This was my first visit to the beautifully and tastefully renovated Royal Hall in Harrogate. It was also the second time that I have seen Show Of Hands live, but sadly the first since 2009! I promise I won’t leave it that long next time. My knowledge of folk and roots music is not vast but I do know a great band when I see one and Show Of Hands are undoubtedly a truly brilliant band. They are “not too folkie”, they are multi-talented musicians with an intelligent way with lyrics and their self deprecating humour and between-song banter is first class. The core band consists of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer and was formed in Devon more than thirty years ago. Folk singer and double bass virtuoso Miranda Sykes has been playing with Show Of Hands for more than fifteen years. In addition to that dynamic trio, they are now accompanied by an amazing and award-winning bodhrán player and percussionist for the current shows; Irishman Cormac Byrne.
There was no support act, rather inventively we were treated to a series of duo performances; Phil & Steve, Steve & Cormac, Miranda & Steve, Phil & Miranda, Cormac & Phil, and Miranda & Cormac! The sparseness of the music in these settings was beautiful. This is a group of musicians who really know how to use the space between the notes. Phil Beer’s guitar skills are extraordinary and he can move from straightforward folk to some rocking acoustic blues. Steve’s voice is close to perfect and his passion is evident in the way he sings. Some of the new songs, from their 2019 album, are a strong addition to an already magnificent set. Especially “Dreckley”, which is a Cornish word for later in the manner of mañana but not as urgent, and “Battlefield Dance Floor” which is about how soldiers used to party the night before a big battle. For me, the most beautiful song of the evening was the inspirational and empathetic “You’ll Get By”. That will be on my playlist the next time I get really down or depressed, it will provide a gorgeous spiritual lift. The cover of the late, great Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” was true to the Canadian raconteur and was among the most well-received of the evening. My favourite song on the night was probably “Santiago”. There were sing-alongs aplenty, the most rousing was probably the Show Of Hands classic “Cousin Jack”. All in all, this was a great musical evening and worked incredibly well even for a generally non-folkie like me. If you love good music you really need to check this band out if you haven’t done so already! There are still plenty of shows left on their Now We Are Four Tour 2019 (see the poster above), go and treat yourself!
All the photos were found via Google searches. The videos were all found on YouTube. If any of the pictures or videos are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know.
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So on to the second day of what is shaping up to be a great Latitude Festival. The second day was kicked off for me on the BBC Music Stage by the 60 strong Suffolk choir; Pop Chorus. This was just a small subset from the whole choir group which has circa 300 members. It was a remarkable set from what I understand is an amateur choir group. Conducted by a talented choir mistress their five-part harmonies gave an almost church-like feel inside the tent. Their repertoire included songs from Alt J and the Killers among many others. Next it was a short hop to the Obelisk Arena for the former Howling Bells singer Juanita Stein. Her sound is rooted in 70s west coast US rock and modern-day Americana injected with a strong sassy twist.
Festival Shadows – Photograph by Andy Golborne featuring, from left to right, the shadows of Andy Golborne, Rachel Vernelle and me 🙂
UK rapper Piers James was a big hit with the Lake Stage crowd. He inspired some very highly spirited moshing, which is something you don’t see too often at Latitude. I would say he is clearly a fan of Dizzee Rascal, Kanye and Outkast although he takes those sounds to another place with some beats that would have graced maybe some Warren G tracks back in the day. The BBC Music Stage swung to some sweet, bright, summery, indie pop from Alvvays. There is an exquisitely dark undertone to their songs. Alvvays are a sumptuously sounding band who were clearly enjoying themselves. I really wasn’t particularly impressed by Parquet Courts on the Obelisk Arena Stage. They have some excellent which at times come across like Jonathan Richman backed by the Doors. A gloomy and surly bunch who on this showing are not as big as their hype suggests.
Irish band Whenyoung stormed the Lake Stage all guns ablaze with a set of banging tunes. I love the attention to their stage image, with the band members wearing coloured jump suits/ overalls which had the band’s logo on them. Festival organisers please give this merry gang a bigger stage next time. There was a volcanic level of rumour and speculation about who the surprise guest would be; names bandied about included Snow Patrol, Ed Sheerhan, U2 and Madonna among many others. However I was bitterly disappointed when it turned out to be that well-known Oasis tribute act Liam Gallagher! I feel that perhaps Liam is very much a Marmite act these days, people either love him or loathe him, for me it is the latter. Having seen Oasis twice, Beady Eye twice and Liam solo at the Leeds Festival last year I believe that he is way past his best and that he is desperate for an Oasis reunion. (Eight out of the thirteen songs he played were Oasis songs).I hope that never happens, but some of the grown men in tears at Liam’s appearance on the BBC Music Stage I am sure will have a very different opinion to mine.
Jessie Ware is a true diva, but in the sense of her performance not in her behaviour. Her tight and talented band gave her a perfect bed for her soulful pop vocal style. This was the perfect soundtrack for a sunny late afternoon at the Latitude Festival. Along with my good friends Rachel and Mac we also enjoyed some hilarious people watching. Thank you to the stoned dancing bloke and to the impractical parents who not only did not master how to put up a child’s play tent, they also managed to break it! Cardiff rockers Boy Azooga seemed to be having a party on the Lake Stage. They were enjoying themselves immensely and rightly so. They put in an awesome performance and engaged perfectly with the audience. I understand that we were their biggest crowd yet. If these boys don’t go on to bigger things then I will have to eat my Festie Cowboy hat!
My festie hat with tiny Trump hands attached as a small protest at the Mango Mussolini’s UK visit. Will I have to eat the hat because of Boy Azooga?
I was lucky enough to grab twenty minutes of Mogwai’s BBC Music Stage set. It was full on prog power psyched up to maximum levels. Possibly one of the best bands the UK has ever spawned. Today the Obelisk Arena Main Stage headliners were the Killers and pardon the pun, but the killed it! Brandon Flowers is the consummate front man. He knows just how good both he and the band are and they totally understand what the crowd want. All their best songs were there; “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine”, “Human”, “Mr Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” and many others. Around halfway through their set none other than Liam Gallagher swaggered on to the stage very briefly. He prattled some utter bollocks and walked right off before the Killers played a decent version of the Oasis classic “Acquiesce”. I heard from a very reliable source that Liam was supposed to share vocal duties on the song with Brandon, but he clearly couldn’t be arsed, or at best he couldn’t remember the lyrics! The Killers delivered in spades they are one of the most entertaining bands around. I rounded off the night in the Music and Film Arena for the Trojan Sound System band. They played some wonderful reggae tunes to help celebrate 50 years of the iconic Trojan Record Label.
Let me make a very bold statement right at the start of this post. Right now I believe that this is almost certainly the best gig I have ever seen in just over 44 years of gig going, it is a close run thing with Bowie at the Phoenix Festival in the 90s, but Frank just about shades it. In fact I have now seen Frank Turner more times than I saw David Bowie, I saw the Dame ten times. Including one show with Million Dead I have now seen Francis Edward Turner eleven times. The majority of those were at Reading and Leeds Festivals. For me he just seems to get better every time that I see him.
This show, at the venue where the Who recorded the classic live album ‘Live At Leeds’ was stunning. Frank and the Sleeping Souls powered through a non-stop barrage of excellent tunes with incredible energy and soul. They were on stage for just about two hours. If anyone in the audience was disappointed then they must have been really unwell. The mix of songs ranged across Frank’s career with “Worse Things Happen At Sea” and “Nashville Tennessee” being my particular favourites from those early days. He played both of these along with “Ballad Of My Friends” during an emotional acoustic interlude in the middle of the show.
The show kicked off with the rousing and anthemic “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” and after that he had the crowd eating out of his hand and singing along to everything. It is great to see how quickly the newer songs have begun to sound like Frank classics in a live setting; “The Next Storm”, “Love Forty Down” and “Glorious You” to name but a few. The latter is my gig buddy for the nights favourite, good choice Rachel!). But the older classics hold even more power and emotion especially three of my favourites; “Photosynthesis”, “I Believe” and the one that always brings a tear to my eye (and yes it did that night), “Long Live The Queen”.
There was the obligatory circle pit, at my age I am sad to say that I sidestepped that. Crowd-surfing, with a particularly excellent performance by Frank’s friend Steve during “If I Ever Stray” and from Frank himself towards the end of the night. There was a repeat of the stupendous wall of hugs as opposed to the wall of death and yes I do believe that everyone hugged a stranger, I certainly did. Frank gave a big shout out to some causes close to his heart, notably Safe Gigs For Women. His sentiments are the same as mine on that one, like why the fuck should we need an organisation like that in 2016? I don’t know why, but it is wonderful that they do exist. All of this adds to the feel of a Frank Turner crowd being a real community.
At one point Mr Turner played an electric guitar and not one of his familiar acoustics. He said that whenever he did he felt the urge to play a riff and boy did he riff well. I recognised it but can’t quite place it, I reckon it sounded a little Satrianiesque. The Sleeping Souls as y=usual were on top form too; Ben Lloyd (Guitar and mandolin), Tarrant Anderson (bass), Matt Nasir (Keyboards) and Nigel Powell on drums. The talented support acts also made an appearance in Frank’s set. Felix Hagan came on to play the harmonica break on “I Still Believe” and Esmé Patterson sang the Christa McAuliffe lines in “Silent Key”. That song gets better every time that I hear it.
Finally there was the usual who is the best crowd on the tour competition and up to Leeds it was bizarrely Reading the night before who had been best. Did we beat them, well obviously we did. But on top of that the usual chant of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire” accompanied by fist pumping was changed somewhat when Frank had us all replace the fist pumping with jazz hands and of course we all did just that. It was possibly one of the strangest things that I have ever seen at a gig, but very bloody funny too. I don’t know quite how many gigs that I have been to, probably not as many as Frank has played (this was his 1,988th show) but as I said earlier this is the greatest gig I have ever seen. Thank you Mr Turner!
Public Service announcement: All the pictures are via Google searches, no way was I going to take any with my phone and spoil this magnificent gig and the same goes for the videos which are all from YouTube.
On Saturday I had yet another opportunity to attend a live show from my favourite all-girl punk band the Tuts and obviously I wasn’t going to turn that down was I? The Tuts were the third and headlining act in the musical close to the Leeds Ladyfest. This festival exists to promote and celebrate women in the arts. The first part of the day included some very successful workshops I’m told. I was only there for the music and more of that later. The venue was the rather excellent Wharf Chambers in Leeds, this co-operative pub/ venue has the potential to become one of Leeds’ best small venues in my opinion. I understand that money raised from the event would be going to charity. One of the recipients will be Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL). This is an organisation that I know a bit about thanks to my friend Rachel Vernelle who is a passionate supporter. If you wish to contribute to SARSVL or indeed to help fund Wharf Chambers the links are above.
Anyway on to the music. The first band on were Demitaves. Three people, one acoustic guitar, some basic percussion and harmonies to die for. The well rehearsed vocals were reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at their best. The band also had some excellently written and performed songs. The acoustic cover of Britney Spears “Toxic” was a highlight. In my opinion if you cover a song you should make it different from the original and for this cover it was definitely mission accomplished. So would I go and see the Demitaves again? Of course I would and so should you if you get the chance!
Next up were Chambers a two-girl duo who told us that they had only been together for two months. If I heard that part correctly then they really were bloody good! A complete contrast to the close harmonies and largely a capella sound of the Demitaves it would be fair to say that Chambers rocked hard. Would it be a cliché to say that Chambers rocked the (Wharf) Chambers? It would? OK I won’t then. These women have a very heavy and very loud sound and are closer to heavy metal than any other genre for me. They only played three songs, but on the strength of that I would certainly check them out again given the chance.
Finally it was my chance to see those fabulous Tuts once again. This is the third or fourth time I have seen them and it would be very fair to say that they have got better every time. They have a great set of songs “Tut Tut Tut”, “Dump Your Boyfriend” and my current favourite “Worry Warrior” among many others. The Tuts are nothing like either of the other bands on the bill which for me makes for a brilliantly varied and interesting evening. It would have been nice to see more people there but it was a fabulous atmosphere and great show from Nad Tut, Bev Tut and Hat Tut. They even managed a crowd invasion at one point with Nadia and Harriet bringing their guitars and microphones onto the floor in among us punters. Jen Doveton off of Colour Me Wednesday also joined them on stage for one song.
Their UK tour is over now, the last show was in Manchester on Sunday. However the big news is that they will be treading the boards in the UK again very soon, in the early part of 2015 in fact. If you’re a Tuts fan you’ll already know this, but the girls are supporting the legendary Selecter on their UK tour! Check below for the dates. This came about after Pauline Black saw the Tuts thunderstorm interrupted Glastonbury set in June this year. I will definitely be there at the Leeds Brudenell show in 2015. If you haven’t yet checked out the Tuts I want a letter from your parents explaining why!
Finally take a look at the latest video from the fabulous Tuts!
Once in a while you are presented with the opportunity to see a band that you have listened to a lot but have never really made the effort to see play live. I had a lucky break as my friend Andy Golborne’s partner Rachel was unable to attend a gig by the truly splendid Counting Crows. So I became the lucky owner of her ticket and went along to the O2 Apollo in Manchester last to see the band. This was the first time I have seen them but Andy has seen them on many occasions.
The support was provided by Lucy Rose a 23-year-old singer songwriter from Surrey. She has previously provided some vocals when recording with the Bombay Bicycle Club. She strikes me very much of a young Joni Mitchel but with even more jazz sensibilities. Her band is tight and very talented. To me there is almost an undercurrent of some of the better aspects of prog Rock in their delivery. The exposure of touring with Counting Crows can only enhance her profile and I would definitely see her again. In fact I would like to apologise for missing her at last years Reading Festival.
The Counting Crows. What can I say? Probably that they are even better live than they are on record and I do believe that their recorded output is bloody good! I can’t believe that this is the first time I have seen them in concert. Adam Duritz mentioned that he had woken up in the morning with a sore throat but that did not seem to mar his vocal performance which was brilliant. it did mean that we missed out on some of the story telling introductions that he often does when playing live. But that was a very small price to pay. The crowd was made up of mostly hard-core Crows fans. The bloke in front of me went nuts for almost every song and it looked like he had his kids with him, they also seemed to love it.
The band seems to really love what they are doing as well and this made for a stupendous all round performance which they enjoyed as much as the audience. I was really pleased that they raided their back catalogue excellently and didn’t stick with just the big hits; there was no “Mr Jones” for example. The band took to the stage to the sound of Bill Withers’ classic “Lean On Me” and left at the end of the evening to “California dreamin'” from the Mamas and Papas, to which Mr Duritz led us in a sing along. But obviously it’s what was sandwiched between those classic records that was most important. If I mentioned every highlight I would simply type in the set list! The first part of the show had excellent versions of “Omaha” and “I Wish I Was A Girl”.
The acoustic set in the middle of the show was beautiful, especially the arrangement of “Mercury”. acoustically this was accompanied by a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” and another Counting Crows classic, “When I Dream Of Michelangelo“. After that excellent trio the set kicked back into electric gear, starting with a rousing “Round Here”. The cover of Gillian Welch‘s “Look At Miss Ohio” was truly stunning and new arrangement (to me at least) of “Rain King” was a truly emotional experience. The encore included “Washington Square” and a gorgeous rendition of “Holiday In Spain”. are the Counting Crows the best live band I have ever seen? Not quite but they are definitely in my top 5 and I will certainly see them again. In fact next time I shall take the wonderful Catwoman (a.k.a. my beautiful wife Catherine) with me.
Please note that apart from the picture at the top of this post none of the images or films were taken by me.
Firstly let me say thank you to my good friends Andy and Rachel for getting the tickets for this gig. It was only Andy and me that attended though. I never took the opportunity to see Frank Zappa when he was alive although I know quite few people who did. Frank’s widow and his son Dweezil probably curate the Zappa musical estate better than that of any other sadly departed stars. Frank’s music is granted all the respect it deserves, especially when played by a band led by Dweezil. Some critics might say this is just a tribute band and whilst technically that may be true, how many other tribute bands actually share DNA with the original.
I have heard bands described as tight and very accomplished before, indeed I have used those very phrases myself. But this band go way beyond accomplished, it seems that every member is a virtuoso of sorts. Dweezil’s guitar talents are sensational, he is even beginning to look like his father. Overall they played for around two hours and frankly (no pun intended) I don’t think anyone would have complained if they had played on for another two hours.
As promised they began with a complete run through of Zappa seniors ‘Apostrophe (‘)’ album. Having listened to the album init’s entirety on my way home from work I would say it was pretty close to a perfect reproduction. It even included some excellent and supremely well synchronised video and audio of Frank. It was as if he was playing with them. Obviously that album is not two hours long; so they played some other Frank classics after the album was done.
Songs such as “Gumbo Variations”, “What Is The Ugliest Part Of Your Body” and a stupendous version of “Dancing Fool” where they even managed to incorporate a line or two from “Ghostbusters” Then there was a storming version of “Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?” which Dweezil said was inappropriately dedicated to all the ladies in the audience. As we left Dweezil was still sat at the front of the stage talking to fans and signing autographs; There aren’t many artists that can be bothered to do that these days are there?
This was probably one of the best gigs I’ve seen this year and I will definitely go and see Zappa Plays Zappa again in fact I will also check out Dweezil in his own right too. This date in York is the first of this UK tour so you still have plenty of opportunity to see them play. Get yourself along, you won’t be disappointed. You know it makes sense! But remember if the big freeze comes early don’t eat the yellow snow!
Please note that none of the pictures or video used in this post are actually from tonight’s gig. Sadly my phone’s battery died. To finish enjoy a couple of excellent Zappa Plays Zappa videos
The original picture at the start of this post was removed on 30th August 2021 due to copyright infringement.
Many of you know that Catwoman (a.k.a. Catherine Lee now Catherine Adamson) and I recently got married. As you might have guessed music did play quite a big part in the day, beyond just the choice of first dance. We chose a small but special group of songs for our guests to listen to while they were waiting for the beautiful bride to arrive and the ceremony to start. Those songs were;
We even chose the song for us to exit the ceremony room. That simply had to be “This Will Be” from Natalie Cole. We even managed a half decent jig on the way out of the room to that one!
We also chose a selection of swing type songs as background to the serving of champagne and canapés or as I like to say; fizzies n fod! The background music for the wedding breakfast (incidentally why is it called a breakfast when it’s not usually in the morning?) was carefully selected classic soul and Motown love songs. These two sets are included as a list at the end of this post.
Then of course it was time for the first dance, the title of which was also immortalised on my cufflinks for the wedding day. It had to be
the really beautiful Nick Cave ballad, “Into My Arms” Probably the only song I know that includes the phrase ‘interventionist god’ in its lyrics.
We hired a swing band for the evening; the truly excellent and very talented Chris Hilton Little Big Band. They did two sets of around an
hour each combining swing classics and swing arrangements of many other hits too. Their version of “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book was a real rocking party tune.
There was also a very special guest appearance after the bands first set. A long overdue set from the superstar DJs of the 70s ‘Bill
& Glen the Disco Men’ this was their first gig in more than 30 years. They had specially designed wigs and costumes. Well ok cheap T Shirts with their pictures on and tacky 70s wigs from the party shop. None the less the boys really rocked the joint with a storming set of pure 70s disco classics, many of which haven’t been aired in years. In case you were wondering, the Bill part of the team is me and the Glen part is my best buddy Glen Voisey. We went to Ryefield Primary School together in Hillingdon in the late 60s. It was my selection that managed to actually clear the dance floor though; personally in my defence I just feel that there was no one with enough class and taste to really appreciate the finer points of Mr Dooley Silverspoon’s amazing “Bump Me Baby” The full Bill and Glen set was;
“Boogie Nights” – Heatwave
“Get Dancin'” – Disco Tex And The Sex-O-Lettes
“Ain’t Gonna Bump No More” – Joe Tex
“Bump Me Baby” – Dooley Silverspoon
“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” – Sylvester
“Get Down Tonight” – KC & The Sunshine Band
“Rock The Boat” – Hues Corporation
“September” – Earth, Wind & Fire
In addition to all of this there were also two other musical related items on the day; one was a reading of the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Wedding Song” lyrics from the Planet Waves album. This was read by our good friend and wife of my best man, Caron Godbold-Derbyshire. (The other two readings were not music related but were superb none the less, so thank you also to Rachel Vernelle and Ruth Smethurst). The second of these musical pieces was a part of my speech at the end of the wedding breakfast. I wanted to do
something along the lines of what Peter Sellers did in the 60s with George Martin, when he recorded a version of the Beatles “A Hard Days Night” in the style of Laurence Olivier.
It took me ages to come up with the right song. I considered Kylie’s “I Should Be So Lucky” and “Love Is All Around” from the Troggs or Wet Wet Wet. But then the weekend before the wedding I saw Madness at the Reading Festival and I knew what song I was going to try in a Olivier style; it simply had to be “It Must Be Love”, and it was! I introduced that part of the speech as something Shakespearian, using some props; a cape and a skull. I kicked off with “Alas poor Yorrick…….” And then went straight into “It Must Be Love” in my
best Olivier style. I felt it could have worked really well or could have bombed completely. I think it went quite well, but obviously I would appreciate any comments from those of you who were there!
I should also add that my excellent Best Man, Mr John Williams also managed to include a little section from David Bowie’s “Heroes” in his speech!
Thank you for reading this far into what has been a rather self-indulgent post, but I hoped that you have enjoyed the music too. I would
also be interested to hear any stories you have of music used at weddings; be they your own or those of friends and family.
What a bummer, no one told us that it wasn’t fancy dress!
Last Friday I had the pleasure of accompanying the wonderful Catwoman to York Races. It was an evening meeting with six races. Obviously we pushed the boat out big style with really expensive tickets and a massive budget for betting. Well ok that was a slight exaggeration; the tickets were a free gift from our good friends Rachel and Andy who had bought them and were then unable to attend. Our betting budget was only massive if you consider £5 per race to be that size. We used a very scientific means of selecting which horses to place our wagers on. You may have used a similar method yourself, let me explain. All you do is pick a name that you like. That’s it, it’s really as simple as that! But science let us down and we won zilch, zero, nada, nothing! Although one of our nags was in front for most of its race, alas it was not there for the most important part, as in where they cross the finish line.
So in keeping with this being a music blog and all that I thought I would round-up a few horse related songs for your listening and viewing pleasure;
It was clear that our jockey didn’t have the experience needed, nor indeed a big enough horse!
Madness point to the winning post, but clearly none of our horses followed their directions
Apparently at many lengthy sporting events these days such as horse racing and Formula 1 there is often a musical act to close the day. It was Madness, the original Nutty Boys, who closed the show for us on Friday. I am so glad that Rachel and Andy didn’t give us tickets for Saturday as that held the delights of some former X Factor finalists and Lee Ryan off of Blue. The merest thought fills me with dread! Anyway, on to Madness, sadly I can only report that they were very professional, probably very entertaining and they played most of the hits. They even played “The Prince” a firm favourite of my good mate Jes Hyde, who was quite envious of me as he has been a big fan of the Suggs and the boys for many years. Why would I give such an excellent band a lukewarm review? well largely because the sound was bloody awful. I would go so far as to say that it was one of the lowest volume and poorest quality sound mixes I have ever heard at an outdoor gig. So let’s remember Madness in their prime to make up for it.
I had the pleasure of seeing a terrific new play this weekend at York Theatre Royal. It was called ‘Catcher – Before Chapman Shot Lennon‘. As many of you know, Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon was obsessed with J D Salinger’s ‘Catcher In The Rye’ The book was in his possession when he shot Lennon, in fact it is said that after he fired those fatal shots he sat down to read the book until the police came. I think he was obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the book’s principal character as well as with fame itself. Before he killed John Lennon he had previously been photographed with Stephen King and Bob Dylan amongst others. Click here to read a really strange and frankly highly unbelievable conspiracy theory that it was Stephen King that shot John Lennon. Personally I think this is complete and utter tosh!
Anyway, back to the play. It is believed that Chapman hired a prostitute and had her come to his hotel on the night before the killing. This woman has never been found and has never made herself known. The play is based on the conversations that Chapman my have had with his hooker in his room. There are just two actors in the whole play which lasts 75 minutes. Mitzi Jones plays the prostitute, both as her older self narrating past events and as her younger self in the room with Chapman. The way she portrays both characters is phenomenal, with just a few simple changes to her clothes and hair, which for me proves how talented an actress she is. Ronan Summers plays Chapman and he, like Mitzi, is brilliant. Very intense and he really seems to capture the potential madness and imbalance in Chapman’s personality.
Obviously as a music fan I was keen to see this play and I would like to thank Rachel V for booking it for us (Rachel, Catwoman and me). If you get the chance to see it you really should, I am sure you won’t be disappointed. You can read a couple of reviews of the play here; One in the York Press and the other from The Stage
In a bizarre coincidence I finished Nick Kent’s (a former NME scribe) 70s memoir ‘Apathy For The Devil’ the day after I saw the play and he mentions Lennon’s murder. He said that he had read a book which gave details of every Beatles session, quite a weighty tome I believe! He read it a few years after the murder and spotted a strange thing. Apparently in the early versions of “Come Together” Lennon opened his vocal with the phrase ‘Shoot Me’ George Martin changed this to ‘Shoo’ as allegedly he felt this would be more acceptable to the record buying public.
OK as this is very much a John Lennon related post here are three of my favourite Lennon songs
“Instant Karma” – Without doubt my most favourite Lennon song ever
“Whatever Gets You Through The Night” – Perhaps not his most popular song, but I loved it from when I first got the ‘Walls And Bridges’ album on cassette back in the mid 70s. Elton John also plays piano, organ and provides backing vocals on the track. This is a live version recorded at an Elton gig from Madison Square Garden in 1974
“Woman Is The Nigger Of The World” – This is taken from the underrated ‘Sometime In New York City’ album. The song is based on a phrase first coined by Yoko Ono in the late 60s to describe the oppression of women, which is indeed what the song is all about. The use of the word nigger had the song banned from many US radio stations. This clip has Lennon explaining the song to Dick Cavett