Sunday, July 09, 2006
Hello all, a weeks sabbatical it was, but we're back. Firstly today, a review from Johnny Reece's trip to Ireland over the past few days, to see Roxy Music (twice), meet up with friends from all over the world who had also made the journey, and do all the usual tourist things. You have to, don't you ?
Further below, is the playlist from tonights Johnny Reece Show, broadcast worldwide by RTI (www.rti.fm) at 20.00 hrs UK time, and on Sky Satellite Channel 0195, and on various AM and FM frequencies throughout Central Europe. Enjoy !
Steve Lloyd PR The Album Zone
"Ireland, to be sure" by Johnny Reece
"So, here we are again".
These were the watchwords of the last few days. An oft repeated phrase by so many, each wearing the same smile. It was special to be back on the road with Roxy Music.
My own trip began on Wednesday lunchtime, in retrospect now, a little late, as it was all a bit of a rush.
But by mid afternoon Dublin time, the Clan Roxy had gathered in a city centre hostelry to revive friendships forged, oh, tours ago. Myself and... oh, too many to mention, but 'the usual suspects'.
More than a dozen of us prepared for the gig with the usual chat, laced with questions on what the new Band members would be like. And what of TGPT ? And how would Andy Newmark cope being thrown in at the deep end with barely 2-3 days catching up rehearsal time ? It can't have been easy. We know what we all wanted, naturally. A different beginning, other songs not heard for ages thrown in, blah blah. But the way it came together with the last minute TGPT factor, we all knew it couldn't quite be that way. No matter. Preceding hours spent in what can loosely be described as a Pub just around the corner from Vicar Street, the Clans gathered in an unruly queue, first outside, then inside blocking the Bar, as no, we were not prepared to miss our places against the front barrier, thank you very much. An eternity later, we were esconced at that very location.
All of us.What a marvellous thing it is to be able to lean forward and look left and right, seeing the faces of those pressed up tight against the front, and realising that you personally know every single one of these people.
This is our gig.
A lack of rehearsal time did show a little, but it was great fun. Lots of smiles onstage when anything did go a little pear shaped, and to be honest it added to the occasion. It was tough for Andy Newmark, but he got through it well, with not so much 'noodling' a-la 1982, thankfully. The new keyboard girl is obviously settling in, doing the basics, and the basics only. Time will change this. Hard too, as it was a very small stage, there was little room for anyone to move. New guitarists Leo and Ollie did well, the latter, we all thought, was up far too late considering he probably had to be back at school in the morning. We all noted he could be 12. But we all said that with affection. What a great player, and just how cool is it to have an 18 year old Guitarist in Roxy Music ?
Very, very cool, that's what. So pleased that Bogus Man and Pyjamarama survived the set from last time.
That made it for me. Surprised they continued with Prairie Rose, though. Great song yes, but it needs some work 'live' that one. And I can't quite put my finger on it, but Pyjamarama sounds empty - it needs more, ermm, not sure what. Balls is what it needs, if you'll excuse the expression. After the intro, it falls away a bit. All these things will change in time, I'm sure. What BF himself previously described as a 'problem number' in the past (due to vocal range more than anything else) was in, and I refer to More Than This. It was excellent. Very good onstage jamming between Manzo and 'The Kid' too, at various times during the evening. Andy on top form too.
On the whole, a few rusty edges, but marvellous fun, was how I would describe the first gig back.
Into the centre of Dublin later, to talk it all over with a few drinks (ok then, a lot) along the way.
Hunger kicked in, in the early hours, and all we could find was something that I think was called 'Eddie Rockets' which pretended (not very well) to be an American style Rock n' Roll Diner. Much to my displeasure, there was not a sign of even one roller-skated waitress called Candy, but that's life. Disappointed too that my selections from the table-top jukebox actually turned out to be totally different from what I selected, due to the management not updating the record cards. The Ronettes became Dire Straits, and The Crystals actually turned out to be Michael Jackson. Hmm. So, junk food a go-go, and we eventually settled back into our Hotel, in the early hours. Up at the crack of midday, and we went our separate ways - some flying, some on the train, and a few of us decided to drive. Cork, the destination. Our little squad was booked into a country house, a few miles outside the city. A stunningly beautiful old Georgian residence, with an achingly fabulous French Receptionist called Geraldine. Sorry, I digress.
A four year taxi ride to the Cork Showground later (despite being able to see the damn location across the river from our Hotel) and it became clear that we were, in fact, in the middle of a place which was called Bloody Nowhere. Grabbing some quick health food whilst we took our places in the queue (oh, alright then, Chips, Guinness, Chocolate) and the waiting game had begun again. This was a much bigger venue. Huge stage, and it must have been double the size of the Dublin gig. Within an hour or so, there we were again. All of us. Squeezed up against the front barrier, this time to be entertained by a support act which had clearly been transported by a time machine from an 80s pub directly to the stage in front of us. And that's me being kind.
A little after 9, and Roxy were there. More room to move, confident swaggers, better sound, smiles all round.
A hilarious moment when Andy Newmark started up Out Of The Blue, got about 4 bars in, then noticed he was the only one playing it. I think he had the previous nights setlist in front of him - it wasn't the second number anymore. But it was all a laugh, great fun. And he did play superbly, he really did, in what would have been a difficult time for him, with so little rehearsal. The Kid shone again too, as did Mr Mackay.
Manzo seemed quieter, somehow. However, Ladytron was blistering, fabulous. It was much more of a 'hits' crowd, this one, the ripples of feverish applause during the likes of Avalon and Jealous Guy were plain to hear. Yes, I know, that's not for us, the 1% hardcore. We would die and go to heaven if Beauty Queen or something like Would You Believe appeared, but what most of the rest of the crowd would think is a different matter.
Oh, to choose our own setlist, eh ? I'm sure we all have, in our heads. A million times over. And that's a good case in point. Would You Believe - about time that returned, it's been a long, long, long while, and it would be fabulous 'live'. So, Cork wins on points, by quite a long way. The ending was not for Roxy Purists like myself, as Let's Stick Together finished it off (it was on the setlist for Dublin too, but left out). Those damnable purists like myself only want Roxy Music songs, not Ferry Solo ones. Oh well. Having said that, BF appeared to walk over to Manzo and Mackay individually prior to this number starting up, appearing to ask if it was ok. They nodded. And it was what the crowd wanted. He should have asked me of course, although bear in mind you would then have got Beauty Queen, The Bob Medley, Grey Lagoons, All I Want Is You, etc etc etc... (hey, maybe that's why he doesn't ask me ! ). A fabulous gig. A really good time. The next step was to try to get back several miles into town, without the help of any taxis, from Bloody Nowhere. We got there eventually, to a Hotel Bar which was a major Roxy gathering. We were all there, reams of us. The Band were too. A quick chat with Guy Pratt, and a long chat with The Kid followed which was fascinating, as I just had to ask him his own fave Guitarists etc, fave Albums, all that anorak stuff. He quoted Jimmy Page, David Gilmour etc well ahead of Hendrix. He in turn asked us our fave Roxy tracks and Albums, and why they stood out for us. I did warn him that the hardcore crowd he'd been chatting to in the Bar were not the Avalon / Jealous Guy sort, and that all our opinions were horribly biased.
Later, oh god, much much later, a bunch of us retired to the Country Life, and decided we were hungry.
At this point I simply refuse to name names or divulge guilty parties as far as raiding their private kitchen at 4am goes, to feed our baying hungry mob. It would be highly improper of me to do so.
I mean, it probably might be 'the thing to do' in, say just for instance, Newcastle, or perhaps even Florida, but hey, who knows ? I of course simply refused to take part in any of these misbehaving shenaningans, and sat quietly in the corner, serenely drinking tea. I did however, partake of the Scrambled Eggs and Salmon on Toast which appeared in front of me just minutes later, though.
It would have been churlish not to, don't you think ?
And you know, the management didn't bother a jot. They seemed to like us Roxy Folk, which was nice.
A day off for most of us on the Friday, was spent taking a trip out to Blarney Castle, yes, you know, to kiss the Blarney Stone. I didn't realise at first you had to do this hanging upside down whilst about 90 feet in the air hanging from the Castle Battlements, or I may not have thought it was such a totally wonderful idea just minutes before. This may mean we may talk even more nonsense in future (if that is possible).
Home for me today from a torrential rain covered Cork, and back to base early evening.
Next up, Roxy in London, next Saturday.
This is, you know, just us getting into practice for next year.
And, here is the playlist from tonights Johnny Reece Show :
Burning Love Jumpsuit - Cheerleader
The Costello Show - Our Little Angel
Bonnie Jo Mason - Ringo, I Love You
Sparks - Hasta Manana, Monsieur
Rita Chao & The Quests - Hanky Panky
Moa - Memory Cloud
Mates Of State - Like U Crazy
Yellow Dog - Just One More Night
Chris Morris - Club News
Cyndi Lauper - Hat Full Of Stars
Panic At The Disco - Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
Ginny Arnell - I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear
Nancy Sinatra - Sugartown
Marc Bolan - The Wizard
Klaatu - Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
Liam Lynch - United States Of Whatever
Alan Price - I Put A Spell On You
Elton John - Tiny Dancer
Tom Verlaine - The O Of Adore
The Kinks - Celluloid Heroes
Kevin Johnson - Rock n' Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life)
Ezio - Moonburn
Teenage Fanclub - The Concept
The Real Kids - All Kindsa Girls
Del Shannon - Kelly
Roxy Music - Lover
Scotland World Cup Squad feat. John Gordon Sinclair - We Have A Dream