981, also in a car accident near the village of Val Da Parra in Portugal where he was living. T.Rex were certainly one of the most photographed and filmed bands of the period and this ensures that regular reminders of Steve's achievements with the band are regularly broadcast on our TV screens. Those classic hits have also worn very well and "Get It On" is one of the top UK singles ever made.

*******************************************************************************

I'll Give It 10!

I've always had a fond regard for 70's rockers "Stray" who were always ready and gigging around Division One of the rock league without ever getting promotion into the Premier League. This included many appearances in the Grimsby area over the years and I'm sure the band will be back at some point.

The 80's were fairly barren for "Stray" but recent years have seen something of a rebirth for the band. Leader and founder member Del Bromham is still at the helm and is as enthusiastic as ever about the band. Reissues of their seventies albums have appeared on CD and Delboy is still coming up with original tunes as witnessed on their latest album "10" which just happens to be the tenth studio album from the band.

I'm pleased to say it's got that hallmark Bromham guitar from the man often described as "the most under rated rock guitarist from the 70's". "Stray 10" is officially released on the 17th April on Mystic Records and pick of the bunch to my ears are the autobiographical "Years", the opener "The Rock", the eight minute opus "Lucky Man" and the slide guitar blues boogie of "Georgia". There is a flash of Jimmy Page in Del's playing but Bromham always gives that extra little twist.

I recall talking to Del three or four years back when he decided to keep the "Stray" name going because he's worked hard at it all these years and in his words "it's his pension scheme!"

Seek out a copy of "10" and make a couple of old rockers (that's Del and me) happy.

*******************************************************************************

The Last Post

The death of Allan Smethurst "The Singing Postman" focused very much on a career that could have been, because due to a serious case of stage nerves he was never able to capitalise on that initial rush of success he had in the mid-sixties with his anthem "Hav Yew Gotta Loight Boy"

He lived with his Mother in Cleethorpes for a few years prior to his 20 years in the Salvation Army Hostel in Grimsby and he often used to pop in to Darley's (now the Leaking Boot) for a pint or two which is where I came across him with my musician mates around the mid- seventies.

He was never comfortable talking about his music career but would quite happily be interested in your opinion on extra terrestrials and whether life existed on other planets! He was very much a loner and I think it's well reported he subsequently developed a drink problem.

BBC Radio 2 carried the story on their hourly news broadcast which I caught as I was out in the car, so although Allan Smethurst only had a brief period of fame he did as "The Singing Postman" leave his mark and had a brief return to the limelight when Ovaltine picked up on his theme song for a 1994 TV commercial. Although most people think "Have Yew Gotta Loight Boy" was a big hit single, just check out any of the books on hit singles and you'll find it's not included. It was a popular song and airplay hit but never entered the Top 30 which was is a bit of a surprise don't you think?

*******************************************************************************

Royal Sound From Crayn

The former Grimsby musician Steven Crayn has released his second CD single and you can find it on the net courtesy of Peoplesound.com.

Steven's currently studying at the London College of Music while at the same time looking for a record deal for his brand of guitar rock n' pop.

"Princess And The Pauper" is his latest stab at attracting record company attention and following his first single "Queen Of The May", Steven's going for the British historical rock royalty genre of sound. Crayn can't be faulted for his commitment and perseverance and he's now beginning to carve out his own sound. "Princess And The Pauper" has that commercial 70's rock sound in the vein of a Mott The Hoople or a Mick Ronson recording and was put together at the Stone Room Studio in West London.

Influenced by guitar greats like Hendrix, Santana and Gary Moore his debut album will be out in the Summer as will a Steven Crayn website which is in production.

Check out "www.peoplesound.com/artist/stevencrayn" and you can download the Crayn sound.

********************************************************************************

A Classic Reunion

The much anticipated "Roxy Music" reunion touches down at the Sheffield Arena on Tuesday 19th June.

Original members Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera are back together again after 18 years for "in their words" a final one off tour.

I suppose my first reaction is why no Brian Eno? Eno was an integral part of the sound and look of the band and had a big impact on their early success, certainly gathering as much media coverage as Brian Ferry. Also original drummer Paul Thompson was with the band for many years but I notice is not part of the line-up.

Roxy's was a very British rock sound, a touch glam with large dollops of art school and fashion sense. In the early 70's rock world they certainly looked and sounded different and their classic debut single "Virginia Plain" sounded like it almost came from another planet! Their first two albums were trailblazers before Ferry took a firm grasp of the band's direction and went into lounge lizard mode.

Interesting to note that Roxy Music made their first ever live appearance at one of the Great Western Lincoln Festivals circa 1971 and also appeared at the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens shortly after this. A major appearance on the "Old Grey Whistle Test" to promote their first album was also key in breaking the band.

******************************************************************************

Shaun Takes His Q

A further plug for the "Q Project" who are appearing at the Spiders Web in Grimsby tomorrow night. The "Q Project" is a one man show from Shaun Haselden and the music is of the techno and synth based pop variety together with some voice samples. It's mostly of the 130 -150 beats per minute category so I hope the Spiders Web is ready for it!

Shaun is new to public performing and it's fair to say he's a little nervous about the whole event. There will be plenty of gear on stage in the shape of Korg equipment, Roland and Yamaha synths and keyboards . A lot of what is played is sequenced though Shaun intends to keep the sounds aggressive and cutting with the notes programmed in sixteenths for you technical fans out there. The drum patterns are via the Korg rhythm composer with digital cymbals and the voice samples are taken from TV programmes!. The music is due to start around 9.15 and will consist of two sets and Shaun would also like you to bring along a sense of humour too!

******************************************************************************

So Long From Papa John

I suppose timing is everything in the music business and it's unfortunate that legendary songwriter John Phillips died around a month and a half ago, just as his lost album that he put together with the Rolling Stones in the seventies was at long last finally to be released.

I've long held Phillips songwriting in high regard and "California Dreaming" and "Monday Monday" are just two classics he penned and it's a shame he won't benefit from the royalties from the sales of the "Hearsay" album which includes the latter song.

Apart from being a member of the Mamas and Papas, Phillips was also the co-organiser of the Monterey Pop Festival the first such gathering of rock and pop bands and the forerunner of the festival scene today.

He also had a well documented drug problem laid out in stark honesty in his biography "Papa John". His lone 1970 solo album "Wolf King Of LA" is a favourite of mine with it's melodic folk and country mix and I only saw him once in concert on a sixties revival tour with a reformed "Mamas And The Papas" at the Lincoln Ritz in 1986, of which John and Denny Doherty were the only two original members. Not a highlight of his career I would imagine.

Produced by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards "Pay, Pack And Follow" was recorded over a number of years in the seventies with the seven reels of master tape being mislaid on the QE11, until they eventually turned up in a barn at Keith Richards country home in England!

The Rolling Stones are all over this record, particularly Mick and Keith, with Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood also on a number of songs.

The album is a raw mix of blues, country, folk and commercial rootsy rock n' roll, contains nine John Phillips originals and has been constantly on my CD player since it dropped through the letter box. In a curious twist I suspect John Phillip's death may help it saleswise, sad but true.

******************************************************************************

Neil Young At Sheffield Arena

Neil Young and Crazy Horse are to make their Sheffield Arena debut on Saturday 9th June! This marks Young's first live UK date in five years and one of only three shows in the UK.

Probably best known for his collaboration with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young launched his solo career after leaving the influential California folk rock band

"Buffalo Springfield" in 1969. He's pretty much blazed his own trail as a rock maverick through landmark albums like After The Gold Rush, Harvest, Rust Never Sleeps and Ragged Glory

******************************************************************************

Moths In The Glasshouse

The Grimsby based indie rock band (The) Moth Prophets are in the process of relocating to London. Members Gary Walton (vocals and guitar) Mark Gibbons (bass) and Sean Jones (percussion and vocals) have played gigs in Manchester, Leicester, Essex and Sheffield in their quest to promote the band.

Their last CD offering was "Glasshouse Effect" recorded at Birdsong Studios in Scunthorpe and containing four tracks Glasshouse, Felt Alive, Days (Ode To) and Stand In Line. The opener is an energetic chunk n'funk guitar driven piece with a touch of "The Cure" in the vocal department and some enhancing string sounds.

"Felt Alive" brings the Chilli Peppers to mind, "Days" goes for a commercial chorus and "Stand In Line" is a rapid fire burst of energy that gradually slows down to a halt.

It's all well played intelligent indie rock and there's more to (The) Moth Prophets than just thrashing guitars.

******************************************************************************

The Colombian Tenners!

Appearing at the Spilsby Theatre on Saturday 5th May are the Colombian ten piece band "Marbella" cranking up their own brand of salsa style sounds.

Taking in the music of the Colombian streets the big band features three vocalists, a horn section, guitars and as you might expect from a band with the Latin touch, loads of percussion instruments.

There are also touches of African and Caribbean music there in the mix and I just hope the band can manage to fit on the Spilsby stage!

Tickets are priced at £10 and £9 for concessions. The box office number to ring is 01790-752936.

******************************************************************************

Beam Up For Indie Acoustic Night

A night of Indie Acoustic Rock at the Spiders Web tonight in the shape of Grimsby band "Untold" and York outfit "Lo Beams"

Each group will be playing an hour long set with "Lo Beams" headlining this student band night. Formed in 1999 Lo Beams have drawn comparisons to the likes of Neil Young, Nirvana and Jeff Buckley and listening to their 5 track CD I can see why. It's guitar and drum driven work with a far away vocal sound and some fine "Neil Youngish" lead breaks.

******************************************************************************

Experience Hendrix

Appearing at the Spiders Web, Grimsby on Friday 11th May is the first appearance of the Jimi Hendrix tribute band "Are You Experienced?"

The trio who hail from Birmingham recreate the sound and look of the late sixties guitar magician. Lead guitarist John Campbell has the look of Hendrix complete with the "guitar behind the head and playing with your teeth move". I'm told the climax is a guitar burning "Wild Thing" and expect to hear classics like Voodoo Chile, Purple Haze, Little Wing and The Wind Cries Mary.

Admission is £5 on the door.

******************************************************************************

First Studio Album in 10 Years From The Doobies

"The Doobie Brothers" have been going strong for over three decades with their mix of rock, soul, jazz, blues and country all topped with distinctive harmonies and a triple guitar sound.

Long Train Running, China Grove, Listen To The Music, What A Fool Believes and Black Water are just some of the songs associated with the band.

Founder members Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons are still there and the group have just released "Sibling Rivalry" their fist studio offering in ten years which features ten new Doobie Brothers originals.

It's really a return to form for the band who have notched up sales of 10 million for their "Best Of Vol 1" CD. It's got those trademark guitar riffs, a mix of funk and rock and that instantly recognised vocal sound. "Sibling Rivalry" clocks in at nearly an hour which represents fine value although on the excess side it has been two years in the making! It's an album that seeps into your pores rather than knocks your socks off on first listening and it's out on Eagle Records with an official release date of the 23rd October.

******************************************************************************

Death Of Isaac Guillory

Sorry to hear that the gifted guitarist Isaac Guillory has died from cancer aged 53. Isaac who embraced folk-blues, jazz and classic rock was a regular visitor to this area mainly as a solo performer but he was also happy to be part of a band and would put top notch musicians together when required.

Isaac was an American by birth but for the last three decades had been based in Britain. Prior to coming to England he recorded two albums on CBS records with the psychedelic bubblegum band "Cryin Shames" for whom he played bass guitar.

He recorded a solo album for Atlantic Records in 73 which was well received by the music press but failed to sell in sufficient quantities for a follow up release.

Apart from his solo activities Isaac toured and recorded with Elkie Brooks, recorded an album with Donovan and also recorded two albums with the jazz fusion band "Pacific Eardrum". He also worked with Barbara Dickson and Joan Baez and played as a session guitarist on the Buggles number one hit "Video Killed The Radio Star".

He also co-wrote the Guitar Handbook which was used as a basis for the popular BBC TV series "Rock School" and regularly lectured at the Guildhall School Of Music.

He has left behind a catalogue of solo albums which were self produced and self marketed and these will act as a permanent memorial to his musical talent.

******************************************************************************

CD Single From Crayn

Grimsby musician Steven Crayn who has been based in London the last couple of years taking a music performance degree has now released his solo CD single "Days Of Our Lives" along with "Queen Of The May".

Queen Of The May was recorded in June this year at London's Denmark Street Studios, famous for playing host to the likes of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Sex Pistols and more recently George Michael!

All guitars and vocals on "Days Of Our Lives" are undertaken by Mr Crayn with his student colleagues providing the rest.

"Days Off Our Lives" is in melancholic ballad mode with a blistering guitar break. and sweeping orchestral keyboards.

"King For A Day" is a rocker with a memorable hook in a Steve Harley meets Mott The Hoople and Alice Cooper mould.

The track is available as a free download or you can purchase the CD via the website http://www.peoplesound.com/artist/stevencrayn

I've also got a couple of free copies to give away courtesy of Mr Crayn and I'd like to try something different. So, I'll send the two signed copies to the first two people to e-mail me at "stephen.jackson8@ntlworld.com" and don't forget to include your address.

******************************************************************************

Snakes Strike Back

"The Company Of Snakes" is pretty much classic early "Whitesnake" minus the main attraction, lead vocalist and frontman David Coverdale.

"Here They Go Again" is the title of a new live double CD album which features a trawl through the classic heavy rock rhythm n' blues of the Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody line-up. These two guitarists are the engine room of "Company Of Snakes" and also included is bass player Neil Murray who played on all of the classic 1987 album. Stefan Berggren from Sweden is the vocalist and I have to say he sounds very much like Coverdale so maybe a "Stars In Your Eyes" spot is in the offing!

Crank up the volume and it's great to hear rockin' live versions of Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues, Is This Love, Here I Go Again, Fool For Your Loving and Lovehunter. I could do without the football chorus "singalonga" Whitesnake bits but that's a small grumble.

The band are out on tour now and as Mr Coverdale doesn't seem to be doing a great deal in terms of live shows then it's your best bet for hearing classic "Whitesnake" tunes by the guys who helped write them.

******************************************************************************

Carley's Popstar Aim

Carley Brown sounds like someone who should be audituioning for ITV's poular "Popstars" programme except that you have to be 18 to enter and as she leaves Mathew Humberston school this year she's obviously not quite old enough yet. She is hoping to go on to college to study music because her passion is singing.

Carley has taken the initative and recorded three songs at the Birdsong studios in Scunthorpe to showcase her voice and she's sent me a copy for my thoughts.

Firstly I would say you are going about it the right way by recording a demo tape in a professional studio.

The opener on the tape "Keep It Together" is a funky dance number that needs a little more polish on the vocal front. I think Carley has written this one and it shows promise in one of those Saturday morning TV theme tunes kind of a way and I could just imagine a show called "Keep It Together" and this being played over the opening credits.

Putting a cover version in is always a good idea so that people can determine whether your hitting the right notes, something you can't do with original material and in my view this is absolutely vital on a tape which is being used to showcase your voice. Carley has covered "Long Live Love" the sixties Sandie Shaw pop hit and vocally it's the best number on the tape.

"Never Wonder" again is an original song which vocally is stronger than the opener "Keep It Together" which is more in the "All Saints" slow soulful dance mode with some double tracked vocals which are quite effective.

Producing this demo tape is a step in the right direction, the next step is some professionally taken publicity photographs and a video recording. Put the whole package together to interest record companies, producers, promoters, agents the whole lot. Musically it's a jungle out there and you've got to shout louder to be heard.

I don't know whether Carley's looking to join a vocal group or intends pursuing a solo career but get plenty of live experience, keep entering the talent competitions and audition as much as possible. Be prepared for rejection ( I'm beginning to sound like that Nigel Lithgow chap!) and remember if you want to do something badly enough it's down to you at the end of the day to put the time and effort in.

******************************************************************************

Bulldog Bash Definitely On

The popular Bulldog Bash will definitely be going ahead again this year at the Avon Park Raceway, Long Marston near Stratford On Avon. The event now in it's fifteenth year attracts rock fans from all over the UK and the headliners at this year's bash which runs from the 9th-12th August, include Feeder, The Wildhearts, Reef and Terrorvision with another dozen acts to be confirmed.

The landowner has assured the leather clad committee that no livestock is in the vicinity of the site so there's no potential foot and mouth problem. The Bulldog Bash is fairly unique on the festival calendar and is in large part a biker event and has a reputation as the safest festival in the land. In fact last year there was only one report of a crime, the theft of some motorcycle leathers from a tent!

Apart from the music you get a custom bike show, ejector seat bungee jumping, tattoo parlours and drag racing!

Advance tickets are a very reasonable £25 and more details are available from http://www.bulldogbash.co.uk

******************************************************************************

Bolan At Boston On CD

They're can't be many major CD releases recorded live in Lincolnshire but Diamondstar Productions have come up with the live concert recording of Marc Bolan and T.Rex from the Starlight Rooms at the Boston Gliderdrome which took place on the 15th January 1972.

The band had just been voted "Top Group Of 1971" in both the NME and Record Mirror, their number one album "Electric Warrior" remained in the charts for a total of 44 weeks and T.Rextacy was well and truly established. Against this backdrop the four piece band of Marc, Micky Finn. Bill Legend and the former Grimsby musician Steve Currie made a memorable appearance in Boston.

The recording has been taken from a master tape from one of Marc's personal collection of recordings and features a number of unreleased versions of hits like Hot Love, Get It On and Jeepster. The recording quality does have a bootleg feel about it so don't expect state of the art sound reproduction. Nice to hear Micky Finn's congas a little higher in the mix than usual. As a historical document it's one that I'm sure will appeal to Bolan fans and also I suspect to a lot of the screaming audience at the Boston concert who nearly 30 years on may now be a little more reserved!

Admission on the night was just 60p and unbelievably 6000 fans crammed in the venue! So close your eyes and you now have the opportunity to be transported back and relive the 15th January 1972, a week before their next hit "Telgram Sam" was released.

******************************************************************************

A Shining Example

There's a lot of tosh talked about the price of CD's and we in the UK seem to be paying more than other countries to buy our favourite music.

This is further emphasised when a Scottish label like "Shoeshine Records" puts out a 17 track CD sampler for £1.99. Yes I did say £1.99 and the first reaction is probably "but is it any good", second reaction is yes it's choc full of great tracks in the folky, rootsy, indie- country, Americana vein, which is exactly my cup of tea!

This whole project is put together by Francis Macdonald, the Glaswegian drummer with the "Teenage Fanclub" who invites American artists over to the UK, sets up their shows and puts a band together ( no guesses for who's behind the drumkit ). Francis also happens to be the man behind Shoeshine Records!

As for the music, there are numerous highlights but some gems that glisten straight away are Laura Cantrell's "Do You Ever Think Of Me", Steve Young's "Blackland Farmer", Radio Sweethearts "Sweetheart Hoe-down", Paul Birch's "Forever Yours" and Astro Chimp with "Draggin".

The theory is that Glasgow musicians tend to look West rather than South for their inspiration, unlike their Britrock counterparts. I'm glad Francis did and at £1.99 it's a steal. There is a website at http://www.shoeshine.co.uk if you want to find out more.

******************************************************************************

The Web In January

Pink Floyd tribute band "Floydian Slip" are back at Grimsby's Spiders Web on Friday 12th January. Originally formed around six years ago this Mansfield based band aim to recreate the atmosphere of a Floyd concert with the added use of sound effects and lights.

Leicester based blues youngster Aynsley Lister returns once again to Grimsby's Spiders Web on Friday 26th January. Young Aynsley has built up a loyal following for his fresh faced brand of the blues which combines a mix of originals with classic cover versions. It can't be too long before he leaves the smaller pub venues behind, so grab the chance while you can!

The January session kicks off on Friday the 5th with the appearance of "Pride and Joy" featuring John Priest. I have to say I know very little about the band at this stage but I'm sure I will this time next week!

******************************************************************************

The Last Post

The death of Allan Smethurst "The Singing Postman" focused very much on a career that could have been, because due to a serious case of stage nerves he was never able to capitalise on that initial rush of success he had in the mid-sixties with his anthem "Hav Yew Gotta Loight Boy"

He lived with his Mother in Cleethorpes for a few years prior to his 20 years in the Salvation Army Hostel in Grimsby and he often used to pop in to Darley's (now the Leaking Boot) for a pint or two which is where I came across him with my musician mates around the mid- seventies.

He was never comfortable talking about his music career but would quite happily be interested in your opinion on extra terrestrials and whether life existed on other planets! He was very much a loner and I think it's well reported he subsequently developed a drink problem.

BBC Radio 2 carried the story on their hourly news broadcast which I caught as I was out in the car, so although Allan Smethurst only had a brief period of fame he did as "The Singing Postman" leave his mark and had a brief return to the limelight when Ovaltine picked up on his theme song for a 1994 TV commercial. Although most people think "Have Yew Gotta Loight Boy" was a big hit single, just check out any of the books on hit singles and you'll find it's not included. It was a popular song and airplay hit but never entered the Top 30 which was is a bit of a surprise don't you think?

******************************************************************************

James Hunter Back At Woodman

Appearing back at the Woodman in Louth on Friday 29th December with his mix of R n'B and British Soul is the "James Hunter Band " who last appeared at the venue during the Summer and were swiftly rebooked. James has performed dozens of shows alongside Van Morrison as part of Morrison's Rhythm and Blues Revue. The live Van Morrison album "A Night In San Francisco" features James as does the studio recording "Days Like This"

Singer and guitarist James Hunter first burst onto the scene in the 80's under the alias of Howlin' Wilf. Along with his band "The Vee-Jays" they quickly established themselves on the European Club and Festival circuit with a brand of 50's rhythm n' blues.

He's also diversified, gaining Equity membership in 1993 and landing the part of "The Big Bopper" in the hit musical "Buddy"

More seems to be written about the R&B soulful vocal style of James, then his guitar playing and his latest release "Kick It Around" highlights those golden tonsils.

Tickets are priced £7 and available from the Woodman in Eastgate, Louth on 01507-602100.

******************************************************************************

The Gravitational Pull Of Strangeways

They used to be hidden away at Theddlethorpe All Saints close to Mablethorpe but now they've relocated to a farmhouse somewhere near Binbrook. I'm talking about "Strangeways" a real gem of a band who do their own thing, their way and produce a shimmering blend of landscape rock laced with guitars riffs and a subtle dreamy vocal sound that brings to mind Pink Floyd.

The trio of Ian.J.Stewart, David Stewart and Dave "Munch" Moore have just released their latest album "Gravitational Pull" on Hangdog Records and follows their "Greatest Bits" best of compilation album which had all the tracks chosen by the group's fans from throughout Europe and America .

"Gravitional Pull" is an impressive piece of work and features nearly an hour of that trademark "Strangeways" sound.

The title track has an Arabian rock feel to it and you can see the guys shooting the video amonst the desert and the pyramids. Cleethorpes jazz drummer John Perry guests on this one and his fellow band member Pat McCarthy adds some jazz guitar licks to the track "Southside (Johnnie Dub)"

Other standout numbers include Afraid Of Flying, Rich Man's Cadillac, Electric and No-One's perfect

The only track slightly out of place for me is the industrial and machine like "Rap It Up" which is a little out of synch with the rest of the album.

I first came across Ian and David Stewart and Munch Moore around seven years ago when they were the support act on tour with "The Kinks" and was well taken with their debut album "And The Horse" and even more surprised when I discovered that these Scots were based near Mablethope!

I've described the band before as useing textures of sound like a painters pallet and I'll stick with that. The hidden track "Graham Greene" sums this up, it's like a film soundtack with the idea that you read the liner notes while playing the track and it's all akin to the end of a movie. In a sense it is the end because this is the final "Strangeways" album...... but the good news is that the distinctive soundscapes will continue because all future recordings will go out under Ian.J.Stewart's name.

Check out the Strangeways website for more on the band at "www.hangdog.co.uk"

******************************************************************************

Check Out Fizgig

Just a reminder that Fizgig run by Tom and Ali Beaumont is a superb and regularly updated website for music events taking place in Lincolnshire and the surrounding area. It covers theatres, clubs and pubs from the Humber to the Wash and has a mountain of other information and is indespensible to both performers and fans of live music.

The site includes gig listings, venue information, radio programmes, CD and demo tape reviews, music links and they even have most of my stuff if you've missed it in this column or need a copy of a review.

The site also contains a variety of really helpful e-mail addresses so that you can make direct contact.

The address is "http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/fizgig-tom/index.htm"

******************************************************************************

Get Jazzy This Christmas

Jazz doesn't often feature in this column and Christmas records even less so, but I've combined them both this week. Classy music and Christmas records don't often sit hand in hand and I have to say I winced when I saw that American rock band "Lynyrd Skynyrd" had even brought a Christmas album out this year!

Anyway, "Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas" is an apt description of the contents because this CD features the pick of the influential Verve label jazz artists. So you get the great Jimmy Smith and his Hammond organ doing his own funky versions of "Jingle Bells" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman". Ella Fitzgerald sings "The Secret Of Christmas" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and Billie Holiday features on "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm".

Jazz great Roland Kirk gives us his "We Free Kings" and there's also Bill Evans, Dinah Washington and Billy Eckstine performing Yuletide favourites but in their own particular style, which sometimes means your not exactly sure what the tune is, but that's jazz for you!

There's an extra bonus in that a number of these recordings are alternate or hard to find versions that haven't seen the light of day for many years.

The artwork is in that classic Verve/Blue Note cool fifties style and the music's not bad either. Go on live dangerously, try a touch of jazz this Christmas and put that Slade record back in it's sleeve!

******************************************************************************

RIP Melody Maker

It's a sign of the changing musical times and the weekly copy has for years been the bible for musicians but "The Melody Maker" is to (pause for deep breath) cease publication.

The Maker has been published on a weekly basis since 1926 and I was certainly a subscriber during the seventies and eighties. In fact for years I religiously bought the NME, Melody Maker and Sounds but it has to be said "music papers ain't what they used to be".

What with the internet you can find out about your favourite style of music or band direct from their websites and the printed music press is more of the monthly magazine variety these days complete with a free CD, in fact that's when I usually buy a copy!

The Melody Maker is the world's oldest pop paper and has recently been selling around 32,000 copies a week, it's lowest ever sales figures. It's always been perceived as a musicians paper and it's classified ads certainly had an impact on the business,that's how Queen, David Bowie's Spiders From Mars and Suede were put together.

In a sense music permeates many glossy magazines and newspapers these days which wasn't the case 20 years ago. You had to buy papers like the MM to find out what was going on.

Let's face it, time moves on and if I want to know about matters musical I usually turn first to the internet. The New Musical Express have managed to combine a good publication with a similar quality website and they're still here, so there's a message there and one which the Melody Maker didn't heed. I won't be shedding any tears but I do have fond memories of my weekly jaunt to the newsagents to buy a copy.

******************************************************************************

Rod And Steve Top My List

A question I'm often asked is "who was the biggest musical name to come from the Grimsby area" in pop/rock terms.

It's an easy question to answer and it's not down to opinion but has a sound basis in fact.

The biggest commercial success goes to Rod Temperton who was born in Humberstone. Rod who, I hear you ask? Well Rod was part of seventies disco band "Heatwave" and wrote major UK and USA hit singles like Boogie Nights, Always and Forever and Mind Blowing Decisions. Now that alone would be enough to qualify Rod but he then went on to write "Thriller" for Michael Jackson, the title track to the world's biggest ever selling album with sales of something like 40 million plus at the last count!

He also worked with famed record producer Quincy Jones on a number of projects and has written other songs for Jacko and contributed a couple of songs to Karen Carpenter's last album. He's very much a studio based composer, writer and arranger and I suspect as you read this Rod's locked away somewhere in a studio doing his thing!

As for profile, that would have to go to the late Steve Currie from Grimsby who was part of the original Rumble Band. Steve played base with the original Rumble and then continued with the group as they evolved into a rock band with Dave Ranshaw, Noel Skelton and Keith Line.

Steve joined T.Rex who circa 72 were certainly the biggest band in the UK notching up No 1 hit after hit. Not since Beatlemania had the British music scene seen anything like it. With Marc Bolan at the helm the hits like Hot Love, Get It On, Telegram Sam and Metal Guru flowed thick and fast and all with the quiet Grimbarian providing the bass lines. The 1972 film "Born To Boogie" which was directed by Ringo Starr features footage of T.Rex live at the Empire Pool ,Wembley and shows the band at the peak of their fame.

The last ever T.Rex gig was at the Portsmouth Locarno on March 2nd 1977 although Steve was no longer part of the line-up but he did continue to periodically record with Marc before his death in a road accident on September 16th 1977.

Tragically Steve Currie died in April 1981, also in a car accident near the village of Val Da Parra in Portugal where he was living. T.Rex were certainly one of the most photographed and filmed bands of the period and this ensures that regular reminders of Steve's achievements with the band are regularly broadcast on our TV screens. Those classic hits have also worn very well and "Get It On" is one of the top UK singles ever made.

******************************************************************************

Clapton At Sheffield

Eric Clapton has been booked to appear at the Sheffield Arena on Monday 12th February.

What can you say about Eric? Acclaimed as one of the most famous guitarists in the world, the Clapton musical career has spanned over four decades, from his early career with the Bluesbreakers, through to the Yardbirds, Cream and Derek and the Dominoes.

Solo success from the seventies onwards, more recently top five albums with "August" and "Journeyman", the multi million selling "Unplugged" and the groundbreaking "Change The World", a collaboration with Award winning R&B producer Babyface, taken from the soundtrack to the movie "Phenomenon"

There's loads more solo hits like Tears In Heaven, Wonderful Tonight and more recently his collaboration with BB King "Riding With The King".

Tickets are on sale now and look out for the local coaches to concerts.

******************************************************************************

Rare Gems From The Cult

"The Best of Rare Cult" does exactly what it says on the tin. What you get is a 15 track compilation of rare highlights from the forthcoming six CD box set. In a mammoth vault-cleansing exercise you get 90 studio tracks from the 84-95 period that have not appeared on any Cult albums.

So were talking extended mixes, b-sides, unreleased out-takes and alternative versions plus a complete lost album "Peace" that was recorded between "Love" and "Electric", for me the period that was the band's artistic and commercial peak.

"The Best Of Rare Cult" contains versions of the classic She Sells Sanctuary (their finest moment) and Love Removal Machine and also their version of the classic Alex Harvey tune "Faith Healer" which was a surprise.

The Cult went stadium status in the USA with their indie goth native American hybrid which evolved into a full blown rock band complete with the leathers, tattoos, the hair and the riffs from the fingers of Billy Duffy.

Always led by Ian Astbury with Billy as his right hand man "The Cult" I'm pleased to say are back with a new album in the works for Atlantic Records.

Although this is described as "Rare Cult" there are some real gems here from a British band who were never afraid to experiment both musically and in the wardrobe department!

******************************************************************************

Flurry Of Activity At The Beachcomber

There's a real flurry of activity at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber over the next week or so featuring loads of original bands.

On Friday 15th December you've got Skindred, Tripswitch, Suburban Terrorists and Fulc. The following night it's Desent, Age Of Ruin, Tangent and Earache My Eye and it all continues on Sunday 17th December with Assert, Freebase, Glueball and Left To Yesterday.

That's quite a line-up over three consecutive nights and there's obviously something stirring in the Cleethorpes night air!

A word about a couple of the bands on the Sunday night show. "Glueball" describe themselves as a biscuit tin sonic punk band! This Reading based band formed in 96 and have supported numerous hardcore punk bands. Charlie Harper of the UK Subs is a big fan and the band have created quite a following in London and the surrounding areas.

"Assert" are a five piece Shropshire based outfit with an uncompromising, explosive and intense live show. They cross punk with thrash metal and have played all over Europe during their five year existence. Sounds like quite a night!

And there's more..... on Friday 22nd December it's the turn of Suburban Terrorists, Andy Tyrrell, Swivelchair Accident, Tag 22, Blueprint, Yeter Pang and Professor Pumpernickle. Now that's a magnificent seven names all in one night.

******************************************************************************

Curl Unfurl Live Date

The last time I wrote about "Curl" it was to review their new CD "Mass Identity Crisis".

The CD contained eight new "Curl" originals of the indie rock variety with all lyrics by vocalist Mark Daynes and the music from Johnny Love. I found the acoustic oriented numbers like "Dandelion", "Bad Hair Day" and the title number the most impressive.

"Mass Identity Crisis" showed a more mature and reflective offering from the band who have been together for around five years now. The group also have their own website at "www.curlweb.fsnet.co.uk" which is still being developed and where amongst other snippets you can find out about hair colour, height and birthdays of the individual members!

Which brings me nicely round to the point of this article. You can see the band in action at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Saturday 23rd December when along with "Ideal" they are playing as support to "The Complete Stone Roses" the official UK tribute band. Tickets are on sale now and available from Solid Entertainments on Grimsby 349222.

******************************************************************************

The Who At Sheffield

Following two sell out shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire last December, legendary rock outfit "The Who" are undertaking a UK Greatest Hits Tour which includes a date at Sheffield Arena on Friday 10th November.

I always thought that Pete Townshend had said the band wouldn't tour again and that without Keith Moon it wouldn't be The Who. Pete also had some hearing problems which prevented him from making live appearances with loud rock bands. He's obviously had a rethink and why not if the demand is there. "The Who" deserve their place in the annals of rock history so now's another opportunity to see the three original members: Pete Townshend, Roger Daltry and John Entwistle along with Zak (son of Ringo) Starkey on drums and John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards.

These UK dates follow a US tour which kicked off in Chicago and was brought to a crashing climax in New York, when for the first time in 25 years Pete Townshend smashed his guitar on stage!

Former Clash frontman Joe Strummer will open the Sheffield show with his band the Mescaleros. Now a "Clash" reunion tour, that would be one to watch out for!

******************************************************************************

Music To Grab Your Tentacles

Formed in the early eighties "Ozric Tentacles" began life as a free form psychedelic vehicle for jamming and attracted a dedicated grass roots fan base by playing at free festivals and the like with a blend of space rock which later encompassed house and techno styles.

I say this by way of introduction because these underground legends have just released their 20th album and nearly all there previous material has passed me by! So I slipped their latest all instrumental album "The Hidden Step" in my CD player and was taken aback by the mix of dance,dub,ethnic and psychedelic sounds coming from the speakers. The whole album has an Egyptian slant and a touch of the far east about it. I'm not surprised guitarist and founder member Ed Wynne has composed North African flavoured music for several Channel 4 documentaries on ancient civilisations, he obviously has a feel for the place.

"The Tentacles" are a five piece line-up incorporating guitars, keyboards, flute and percussion and are a cottage industry in their own right with their own studio, label, tour bus and dedicated following. At one stage in the eighties they released a series of cassette only releases with hand painted sleeves which sold only at festivals. These recordings eventually found their way onto CD as their popularity increased.

The band are about to embark on a UK tour before a series of American dates in November and back in Europe for December. It's not the big arenas though, we're talking mainly club and pub type venues, but that's the reality for most bands earning their living in the music business, although I suspect the Ozric's consider themselves to be the opposite of what many commercial labels stand for.

******************************************************************************

Final Regional Dates For Parasite

Parasite have announced details of their final two make up shows in the region.

The fearsome foursome play Sugar Cubes in Lincoln on Halloween night and are on stage from 9.45 till 11.30 PM with a rock disco before and after their appearance. There's a late bar until 1.30 PM and admission is £2.50 on the door.

The band are also appearing at the "Kiss Expo 2000" which takes place on Sunday 3rd December at Bradford Rio's Nightclub. Doors open from 4 PM until 10.30 PM for this one and there will be the usual merchandise stalls, competitions, air brush demonstrations. Parasite take to the stage at 8 PM for a two hour performance. A crowd of around 500 is anticipated for this one and Solid Entertainments are running a coach. For details call 349222.

The guys have been overwhelmed with the response to their calling it a day but they are working on the possibility of coming back next year with something vastly different!

******************************************************************************

Long John's In Town

Advance notice of an appearance by famed R&B singer Long John Baldry at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Friday 10th November.

When your 6'7" I suppose you'll end up with a nickname to match and Mr Baldry has a big voice too! He started his career in the folk clubs in the late fifties before turning to the blues. He formed the famed "Hoochie Koochie Men" in 64 which included one Rod Stewart and he also fronted Bluesology which included one Reg Dwight in his pre Elton John days.

Long John has had the big number one megasmash in the shape of "Let The Heartaches Begin" in 1967 but returned to an earthier style from the seventies onwards. He's now a naturalised Canadian and is an infrequent visitor to these shores. You have to go back to the sixties to the last time Long John Baldry appeared at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber and I seem to remember a photo call with wee Davie Boylen the former Town footballer making the sports page in this very paper!

Solid Entertainments are putting this one on and for ticket details please call Grimsby 349222.

******************************************************************************

Popular Punk Poet Date

Popular punk poet John Cooper Clarke has been booked to play the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Tuesday 21st November.

Looking like a tall thin gangly version of mid sixties era Dylan ( and he still does!) Cooper Clarke is probably best known for early eighties albums like "Zip Style Method" and "Snap Crackle & Bop" and the film and book "Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt".

His is a high energy poetry delivered at speed in a thick drawl. I saw the man in action about a year ago and a lot of what he now does verges on stand up comedy where he's likely to adlib and go off on verbal tangents.

Also on the bill is Andy Tyrrell and advance tickets are on sale now at £6.50 and available from Solid Entertainments tel 349222.

******************************************************************************

Greenslade Go Large

Listening and writing about "Ozric Tentacles" last week has set me off in prog rock mode!

Mystic Records is a British label that cajoles and nurtures some of these slumbering prog rock giants and a band fitting this bill "Greenslade" have just released their first studio recording in over 20 years and it's called "Large Afternoon".

Very good it is to and it features nine freshly composed tracks by band leader and Coloseum keyboard player Dave Greenslade. Alongside Dave are original bassist Tony Reeves and the newly recruited John Young ( formerly of Asia) also on keyboards and vocals and Chris Cozens on drums. Have you spotted it yet? Yes, there are no guitars in this keyboard dominated rock band!

"Greenslade" have a distinctive sound and are not afraid to use great swathes of synthesiser if needed. The album has a new age ambient quality to it and then again sometimes it sounds a little like seventies era Genesis. The artwork has that Roger Dean feel and the group will be out and about in November promoting the album.

If you can manage without lead guitar riffs and lightning fingered guitar breaks then you'll enjoy this offering, I know I did!

For more information on Mystic Records and their roster of artists check out their website on

www.mysticrecords.co.uk

******************************************************************************

First Studio Album in 10 Years From The Doobies

"The Doobie Brothers" have been going strong for over three decades with their mix of rock, soul, jazz, blues and country all topped with distinctive harmonies and a triple guitar sound.

Long Train Running, China Grove, Listen To The Music, What A Fool Believes and Black Water are just some of the songs associated with the band.

Founder members Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons are still there and the group have just released "Sibling Rivalry" their fist studio offering in ten years which features ten new Doobie Brothers originals.

It's really a return to form for the band who have notched up sales of 10 million for their "Best Of Vol 1" CD. It's got those trademark guitar riffs, a mix of funk and rock and that instantly recognised vocal sound. "Sibling Rivalry" clocks in at nearly an hour which represents fine value although on the excess side it has been two years in the making! It's an album that seeps into your pores rather than knocks your socks off on first listening and it's out on Eagle Records with an official release date of the 23rd October.

******************************************************************************

Lamb Back At Spilsby

Last month "Paul Lamb and the King Snakes" played the Cleethorpes Beachcomber and the five piece band are back at Spilsby Theatre this Friday 20th October, if you missed them or just want some more!

Paul Lamb And The King Snakes have been voted UK blues band of the year, five times and Paul has picked up the same number of awards for his harmonica playing.

Mr Lamb has played with many of the blues greats including Sonny Terry, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells and this Newcastle born performer has been playing from the age of 15 when he took to the road playing clubs all over Europe.

******************************************************************************

Tiny Purple Fishes Date

I've been listening to a rather fine CD and demo tape by a young rock trio from Wellingore near Lincoln who are appearing at the Spiders Web on Saturday 28th October. The group are called "Tiny Purple Fishes" and they play a mix of psychedelic rock and classic covers influenced by the likes of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, Kula Shaker and more.

They cover tunes by Ocean Colour Scene, The Stones and Blur on the demo tape and for a three piece band they pack quite a punch.

This is the trio's first foray into Grimsby and they're hoping to draw a Saturday night crowd to the Web. The line-up is Antonio Piperissa on guitar and vocals, Michael Fawcett on bass guitar and Mark Stephenson on drums.

The "Fishes" original songs have titles like Detonator, Existence, Parallel Minds and Listen and are a cocktail mix of rock over the last three decades.

******************************************************************************

A Special Kind Of Blues At The Woodman

The Woodman in Louth is playing host to "Bluesmove" on Friday 20th October, a band who are normally busy touring across Europe as the backing band for Mick Pini. .

Former guitarist and vocalist with "The Razors" Howard Smith has joined "Bluesmove" to make the group a four piece.

To make the night extra special, famed guitarist Mick Abrahams, he of Blodwyn Pig and Jethro Tull and numerous solo albums is appearing as a special guest of the band!

******************************************************************************

Maximum R & B At The Auditorium

Billed as "Maximum Rhythm n' Blues", it's a package that features a top notch range of artists who first made their mark in the sixties and made a stop at the Grimsby Auditorium on Saturday 21st October.

What you get are "The Manfreds" who are Manfred Mann minus keyboard player Manfred Mann if that makes sense, who include both vocalists Paul Jones and Mike D'Abo in the line-up plus Tom McGuinness. In fact you get three fifths of the Blues Band in the Manfreds because drummer Rob Townsend is in there as well, are you keeping up with this!

Plus you get Chris Farlowe, Alan Price and Cliff Bennett who delve into their own catalogue of hit singles, so I reckon pretty much every song played on the night could well be a chart entry.

Chris Farlowe is just one of the names that stands out , he has a fine voice and "Out Of Time" was such a big record (number one in 66 during the week that England won the world cup!) that it has probably overshadowed his other achievements with his band "The Thunderbirds" and "Colosseum" the famed jazz rock out. Why he even did a stint with prog rockers Atomic Rooster!

Alan Price has one heck of a CV that would take up all of this week's column. In 94 he was inducted into the "American Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame" as a member of "The Animals" and went on to form the popular Alan Price Set and now runs a band under the title "The Electric Blues Company". He's also an accomplished actor to boot.

******************************************************************************

Dance Sound From The Docklands

"Jus' We 2" is the name of a musical project led by Pete Theo who writes and produces the tunes in-between his day job of frying chips!

The sound produced by this Grimsby based musician is very much in the Euro pop dance mode and the project has been put together at Barry Whitfield Docklands Studio.

"Jus' We 2" is basically Pete with all vocals by Hannah Sadler , who is away at University in Bedfordshire at the moment . It's very much a studio project with plans for live appearances once Hannah finishes University, which seems a sensible approach.

"Candle Burns" is the track featured on the CD single and in true dance fashion you get four different mixes, the album version, dance mix, campfire mix and instrumental edition. I'd have to opt for the dance mix as the definitive version and it's very much Euro pop with good looks and strong hooks. I do think the vocals are not as strong as the duo's previous recording "I Wanna Love You" which again was a pulsating keyboard dominated dance tune.

There is a youthful quality to Hannah's voice which works really well on "There Is No Lover (In My Life) the other track featured on the CD which veers more towards ballad territory and reminds me of something the Eurythmics or Annie Lennox recorded.

I think the essence of "Jus' We 2" is that it's the recorded output that counts, tie that in with a video and some TV/radio exposure and monitor the results. Also get the track played at local clubs and see if it gets people on the dance floor. Pete Theo obviously has a drive and talent for this kind of dance sound and project co-ordinator and writer, rather than performer may be the path to keep working on.

******************************************************************************

Climb Aboard The Bus

I've no idea what a "Bus Dwarf" is and the music produced by this strangely named band is certainly difficult to pigeonhole. "Black Day For Art" is the title of their beefed up psycho rock 12 track CD.

The opener "Bing Bang Bong" has a touch of the Captain Beefhearts about it. The keyboards give a distinctive psychedelic garage tint to the overall sound which I like. Although there's 12 tracks the whole thing clocks in at just over 28 minutes, so no long jams for these guys and the shortness of some of the numbers gives a punkish feel to the CD.

There's a number of religious references in the lyrics. These come across like those Southern American Baptist preachers with a fondness for picking up live rattlesnakes and shouting "praise the Lord" something which I imagine "The Bus Dwarfs" do in the studio! Some of the tunes also come across like the Doors combined with a gruff Jim Morrison and "Daddy Done Beat Me" fits this theme to a tee.

Monk In Space, Jesus Loves You But Not The Way I Do, Zyclone Be-bop, Europa and I'm A Watcher are just some of the song titles.

It's a manic, psycho punk Beefheart meets The Fall, wooden church pew of a record which will need one of those parental advisory stickers if it hits the mainstream market. The music makes you wonder what these guys are like live, that I imagine would be a wild night!

******************************************************************************

Denmark Street Recording From Crayn

Grimsby musician Steven Crayn who has been based in London the last couple of years taking a music performance degree has been busy at Denmark Street Studios recording a couple of his songs.

The studios are famous for playing host to the likes of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Sex Pistols and more recently George Michael!

All guitars and vocals are undertaken by Mr Crayn with his student colleagues providing the rest.

"Days Off Our Lives" the opener is something a little more sedate then I've come to expect from the guitarist with a penchant for heavy rock. The song is a bit of a social commentary with sweeping orchestral keyboards but there is a powerhouse guitar brake which makes you sit up and take notice. Not really sure where the song goes to over it's three minutes plus.

"King For A Day" is a different kettle of fish, it's got a memorable hook and comes across as Steve Harley meets Alice Cooper. I've heard this one before and it's a strong piece of original work. Steven tells me he is thinking of changing the title because it's also been used by "Jamiroquai", so it looks like there may be a few subtle changes to the lyric.

Gigs and a website are in the pipeline.

******************************************************************************

Country Cats!

"It's Saturday Night" every night with "Country Cattin'" or at least it can be on your CD player!

Take a Blue Dot from the Grimsby rockabilly band, add a Hicksville Bomber from Lincoln... and you've got two thirds of "Country Cattin'" a band originally put together for fun to play some early country hillbilly and rockabilly sounds.

It's pretty much all done in one take for that authentic feel and this means they capture something of the spirit of the original recordings.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Brown wasn't around in the fifties but he's certainly soaked up the vocal inflections and style of that era. With that big white double bass, Paul Chambers instrument is very much a rhythm box and it's only after half a dozen numbers that you realise there's no drum kit there in the mix! Nathan Young provides all the electric lead guitar fills with just the right amount of echo.

The album features mainly classics like Mystery Train, You Win Again, Maybelline, I'm Left Your Right She's Gone and Wild Side Of Life alongside lesser known nuggets like I'm Ready If Your Willing and the title track It's Saturday Night. There's even a trio of Dave Brown originals slipped in there and you can't see the join!

The trio play "Country Cattin' gigs in-between their other musical activities so keep an eye out for "The Cats".

******************************************************************************

Mass Identity Crisis From Curl

It's been a while since I've heard from "Curl" but it's quiet no longer because the band are back with a new CD under the title "Mass Identity Crisis".

The band have been together for around five years now which is quite an achievement, considering they concentrate on original material.

Eight new "Curl" originals are on the latest offering which I'd file under the indie rock category. All lyrics are by vocalist Mark Daynes with the music from Johnny Love. I think I like the band best when they feature acoustic guitars in the mix on tracks like "Dandelion", "Bad Hair Day" and the title number. It seems to give the songs more room to breathe without the interference of sustain from the electric guitar.

"Mass Identity Crisis" I would describe as a more mature and reflective offering from the band. "Curl" also now have their own website at "http://www.curlweb.fsnet.co.uk" for all the latest up to date news on the moptops.

******************************************************************************

Good Sounds From The Doctor

I'm really taken with an album by "Dr Robert" best known for leading the "Blow Monkeys" from a decade or so ago. Since that time the good Doctor has embarked on a solo career and he's now got 3 solo albums to his name the latest of which "Other Folk" has caught my ear.

Now there's a couple of reasons for this. The first is that the album features songs from the likes of Fred Neil, Tim Hardin, Bob Dylan and Marc Bolan and it's pretty much acoustic guitars to the fore. The second is that the album was recorded totally live in a four day session at the Chapel Studios just outside Louth in Lincolnshire!

"Other Folk" is Robert's homage to the songs and writers who have inspired him but I'd have to say one of his few originals songwriting efforts on the CD "Halfway To Heaven" is an absolute corker of a song. Also check out his version of Dylan's "Death Is Not The End", which will have you singing along with the chorus!

******************************************************************************

Dylan's September Sheffield Date

Bob Dylan and his band have announced a date at Sheffield Arena on Friday 22nd September. Since the early sixties Dylan has charted his own musical course as a creator of trends rather than a follower. In fact as a vocalist in the accepted sense of a conventional singer, his Bobness broke down the barrier that you had to sing in key and you could use your own natural vocal sound. I know he's written some classic songs but I reckon his singing style, lyrics and attitude is where he's really left his mark, forever!

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, he took his last name from poet Dylan Thomas and has managed to maintain his mystique by rarely being interviewed and having a pretty cavalier attitude to the music business. His songs have been covered by countless artists but some of his best known songs are Lay Lady Lay, Blown' In The Wind, Knockin' On Heaven's Door and Like A Rolling Stone although I have to stress the list is endless. In fact often his songs are made more commercially popular by other artists, who knock off the rough edges with "The Byrds" Mr Tambourine Man being a case in point.

Check the local press for coaches to concerts (Solid Entertainments comes to mind) or ring the Sheffield Arena box office direct on 0114 - 2565656 where tickets are around the £20 mark.

******************************************************************************

Demo CD From The Angels

"Garden City Angels" is the name of a Grimsby trio who are currently trying to attract the interest of record companies and music publishers with their 6 track CD demo of original tunes recorded at two locations, Total Audio in Cleethorpes and Docklands Studio in Grimsby.

It's a well put together piece of sound and I found their policy of acoustic guitars to the fore very refreshing. I suppose "Travis " is a current comparison that leaps to mind and the threesome of Pete Bratley, Daz Hickson and Tim Stanley have soaked up a whole range of influences. Sometimes it's Brit Rock, sometimes it's got a strong sixties English and American influence. The vocals are very clear and the songs are strong and melodic and most have that commercial edge.

"End Of Time" has one of those hooks I've talked about with a swaying rhythm. "Sitting Out The Rain" again has that driving acoustic sound with some atmospheric keyboard sounds and "Till Morning Light" is a moody minor key finger picked guitar piece with echoes of Liam Gallagher in the vocal department.

"On My Pillow" crosses a John Lee Hooker guitar riff with the Hollies! This is my favourite track at the moment, it's original, got harmonies and subtle lead guitar. "Same As You" again highlights the commercial choruses that these guys are capable of writing, bringing Merseyside Outfit "The Cast" to mind with rousing singalong stuff. The final offering "Garden City Angels" has some nice harmonica and the synth like strings and organ make all the difference. This one brings Richard Ashcroft to mind.

This is a promising batch of songs all written by Pete Bratley, well recorded and at the same time tapping in to some of the present trends around, so the timing is pretty spot on. You have to match the music with the image and the sound is just half the job with the major labels these days. It will be interesting to see what feedback the "Garden City Angels " get from the record label moguls.

******************************************************************************

King Of The Blues Harp

A reminder for blues fans that "Paul Lamb and the King Snakes" are heading this way and playing a date at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Thursday 21st September.

Paul Lamb has picked up numerous awards for his blues harp playing and they are a band much in demand for the festival circuit. Paul is also known for working with Jimmy Nail on the BBC TV shows "Spender" and "Crocodile Shoes". He even had a hit single to his name ( well an alias anyway) some five years ago, under the moniker "Bravado" with "Harmonica Man".

Tickets are available now from Solid Entertainments on Grimsby 349222.

******************************************************************************

Leash On CD

I'm guilty of giving Grimsby band "Leash" short shrift when I devoted pretty much all of a recent review to "Ozmossis", so now I'll redress the balance.

I've been listening to the bands three track CD "Until You Die....Live" which is a thunderous metal assault on the ear drums.

Recorded last year at Birdsound Studio in Scunthorpe, the three numbers "Fall From Grace, "Deliverance" and "Leash" highlight the group's mosh pit metal approach. Maybe there should be an acoustic guitar warning sticker on the cover because the opening bars to "Deliverance" are guilty of using that instrument. The song features some powerhouse drumming and some fine riffing stop start guitars. If you give the band's name as a song title ( or vice-versa) it sums up the overall sound and approach of the outfit which is what "Leash" does, in fact it does exactly what it says on the tin!

******************************************************************************

Hearing Is Leering!

Last weeks official launch of the "Tunes To Make You Go Leery" compilation album had about 10 of the bands involved performing in an acoustic setting at Grimsby College in the Drum bar. This acoustic format limited some of the performers involved and it's interesting to note the difference between live and recorded performances. On stage you've got to get it right in one take and for what these college students lack in experience they make up for in enthusiasm. Sometimes it was a little dreary rather than Leery but I've been really impressed by the quality of the performances on the CD by the BTEC music students.

Here's my blow by blow comments on all 18 tracks with the artist named first followed by the song title.

Matt Hodson - Paint By Numbers - Opens a bit like the old Top Of The Pops theme tune before going into a Charlatans type thing with a fine commercial hook of a chorus.

The Ocean Hounds - To Spite The Years - A pop Celtic hybrid. A bit like Big Country without the Scottish accents. A nicely structured tune held together with some solid drumming.

Brad Frith - Fragile - Synthesisers to the fore. An ambient, floating sound with melody to chill out to. A soundscape for a sci- fi movie.

Big Cuts - Take Out The Whack - A rap attack over a keyboards and drum n' bass sound which namechecks Grimsby.

Ambiguous- Holy Grail - Wall of sound guitars, gothic and dark. These guys sound serious!

Leah Pullen - Birds And Bees - Probably the most instantly commercial song on the CD in an Alanis Morriset/Joan Osborn mode. One of those songs that you want to go straight back to on your remote control to play again.

Zyon - Zyonation - Is that a guitar or a machine gun? Really like this grunge techno combination. Turn the sound down on some cheesy horror video and play this one!

Chopper Squad - Dream Tomorrow - Nice sweeping keyboards. The song has a jazz rock like quality although the drums and vocals need a little polish.

Rob Crawford - Were Not Here Tonight- A Jaggeresque sound to the vocals on a well balanced mid tempo ballad. Some really good orchestral type sounds on this. Add a real string section and this has a Verve like potential.

E Coili - Addiction - Fast n' furious and droning. Goes around in circles.

Tom Knott - Girlfriend - Synth pop intro but then goes all crunching guitars. Quirky and an offbeat lead break. Shades of XTC and art rock. It's good.

Luna Suit - Old Man - Atmospheric bass driven opening and the only song I've heard before. High speed punk pop at just over two minutes long.

Bus Dwarf - Europa - This band are different. I don't understand the song but then again I never understood Captain Beefheart which is what this barrage of sound reminds me of a little. Like the keyboards and sounds like a live gig by these guys would be quite wild. Deranged rock jazz metal concoction

John Atherton - Something To Put Love In - Vocals a bit high up in the mix for me. I like the instrumentation and the feel plus the song would benefit from some harmonies

Deluge - White Whore - It's like The Buzzcocks go grunge with a slab of power punk with some very fetching guitar parts.

Cameron - I Need Art Like I Need God - Interesting title and I like the acoustic guitar feel and the reedy vocals have a whimsical charm. Guitars go into Jesus and Mary Chain mode and it's a song that makes you want to hear more from Cameron.

Psilocybe - Nostrumb - High Octane Chemical Brothers instrumental dance rave up. Does exactly what it says on the tin! Some great driving bass, could be a guitar, could be a machine.

Blueprint - Different World - Britrock. All guitars ,bass and drums and some traditional lead guitar on what wouldn't look out of place as an Oasis b-side.

The pick of the bunch for me on my first couple of listens are Leah Pullen, Cameron, Zyon, Rob Crawford and Psilocybe. All this for only £4.99 and copies are on sale now and available from the College. "Leerytunes" is the start of something and next week I'll be giving the once over to a new 12 track CD from "Bus Dwarf".

******************************************************************************

25 Years Of Motorhead

If ever a band encompasses the spirit of "no compromise" then you'd have to say it's "Motorhead"

Now in their 25th Anniversary year the hard livin' and rockin' trio forever led by Lemmy, show no signs of growing old gracefully and let's face it, it wouldn't be Motorhead if they did!

Their latest album "We Are Motorhead" is a piledriver of a record. Lemmy's vocals as usual are buried in the mix in a delivery that's a cross between a wheeze and an electric power drill. Even when you turn the volume down this record is loud.

The band are about to release a note for note version of the Sex Pistols classic "God Save The Queen" as their new single which I'd like to think might jostle amongst all those manufactured teen bands for some space in the singles chart. My favourite track on the album is the nearest "Motorhead" get to a ballad. I suspect it's title will prevent a lot of airplay so I won't reprint it here other than to say the words "One More and Time" are included, you'll just have to fill in the appropriate verb!

I like "Motorhead", they've done their own thing, in their own time and in their own way and like a football team manager Lemmy has changed the players every so often. Apart from Lemmy the current crew are Philip Campbell on guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums. The band are in the UK later this month for a string of dates including the Guilford Live Music Festival.

******************************************************************************

The King Didn't Always Hit The Right Note!

Out now is a range of Elvis Presley videos under the banner the "Commemorative Collection", which is a range of 14 Elvis classics ( Warner Brothers words, not mine!) and each video features a new sleeve design and is available in the shops for just £4.99 which does represent good value.

Elvis' film career is very much a mixed bag and the good, the bad, and the ugly are all included here! The earliest of the series "Jailhouse Rock" is a classic but you'd be pretty hard pushed to want to sit through "The Trouble With Girls", "Harem Scarum" and "Spinout" more than once. Of course "Spinout includes that Presley classic song "Smorgasbord", yikes!

What I do enjoy watching are films of the man in concert and that's where this series is a hit for me. "That's The Way It Is", "Elvis On Tour" and "The Lost Performances" are three films that capture the attraction and appeal of the man in concert. Up until his death Elvis was the No 1 live concert attraction and these films attempt to capture the magnetic attraction that his fans had for him. The last of the series "The Lost Performances" is just that, a series of out-takes discovered in a vault in 1986 and includes Elvis singing "The Wonder Of You", one of the biggest of his later period hits.

******************************************************************************

Musical Sunshine From Osibisa

African world music stars "Osibisa" are appearing at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Wednesday 27th September. The band with the smiling faces are usually associated with a seventies golden period when they were pioneering those criss cross rhythms that explode with happiness. They also had hit single success with songs like "Sunshine Day" and "Dance The Body Music" as well as a string of successful albums with eye-catching Roger Dean artwork which use to stand out in the album racks of your local record shop.

"Osibisa" are still a popular world wide festival attraction and included an appearance at the UK's legendary Cropredy Folk Festival a couple of years back. A recent highlight for the colourful group was a tour of India which resulted in a number one gold album in that country.

Renowned for their energetic shows which touch on a range of styles from African to Caribbean and Latin, I'm sure the band will bring some musical sunshine to the Beachy stage.

Tickets are on sale now and available from Solid Entertainments on Grimsby 349222.

******************************************************************************

Ozsome!

A very promising debut indeed from "Ozmossis" last week at the Spiders Web. Frontman Neil Evans has a bit of theatrical blood in him and although Neil was very nervous before the start of the show, not having sung in a live situation for around four years, you would never have guessed!

I'd have to say he's nailed the Ozzy vocal sound in texture and tone and the facial expressions and on stage movements also capture the mood. With the addition of some special effects, rubber bats, backdrops and the like I reckon "Ozmossis" has some real potential because there are a lot of Black Sabbath and Osborne fans out there. Sabbath are certainly now seen as pioneers of the whole grunge and metal scene which means a tribute style band has the potential to attract both the original fans from the seventies and the younger fans of today. That's what happened at the Web, because there was a good cross section of ages enjoying themselves.

The band is actually three quarters of "Parasite" plus Neil and considering this was their debut gig the fearsome threesome gelled as a unit delivering the engine room riffs and no frills.

Getting the whole show underway on the night were "Leash" with a powerful metal meets grunge style as highlighted on their "Until You Die, Live" CD recorded at the Bird Sound Studios and which the band were promoting on the night. I'll review this CD next week and in the meantime "Leash" have a date lined up at Hollywoods in town on the 19th September.

******************************************************************************

Piggies Back For One Night Only!

It's twenty years since popular Grimsby band "The Piggies" made their debut appearance at the former Laportes Club ( now the Millennium Social Club). The exact date was 6th September 1980 and to celebrate this event, original members Carl Harris, Ian Latimer and Alan Gladding have decided to get back together for a one off performance at the Spiders Web on Wednesday 13th September!

The Piggies were well known for their catalogue of Beatles tunes and that's what you'll be mainly getting on the night.

Carl's son Paul will be playing bass guitar for "The Piggies" and local 60's band "Jinks" will be filling the support slot.

Admission is £3 on the door, the evening kicks off around 8pm and the proceeds will be donated to a local charity.

******************************************************************************

Look Out For Folkham Hall

Look out for local folk rock duo "Folkham Hall" alias Freaky Phil and Steve, armed with mandolins and guitars. Phil's a bit of a rocker at heart and his last band was the blues rock outfit "Indiana" while Steve has been more used to using his arms in the building trade but has now decided to join the artistic ranks!

The twosome influenced by the likes of "The Levellers" and "Jethro Tull" play mostly original songs but always make sure to include the swashbuckling Captain Pugwash in their set.

The guys have just played Elsham Hall and are making inroads into the local scene. A CD is winging it's way to me so more on the band in a forthcoming column.

******************************************************************************

Great Sound From Cisco

A demo tape with a few song titles scrawled down the side doesn't always fill me with a lot of confidence but I was taken aback by the quality of material by a new Cleethorpes based band "Cisco".

In their short note they described themselves as an Irish band, so I was expecting a touch of the Pogues or maybe the Dubliners. How wrong I was, "Cisco" produce a swirling big sound awash with harmonies and melody, sometimes it's a wall of folkrock meets "Simple Minds" and on other occasions verges on rootsy pop music. The vocals are also of a fine standard and have a depth from the clear and melodic to the deeper tones.

Of the five songs, each one is very strong and fresh and if the band can reproduce this sound in live performance then I think they'll surprise a few people. The group have asked for some advice/feedback and my initial thoughts would be to get some promotional stuff together like photographs and biographical details, play some live dates, mailshot the tape or better still a CD to potential record labels and management companies. Also get someone on board to help you with promotion. That's just for starters! My last word is...... the more I play the tape the better it gets.

******************************************************************************

Parasite Bow Out

It's best if you can read this with a mock American accent in mind because that's what you get from Parasite and their shy retiring frontman Darren, who acts as ringmaster for this rock quartets homage to "Kiss" the American cartoon heavy rock kings.

It's a show with a bang (literally) with smoke and fireworks and even at one stage a burning guitar! Besides all these visual treats there's some music as well as the band go through the "Kiss" songbook.

I've seen "Parasite" a number of times over the last four years and they always give a "foot full down on the gas pedal approach". This was evident for their final Grimsby gig at the Spiders Web which inevitably saw the band finish to rapturous applause.

******************************************************************************

A Whole Lotta Piggies

The Piggies date on Wednesday 13th September at the Spiders Web is turning into something special! This is because original members Carl Harris , Alan Gladding and Ian Latimer along with Carl's son Paul are kicking the evening off and then the present day Piggies line-up which still includes Ian but also comprises Rich Jackson, Mitch Deighton and Simon Blight will take to the stage.

"The Piggies" I should add, are very much still alive in the new Millennium but a lot of their appearances now go under "The Imposters" banner where the group go out playing mainly theatres and are billed as "the ultimate 60's concert". A forthcoming tour of Sweden is in the pipeline and the band are very much in demand.

Admission is £3 on the night with proceeds going to a local charity. Sounds a good un' and I would anticipate a sardine like crowd for this one!

******************************************************************************

Something Different From Willie

I've always admired those artists who have managed to carve out a career over decades rather than the brief couple of years spurt, before fading from the scene.

Willie Nelson is one such performer and songwriter who you'd normally file under "country" but who throughout his career has also veered towards jazz, blues and folk. He's just done it again with his first ever instrumental album "Night And Day" which is another twist in his long drive across the roadmap of modern popular music.

The album finds Willie covering some of his favourite music and includes tunes from Django Reinhardt, Cole Porter as well as standards like "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Honeysuckle Rose".

The strange thing is that Willie's guitar playing sounds very much like his vocal style in that you can hear that distinctive phrasing and tone which comes courtesy of his Martin gut string electric acoustic guitar.

Have a listen to "Night And Day", it's definitely something different from Willie!

******************************************************************************

Zoddy Boots On CD

"Devil And Diplodocus" is the title of the six track debut "Zoddy Boots" CD, recorded and mixed by Pete Clarke over a two month period at Total Audio Studios in Cleethorpes.

The trio of Bunga (voice), Neo on bass and Alin on guitar have been joined for the recording by Grun on drums.

The lowdown on the six tracks featured on the CD is as follows -

"Chameleon Ape" the opener is in the Manic Street Preachers mould with some powerful vocals and crashing guitar chords.

"We Don't Dance" has a quirky jazz feel giving a more distinctive sound before going into rock mode.

The dark and brooding "Faustus Revised" has some mellow acoustic guitar with a strong commercial chorus and for me is the pick of the bunch.

"Freeze Dried Brain" is all out guitar rock coupled with the powerful lungs thing. "This Is Not A Walrus" starts with a goth laden power riff and goes off in Chilli Peppers territory with some prog rock keyboards thrown in for good measure. The CD concludes with the repeatative stop start funk of "I Am Blood" highlighting another dimension of the band.

A standout feature of the Zoddies are the powerful vocals. The lyrics also deserve a special mention because this isn't your usual verse, chorus, verse stuff and they stand as works of art in their own right. The band tend to be a bit wild and zany in live performance but "Devil And Diplodocus" is serious stuff!

******************************************************************************

Sand In My CD Player!

It's the first time I've received a sachet of sand with a CD but creative guru Mick Taylor is always prone to do something that little bit different.

Mick otherwise known as "Cleethorpes Promenade" is currently on a quest to visit every English seaside town in his campervan!

His new single "My Summer Holiday" combines quirky and melodic and is as welcome as a whippy ice cream on a hot summers day. It's got a very effective clarinet that evokes memories of Soft Cell's "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" and is as fetching as that white suit and jelly green sandals regularly worn by Mr Promenade.

You never know what your getting with a "Cleethorpes Promenade" recording. They twist and turn and keep you on the edge of your deck chair and create a musical landscape where imagination shows no bounds. Put "Promenade" on a double bill with John Shuttleworth and I reckon you've got a fine night out.

Let's see "Cleethorpes Promenade" back on his home turf. How about some local dates Mick? At the very least I think North East Lincolnshire council's tourist section should snap this man up!

*******************************************************************

A Taylor Made Talent

Hot on the heels of my piece last week on Cleethorpes Promenade, Mick Taylor's creative alter ego has sent me a 10 track compilation tape, just a sample of the 80 plus songs he's written in the last 3 years!

Opening with the Roky Erickson classic "I Walked With A Zombie" , Mick has added some extra verses which the publishers have said will give him a co-writing credit with the former genius from "The 13th Floor Elevators" if it's ever released commercially! Mick has already written the video script which sounds a mouth-watering prospect.

The remaining tunes are all Taylor originals, layered with keyboards, acoustic guitars, harmonies, hooks and the usual quirkiness. Apart from the Zombie thingy I particularly like "Save My Soul" and "She Scares Me" with sounds like Lou Reed in humorous mode! As far as I can see Mick's head is crammed with musical and literary ideas, someone give him a radio programme quick!

*******************************************************************

Que For Quo Expected

Hey "The Quo" are on their way to play the Grimsby Auditorium on Friday 6th October and it's a standing gig! Featuring the double act of Rossi and Parfitt, the band at one time had the midas touch with everything they released zooming up the singles and albums charts.

I remember the guys playing the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens in the early seventies around the time of the "Piledriver" album when they were trailblazing their heads down no nonsense boogie sound. They perfected that golden 12 bar boogie wall of sound thing and nobody did it better, before or since.

After Alan Lancaster and John Coughlan departed, the band headed in a more poppier and more commercially successful direction to become firm TV favourites across a range of age groups. Along the way Status Quo became Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt and three other guys and it seemed only a matter of time before they appeared on Blankety Blank!

I like their early stuff best and that includes "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" circa 1968 during that early pop psychedelic phase! The benchmark of a quality band is being able to wade through a tide of musical trends over many years and remain afloat. The Quo have achieved this. An Auditorium sell-out is predicted for this event even though tickets might be considered a little steep at £22.50 and £25.

*******************************************************************

Select A Beachy Date

The Cleethorpes Beachcomber is playing host to the classic Two Tone ska sound of "The Selector" on Sunday 28th May.

The band are fronted by it's original and best known member Pauline Black and their best known tune "On My Radio" will definitely get an airing. The Selector are still very active on the recording front and last year released "Cruel Britannia" which showed the band are still very much in the ska meets punk mould.

Also on the bill are Andy Tyrrell, Southpark Roundabout and All Mod Cons.

Also at the Beachy this Thursday 25th May is the Pink Floyd tribute band "The Machine" with Grimsby Indie rock outfit "Ideal" as support. Tonight you can see "The Drum" out supporting their debut album "Diskin" alongside Stoners Of Doom, Fungus and Evergreen.

As you can see there's a lot going on and if you want to know more then please ring Grimsby 349222 or why not visit the Solid Entertainments website at "www.solidentertainments.freeserve.co.uk"

*******************************************************************

These Are The Times From Navarone

Gritty Grimsby rockers "Blast" is a name familiar to live music fans and the four piece outfit of Tony Reader, Martin McMahon, Rick Newman and Wayne Rigg have relaunched themselves as "Navarone" as in "guns of" and have an eight track CD and a first gig at the Spiders Web on Friday 21st April, to get the band up and running.

Entitled "These Are The Times" the 30 plus minutes of original material highlights the band's sandblasted and gritty hard workin' approach to songwriting. Gritty and soulful is the word I use for Tony Reader's vocals, and Martin has got some fine guitar licks and a range of styles up his young sleeves. Rick and Wayne are very much the engine room which drives the band forward and knits the whole sound together.

The music is very American influenced mix and goes from out and out rock with riffs to elements of country, funk and blues. Here's a blow by blow account of the eight numbers and don't forget copies of the CD will be available at the Spider's gig.

All I Wanted - high energy sweaty pub rock with cascading guitar fills and punchy chorus.

These Are The Days To Remember - A little more subtlety and a country rockish feel in the Southern rock tradition with some impressive twin lead guitars.

You Go North, I'll Go South - Throbbing bass guitar makes this a fine driving song, roll down the windows and crank up the volume! Again some choice guitar fills, and I detect a Motown influence in there somewhere.

Alone - A ballad from the "Navaroners" in "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" mode. Turn down the lights for a slow one.

I Will Never Give You Up - The band get into a "Harlem Shuffle" funky groove and veer off into a commercial hook of a chorus with some harmonies!

You're Not The One For Me - Funky Rock meets Shaft. Wah wah pedal to the fore and a wailing guitar break with a Beatles "Come Together" mood.

Paradise Is Hell - If Bryan Adams returns to his hard rockin' chops then this is the sort of tune you might find on his next album. Maybe "Navarone" should get Dave Springfield in on vocals. Only joking guys, and a track that's closest to what I know as the "Blast" sound.

Slip Away - A "Los Lobos" feel and a high danceability factor to the 12 bar rhythms of "Slip Away". I suspect this one will become a live favourite.

So there you have it a powerful batch of original tunes with fine singin' and playin'. "Navarone" are not breaking down any musical barriers but are reflecting the best of no nonsense, meat and potatoes, sleeves rolled up rock.

*******************************************************************

Mayall And Green Play The Blues

Good to see what looked pretty much like a full house at the Grimsby Auditorium for the appearance of two blues legends John Mayall and Peter Green. The combination of this twosome for the first time in 30 years meant that a range of larger UK venues was at their disposal, such is the pulling power of this unique coupling.

Opening the show was Peter Green and his Splinter Group. Best known for his Fleetwood Mac classics like Albatross, Green Manalishi and Black Magic Woman, the set also included an acoustic session which featured tracks from their latest offering "Hot Foot Powder". Peter Green's health problems have been well documented and the man has made an invaluable contribution to British blues. It's clear his guitar playing is not what it was and his vocals are softer and the tone cracks from time to time, but it does give an honesty to his performance which is what the blues is all about. Roger Cotton shines on keyboards and the highlight was probably when John Mayall joined the band for a rousing rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago". I've seen Mr Green before and he's pretty much in his own little world, your lucky to get more than a few sentences out of him during the evening and in that respect Grimsby was no different!

Billed as the father of British Blues, John Mayall will be 68 this year and he looks in great shape with an enthusiasm and energy for the blues he's so tirelessly promoted since the late fifties when rock n' roll was the new sound on the block. I was interested to see he set his own keyboard up during the short interval and looked happy to muck in with the road crew.

John Mayall has always had a reputation for nurturing top notch talent in his "Bluesbreakers" and his latest batch of Americans is no different. I wouldn't want to meet guitarist Buddy Whittington down a dark alley, he's big in every respect and that includes his talent on that battered Fender he plays! John has a unique harmonica sound that's totally his own and how many harmonica players can you say that about! He's still producing first class blues music emphasised by his latest album "Padlock On The Blues" the title track which featured as one of his two encore numbers.

Meeting them both afterwards I can confirm that John comes across as a genuinely nice guy while Peter Green is still a little bit strange!

A really fine night and how long before we get some more blues artists of this calibre back at the Auditorium?

*******************************************************************

A Fiddle Catches My Ear

Fiddle based albums are not my usual cup of tea but I'm quite taken with Irish American "Liz Carroll" and her new "Lost In The Loop" CD which has just been released on the Green Linnet label. I notice on the label it says file under "Celtic" a sound that seems very much in vogue these days.

Liz hails from Chicago and is a former All Ireland Fiddle Champion and "Lost In The Loop" is her first solo effort in over a decade. She's also part of the band "Trian", a name probably familiar to folkies but it means nothing to me.

There's some really atmospheric stuff on this CD which is all instrumental like "See It There" and a really fine guitar and fiddle piece "The Crow In The Sun" which I've played over and over.

I notice Liz is due to appear at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough in July which is an unexpected bonus!

*******************************************************************

Classic Songs From Hank And Woody

Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie are two influential music legends who packed their lives full of trials and tribulations and managed to write countless classic songs along the way. In a sense both their lifestyles enabled them to write songs about first hand experiences.

Incredible to think that the original country punk Hank Williams, died at just 30 years old and the original folk rock hobo Woody Guthrie lived knowing he could be struck down by the lethal Huntingdon's Chorea, a heriditary wasting illness which he finally contracted and left him bed ridden for years unable to speak and function.

Anyone who can write tunes with titles like "Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy"(Woody) and "We're Getting Closer To The Grave Each Day" (Hank) has a different angle on the art of songwriting.

Both these two artists are the subject of double CD spoken word biographies mixed with over 50 music tracks. On one CD you get the life story and on t'other it's a multitude of original songs. Some of these recordings are live, some are on primitive recording equipment and some crackle and hiss a bit but these are prize aural museum exhibits that deserve space in any collection.

The label is Chrome Dreams and they're producing a whole range of the "Classic Series". The Woody Guthrie Story and Hank Williams Story are just two in a series which also includes Muddy Waters and a Dylan project is in the pipeline.

Now Chrome Dreams is a UK company and Press and Promotions Manager is Paula Gillespie a former Grimsby resident who can be spotted in town from time to time catching up on the local music scene.

The labels website is "www.chromedreams.co.uk" and they can be contacted direct at their Surrey offices on 0208 715 9781. If your interested in ordering the Hank or Woody album then give them a call.

*******************************************************************

Bon Appetite

Making a welcome return to the Spiders Web on Friday 2nd June are the Scottish Bon Scott era "AC/DC " tribute band "Bons Balls" who have perfected that particular era of the popular Aussie hard rock group.

On a commercial level the later Brian Johnson line-up has sold more units and play the huge arenas, but many people still hanker after the original band in which the late Bon Scott captured the spirit of the Aussie rockers and lived the excesses of life on the road. You can discuss which line-up was the best over a pint at the Web!

Let There Be Rock, Powerage and the classic "Highway To Hell" are just some of the earlier hard rock benchmark albums released by the band who originally formed in 1974.

Admission is £5 on the door.

*******************************************************************

Blue Dots - Expect The Unexpected

I managed to catch Grimsby rockabilly outfit "The Blue Dots" a couple of weeks back at the Blue Anchor in Lincoln plugging their fine CD releases "Up And Running" and "Tired Of Travellin", with I understand a third album on the way.

What I particularly like about the band is the unexpected cover versions they rockabilly up like "You Really Got Me", "Bad To The Bone" and "Viva Las Vegas".

Apart from the rockin' sounds a live "Blue Dots" gig is all manic energy, moving drumkits and some carry on humour from frontman Tubbs Watson. Paul Chambers slaps that big upright bass around, Tim Wheelhouse on drums can't stay still and quiet man Danny McCourt provides the essential rhythm guitar to those Watson guitar licks.

The quartet have also got a date lined up at the Cruise Inn, a famed rock n' roll club in Amsterdam.

*******************************************************************

ON LINE!

You can send me any band news and gig details for this column via my e-mail address which is :

" steve@12bar.freeserve.co.uk "

Alternatively any correspondence can be sent direct to me at :

60 Washdyke Lane,

Nettleham,

Lincolnshire,

LN2 2PY

***************************************************************************

FIZGIG SITE ~ LINKS TO MAIN INTERNAL PAGES

INTERESTED IN OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC? CHECK OUT OUR OTHER GIG PAGES

GIGS

Index for all music styles as follows

************************************

BLUES

Guide to Blues gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

FOLK

Guide to Folk gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

************************************

ROCK

Guide to Rock & Pop gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

COUNTRY

Guide to Country gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

JAZZ

Guide to Jazz gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

SOUL

Guide to Soul gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

LIGHT

Guide to Light / Popular music gigs / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

CLASSICAL

Guide to Classical Concerts / news in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

THEATRE

Guide to Theatre productions in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

MISC

Guide to Miscellaneous events in Lincolnshire & East Midlands

*************************************

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FIZGIG - LINCOLNSHIRE'S MUSIC WEBSITE

A variety of aspects related to the Lincolnshire music scene

*************************************

FIZGIG HOMEPAGE

About Fizgig

*************************************

VENUES

List of Lincolnshire, East Midlands & South Yorkshire venues with telephone numbers, etc

*************************************

FOLK, BLUES & BEYOND

Weekly column written by Alberta & Mississippi Bill for Boston Target Newspaper Group

*************************************

CD REVIEWS

CD reviews

*************************************

GIG REVIEWS

Fizgig reviews of Lincolnshire / East Midland gigs

*************************************

RADIO

Information about Local / National Radio shows

*************************************

RECORD FAIRS

Record fairs in Lincolnshire / East Midlands

**************************************

Back to Index

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~