Friday, 27 April 2018

The march of time

Which line up of a band is the "right" one? A question of vital importance in some fans minds, especially so when it comes to Yes.

This week there are two bands calling themselves Yes. The "official" one with two long standing members, one who was there for a bit and came back, and two who came from tribute bands. Then there is Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman now also calling themselves Yes. Anderson & Wakeman have form here as they were in an off shoot in the 80s with Steve Howe and Bill Bruford called ABWH. Keeping up? Thought not, nor am I.

The legitimacy of line ups is an odd question, particularly as many of the heroes of the seventies are getting on a bit and may not always be up for too much touring. In an effort to top up the pension the few remaining "real" members recruit some new talent as band mates retire and hit the road. AC/DC lost their singer, and recruited Axl Rose to complete a tour. For me the picture to the right is all the reason you need why this shouldn't have happened.

In the end you pay your money (or not) and take your choice of continuing to follow these artists. Personally I have been to see Procol Harum (great), Robin Trower (struggling), and others over the last few years because the chance clearly won't be there soon. Others however, like Yes, Renaissance, and Steely Dan I passed on because it feels like time for them to finish as performances don't seem up to scratch or politics has got in the way.

To return to Yes there is still another version of the band that has justput out an album. This one has Downes, White and Howe from "official" Yes, the late Chris Squire on bass and Trevor Horn rubbing out the original singer on "Fly From Here", their 2011 album, and adding his own voice.  Now this one I am interested in. This lineup made my favourite Yes album "Drama" in 1980, which was at least partly written by Horn & Downes in Buggles mode. The 2011 version always sounded like the singer (called Benoit David should you care) was following a guide vocal by Horn, and I gather he was. So my order is in and we will see what the difference is. Watch this space...

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Who said print was dead?

It’s Record Store Day 2018 so I’m going to talk about music magazines.Find it on my Linkedin feed HERE

Monday, 2 April 2018

Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric

A while ago I talked about some artists who you should know about but probably don't. Here's another two.

I have followed Amy Rigby on and off for a good few years. I joined the party with "Til the Wheels Fall Off" which contains 'Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?' a typical Amy song with pointed lyrics over a subversive sounding slide guitar based backing. Moving from there to "Little Fugitives" featuring 'Dancing With Joey Ramone' a song you need to hear now...

Convinced yet? Her new album "The Old Guys" has just come out and is one of her best. The themes have moved on with life, but the words remain to the point. She also writes a mean blog, and should write a book. She has recently toured the U.K. so like me you missed her, but she did a BBC session. Find it here during April 2018. The comparisons to Randy Newman, Paul Simon and Carol King are not wide of the mark.

Backing her on the tour was her significant other, Eric Goulden, better known to the world as Wreckless Eric. They have three duets albums to their name the best of which is "Two​-​Way Family Favourites". Eric also has a new album coming out and if it matches his last "AmERICa" then it will be well worth your time. Eric's voice was one of the highlights of the punk era for me, and it is still there, again the themes have grown up, but the music remains as it always has been, excellent. You haven't missed Eric's tour dates. See you at The Thunderbolt in Bristol on May 18th.

Wherever possible the album links are all to Bandcamp pages. This really is the best way to support the artists as they get more of your money than buying from A****n, which means they get to make more albums and we get to buy them.