With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Elkie Brooks – Barbican, York – Saturday 29th September 2018 September 30, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:16 pm
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I always prefer to arrive at a gig early, but for this one Catwoman (a.k.a my wife Catherine) arrived earlier than either of us had previously for any gig. We actually turned up at the Barbican on September 29th 2017, last year! I had booked the tickets in June 2017 and had wrongly assumed that the show was just a few months away! Anyway we finally made it in time and on the correct day! As a young teenager one of the many posters on my wall was of Elkie Brooks in full rock mode with Vinegar Joe on the cover of the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsies’ album. But it has taken me until now before I experienced Elaine Bookbinder singing live for the first time and oh boy was it worth it. She belts out her songs with that amazing bluesy rasp and at 73 years old she blows away many of todays young pretenders. The band all look like supremely experienced musicians and they prove that with an incredibly tight and sonically tight performance.

Elkie opened with “He Could Have Been An Army” from 1979’s ‘Live And Learn’ album and the crowd were clapping along to a military marching beat right from the off. Elkie is a magnificent interpreter of the songs of others and if Rod Stewart is the finest male interpreter of songs written by other people then Elkie is the greatest female at that skill by a country mile. The first half of the show included stunning soul workouts of “Do Right Woman, Do Right Woman” and “Warm And Tender Love” originally performed by Aretha Franklin and Percy Sledge respectively. She covered Rod Stewart’s “Gasoline Alley” and made it her own. Her performance of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” sent shivers down my spine and was among the best takes I have ever heard of that song. While many people consider “Superstar” a Carpenters song, and to be fair Karen Carpenter’s vocals on that track are heavenly, but the song was originally called “Groupie (Superstar)” and recorded by Delaney and Bonnie. Elkie’s arrangement of the song at the Barbican sounded much closer to the original version to me. Alongside that rather stunning collection of classic song covers Elkie also rocked out and poured her emotion into some of her greatest hits; “Lilac Wine”, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)”. The latter is a fine Chris Rea song, but let’s be honest, Elkie Brooks owns the tune now. The foundations of the building were rocked to the core with a very powerful performance of “Sunshine After The Rain”.

The second half of the show and the encore turned the volume and power up to eleven. An elongated “Pearl’s A Singer” saw the biggest audience participation of the evening for what is probably Elkie Brooks’ signature tune. It was written for her by a writing team that included classic rock n roll songwriters Lieber and Stoller and staggeringly is now more than forty years old! Among a lot of the oldies was a rather excellent new song, the theme from a new British film, ‘Finding Your Feet’. There were more covers too, Bob Seger was given a proper run for his money by Elkie on “We’ve Got Tonight”. But perhaps most outstanding for me was a very skilful run through of Prince’s “Purple Rain”. It is a brave move to decided to cover such a stone cold classic and Elkie clearly has what it takes to pull it off with great style. This was a fabulous night of entertainment from one of the finest vocalists Britain has produced!

This was the picture of Elkie Brooks that adorned my wall in the early 70s

Public Service Announcement: all photos were found via Google. Videos were all found on YouTube. If you wish to be credited for any of the photos or videos or would like them taken down please let me know.

 

“When we had simplicity and we had warm toast for tea” March 25, 2010


 

This is Ryefield School in Hillingdon a great place where I was a pupil from 1965 to 1970

Once again it’s been a long while since my last post, but not as long ago as the last time I attended Ryefield Junior School in Hillingdon. I was just a little boy called Billy in those days. I attended the school from 1965 until 1970 up until I was 11 years old. I discovered this week that it is Ryefield School’s 50th birthday celebrations this year, I hadn’t appreciated that I was just one year older than the school. One year and three days to be precise as it opened on January 4th 1960. So how did I find out about this auspicious occasion? Well I have mentioned Ryefield in a previous post and the present Headmaster Mr Dodd was doing some research and chanced upon my blog. Serendipity huh?

Anyway it got me thinking about those good old school days and for me Infant and Junior School was so much more fun than Senior School. I will remember Ryefield for many things. But the two that spring to mind immediately are the wonderful headmaster from my days there, Mr Yates. I don’t know much about him other than the fact that to me he was a wonderful man and although I didn’t realise it at the time he was probably my first mentor from outside my family circle. He encouraged me to learn by reading and indeed writing too. I also loved all those mental arithmetic tasks he set. The second thing that is in my mind about those years is my first ever foreign trip. It was a school trip to Paris and it was my first ever flight too. One of the things we were asked to do was write a postcard on the first day to send back to our parents. I did write my postcard, but I left it in my case and gave it to my Mum and Dad when I came home. I can only assume that they weren’t too worried about me

And so on to the music, for that is the purpose of this little blog. And obviously todays choices are all school related, I hope you enjoy them and as usual your school song suggestions would be welcomed

Schools Out – Alice Cooper. OK I know this was an obvious choice, but it is good isn’t it. For me it was one of the defining moments of early 70s music television

Remember The Days Of The Old School Yard – Cat Stevens. Just how talented was this man? Still just as talented these days now he is known as Yusuf. I believe the additional female vocal on this track is Elkie Brooks. Linda Lewis also recorded an excellent cover of this song, although sadly I can’t find it on line

Teacher I Need You – Elton John. A classic slice of Elton and Bernie from the wonderful 1973 album ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player’

Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This is accompanied by a photo montage that shows the Iraq war through the eyes of children

Don’t Stand So Close To Me – Police. Written by a former teacher, Gordon Sumner aka Sting and probably the only lyric which manages to rhyme cough with Nabokov, albeit it rather clumsily! This is the original version which is so much better than the 1986 remake

Be True To Your School – Beach Boys. This one says it all really doesn’t it and with added cheerleaders too.

 

 
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