Lucky Man lyrics – signed by Greg Lake

Supplied by Iain Cobby

Iain Cobby was saying this is from a gig at the Assembly Rooms Tunbridge Wells and the promoter was Jim Davidson!

David Miller… I like this song very much, but don’t feel that the ending synth section serves it at all. Lovely, nevertheless.

Sandy Max… It’s the Assembly Hall not rooms. Went to many a gig there since I was brought up nearby

Chris Pelling… I was at that gig too and was chatting with Jim Davidson about it only last month at Trading Boundaries, Fletching! I picked up a signed copy of the lyrics of Still….You Turn Me On at Tunbridge Wells. It was such an excellent show that I went to the Dartford Orchard Theatre gig three weeks later. Sadly, although we didn’t know it at the time, Greg’s final live performance in the UK was at the aforementioned Trading Boundaries in April 2013.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Beggars’ Gate Where Once Giants Trod cd

WHERE ONCE GIANTS TROD     Beggars’ Gate

Firstly thank you to Cliff Wootton for providing me with this album for review at last Fridays SMART meet.

Beggars’ Gate are Pete Cornford (vocals/guitar), John Farebrother (guitar/guitar vibesware/Ebow/ambient sound), Steve Harland (keyboards, synth, vocals), Cliff Wootton (bass guitars) and Jules Blake (sound engineer) and the band are based around Tunbridge Wells. I’m sure some of you will know these guys, for those of you who don’t then I urge you to make their acquaintance through this album. I have no wish to try and place the music they make into any particular genre, they have been described as prog/folk/rock, which is I suppose fair, however there are so many other elements at work here, classical, tribal, celtic, ambient are just some of the additional adjectives I would choose to use. The 10 tracks take you on a journey where all the aforementioned elements appear and samples and Gregorian chants also make well placed appearances. The liner notes written by Pete (who I assume wrote all the lyrics) start thus ‘At risk of sounding old fashioned, this recording was always going to be a concept album’. Which sounds slightly apologetic, well let me say there’s nothing wrong with a ‘concept album’ in my book whether it be from the early 70’s or the uneasy world of 2017 we all inhabit. Clearly this is a deeply personal and heartfelt expression for us to take a look at our past and where we might be heading. The crashing waves, chants and tribal drumbeats that kick off the opening title track immediately evoke a feel of ancestry and transport you to a Tolkienesque world of open wild landscapes and create a cinematic image in your head, well they did in this head, then sliding perfectly into the gentler ‘Orkney Stone’ a paen to ancient stones, with some excellent guitar (surely some Floyd influences here) and some damn fine piano. The first of two ‘instrumental’ tracks follow ‘Insolitude’ with a simple haunting piano over natural birdsounds works beautifully as a lead in to the celtic vibe of ‘Banks of Lindisfarne’. ‘Now The Road Is Calling’ has some, for me, of the best lyrics on the whole album and a fine vocal. However lyrically ‘The Walls Of Separation’ essentially a anti war protest song takes first place. ‘Protest’ songs can often come across as shallow and trite (not intentionally), this is far from the case here where the words ring chillingly true and certainly hit their mark and had me returning to this track more than once, a very fine song indeed. The magnum opus of the album I think goes to the final track ‘Sanctuary Gates’ which closes the album in epic form building as it does to a crescendo that fully delivers, and I suspect the band themselves know that.

As I spend the vast majority of my time reviewing national and international artists its a pleasure to have something ‘local’. I wish Beggars’ Gate all the luck with this release  and getting it out there to the widest possible audience to enjoy.

Til next time………..Colin

Alan Esdaile… Sounds GREAT. I’m playing it at the moment and also heard Sarah Harvey play it on her show last night.

Happy Birthday to Denny Laine – 29th October from Colin Bell.

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wings 1976 photo: http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com other photos supplied by Colin Bell

Colin Bell… I’d like to wish a big Happy Birthday today (29th) to Denny! Earlier in the week I wrote in the SMART Sounds review that 1967 was/is my favourite year for music. It was hearing Denny’s ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ played 5 times on the trot! by Johnnie Walker on Radio Caroline in April ’67 that made me want to get in the music business. It remains my all time favourite record. I always wanted to meet/work with him and in 1996 I finally got to interview him on the radio. We got on very well and shortly afterwards I was asked to supply the artistes for a festival in Tunbridge Wells. I duly organised Suzi Quatro, Peter Sarstedt and Denny to appear (amongst others). Denny put a band together (including some Rubettes members) and did a great gig. These photo’s were taken at the sound check where I attempted (and I do mean attempted!) to sing a few lines of ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ thus finally fulfilling a lifetimes wish. He’s a great guy and an amazing musician and still going strong in the States. Here’s to many more birthdays.

Alan Esdaile… Now if we could only find a recording of Colin’s version!

Mick O’Dowd… By the sound of things I reckon Colin might pay a king’s ransom to suppress it.

Colin Fox… I had a friend who was rewiring the Eastbourne Hippadrome when Wings were rehearsing there for their next tour, and Denny and other members weren’t slow in coming forward about what they thought of Paul McCartney.

Neil Steadman… I’ve got this track on a K tel compilation! It’s either on 20 or 22 dynamic hits.

 

Anti Nowhere League – 1983 promo shot

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PJ, Animal, Magoo, Winston and Gilly. 1983 promo photo

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and on tour Mark Gilham

All photos supplied by Mark Gilham

Jon McCallion… Worked with Chris At Mastercolour In Tun Wells

Alan Esdaile… Sold loads of copies of So What/Streets Of London singles before it was withdrawn.