Progarchives.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Live Performance Reviews
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: Stackridge at Bush Hall, London 16/07/09
  FAQ FAQ  Forum SearchSearch  Calendar   Register Register  Login Login

Topic ClosedStackridge at Bush Hall, London 16/07/09

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
AlanD View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: August 28 2008
Location: Portsmouth
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 135
Direct Link To This Post Topic: Stackridge at Bush Hall, London 16/07/09
    Posted: July 20 2009 at 10:11

Stackridge Live at Bush Hall, London, 16th July 2009

 

The faithful descended en masse to Shepherds Bush last Thursday for a very special concert, the London launch of the new Stackridge album, A Victory For Common Sense. With a clutch of rave notices already under their collective belts, including a four star review in Mojo, the album already appeared to be making waves and rightly so. Their adoptive support band, the excellent Jouis warmed up the assembled throng with a confident set of varied music and impressed again, as they had done at New Milton back in April, with their top-notch musicianship and tight arrangements – we’ll definitely be hearing more of them in the future. The expectancy mounted as Stackridge took the stage at 9pm and kicked off with the riff-driven Red Squirrel, the first of an opening trio from the new album. The atmosphere was electric and after this powerful opening, Andy Davis complained he was being deafened by his own guitar in the monitors! Mutter Slater, resplendent in black musical-motif decorated shirt and red tie then took the mike for a stomping rendition of The Old Country, another instant Stackridge classic that was lapped up by the assembled hordes of Rhubarb Thrashers in a packed Bush Hall before James became the third different lead vocalist in three numbers, for the punchy and dynamic Lost And Found with some great climactic flute and guitar from Mutter and Andy respectively.

 

A surprise for the first back catalogue selection, The Last Plimsoll was announced by James as “One we wrote in Brixton in 1973” and the diminutive one took the lead vocal, previously always the province of composer Andy Davis, but James inadvertently sang the second first twice! Not many noticed as we grooved along, Andy providing the guitar riffs in a reversal of roles with James, while Mutter served up a flurrying flute foray as only he can. Super drummer Eddie John provided the whoopee-whistle at the end of the song. More delights followed in the shape of Crun Walter’s hypnotic Long Dark River climaxing with some steely bass riffing from the composer and explosive guitar from Andy on his Gold Top Les Paul, envied by many a guitarist in the audience. A trip back to 1972 saw Syracuse The Elephant given another outing and a chance for new first violinist Clare Lindley to shine on her interpretation of the classic, mournful violin solo in the middle section of said epic. To her credit she played it as perfectly as the recently departed maestro Rachel Hall used to and received a well-earned mid-song ovation for her efforts.

 

James then aired his pension plan song, Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime, replete with rarely heard alternative second verse and an extended Andy Davis guitar solo at the end. Audience participation reached an early fever pitch for The Galloping Gaucho, as Mutter regaled us with the exploits of the “…six foot drip with a plastic whip” once more and Glenn Tommey swapped keyboards for trombone for the first time this evening. After this raucous interlude the band served up Cheese And Ham from their latest platter, with James playing the frightened child to Andy’s strict father figure in an arrangement that was slightly truncated from the album version but worked well.  The unexpected occurred when it was announced that Crun would take a rare vocal and Andy kicked off a close-harmony version of Flanders and Swann’s Slow Train, an elegy to Dr. Beeching’s decimation of the British railway system in the sixties, fetchingly performed with much humour and James, Crun and Mutter huddled around a microphone, trying to read Crun’s scribbled version of the lyrics from a scrap of paper taped to the stage. The funniest moment came when James changed one of the lines to “…and I can’t read Crun’s writing”.

 

A third selection from the band’s 1973 album The Man In The Bowler Hat came in the form of the acoustically percussive The Road To Venezuela as an increasingly hoarse, but endlessly enthusiastic audience sung along with gusto, while the violin section of Clare Lindley and the ever-smiling Sarah Mitchell punctuated the proceedings with the verve of youth as Clare cut loose with some hot fiddling in the middle section. The elemental piece that started the whole Stackridge ball rolling back in the late sixties powered up its warp core once more as Purple Spaceships Over Yatton took flight and gave Mutter the spotlight for his peerless flute to penetrate the cosmic gloom with its shafts of pure brilliance. He also threw in some great facial miming during the creepy build-up section, his eyes moving silently from side-to-side with a look of alarm, as Glenn’s forboding cello samples sent chills up our collective spines in this progressive rock tour de force.

 

Mutter announced a Christmas song (in the middle of July!) and performed a touching rendition of North Street Grande, telling the tale of the weary soldier gazing at a photo of his woman on the dance floor and hoping for a reunion Christmas present. Great trombone from Glenn and tipsy violins from Clare and Sarah, respectfully dedicated to “…all our boys and girls out in Afghanistan” by Mutter. A rocking Boots And Shoes raised the temperature once again as Andy cut loose on some hot guitar licks on this revamped and supercharged Korgis number, now the proud opening track on A Victory For Common Sense. The new closing number for the set was The Day The World Stopped Turning, giving Sarah her first chance to open a Stackridge song live with her newly acquired keyboard strings, sideways on to the audience and facing Glenn, there was much good humour bouncing to and fro between these keyboard players, as the band negotiated this complex arrangement with aplomb. Andy gave his bottleneck slide technique an airing with Mutter going into flute overdrive on the energized middle section as ‘Eric The Epic’, as it’s becoming known to band and fans, closed the set in some style.

 

Cue a massive ovation from the packed throng, unaware that a huge electrical storm was raging outside the venue, they raised the roof and back came the band to return to 1971 for the mighty Slark, the assembled Thrashers out-singing the band on the ‘choruses’. Out came Glenn’s trombone again as Mutter invited us to Do The Stanley one more time and we all went potty. With the 11pm curfew looming, the DJ put the music back on but a mass of stomping Thrashers started up a chant of the Slark riff and refused to quit until the band emerged again for a glorious blast through Dora The Female Explorer, pumped along as ever by Mutter’s bluesy harmonica. Then it really was over as the band took a final bow and left the stage triumphantly. We wandered out into the lashing rain with little care and our burdens eased again for a while, as we pondered on the miracle that is the rejuvenated Stackridge, a truly unique band who stand alone in survivors from the sixties as that rarest of phenomena, a band with a forty year history that is still reaching fresh, creative peaks. A miracle indeed!

AlanD
Back to Top
moshkito View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 04 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 5548
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2009 at 14:44
Hi,
 
It wasn't the first time they have referenced The Goons ... there is another line in another song ... "the Goons never got such applause ... " in the Mr. Mick album.
 
I wish I were a rich maniac ... I would have been there in a second!
Back to Top
AlanD View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: August 28 2008
Location: Portsmouth
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 135
Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2009 at 06:34
Hi Moshkito
 
The Goons loomed earlier in the Stackridge lexicon, check out the bizarre After The Tetracycline from the band's most radical, progressive period of late '73 / early '74, an inspired mix of the Goons, Bonzos and Zappa! Much of the stuff from this era didn't receive an official studio recording, including the amazing McGregor and that most majestic of instrumentals, February In Shropshire, but the band are still considering giving some of these lost gems the studio treatment they deserve. The new album, A Victory For Common Sense is a masterpiece though - check it out!
AlanD
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.69
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.203 seconds.