If you love classic rock ‘n‘ roll and a smattering of authentic blues, then it simply does not get any better than this … another wonderful night in the company of world-class musicians at The Staines Riverside Club.
The Good Old Boys are about as close to rock royalty as you can possibly imagine. Formed as a vehicle to play good ole’ live rock ‘n’ roll whenever the members were free from touring with their own bands, this amazing supergroup combines the talents of bassist Nick Simper (Deep Purple), lead vocalist Alan Barratt (Jo Jo Gunne), drummer Richard Hudson (Strawbs) and twin lead guitars Peter Parks (Warhorse and Fandango) and Simon Bishop (Renaissance.)
An evening with the Good Old Boys is always a life-affirming pleasure – and one not to be missed. To witness the union of these five great musicians is a joy and a privilege.
The two guitars work off of each with amazing speed and dexterity. The percussion is flawless – yet fast and exciting. And Alan still has the capacity to delight and amaze the audience with the quality of his supremely nuanced, gravel-laden voice.
We were treated to some familiar vintage sounds – Eddie Cochrane covers etc. But there were a lot of surprises in the set-list – enough to brush away any pre-conceptions about this veteran band. For instance, Hudson-Ford’s “Pick Up The Pieces” (1973) show-cased the exquisite voice of Richard Hudson. He still hits those high-notes with precision and clarity. Alan said, “That one was from way back … when he still had some hair…” But that was quickly denied by all the band (and most of the audience.)
I was pleased to hear Johnny Kidd’s 1960 number one hit “Shakin’ All Over.” It is such a great song, even though it may bring back painful memories for Nick. ‘The Good Old Boys’ did it great justice … playing the song with amazing gusto and maximum precision.
They introduce all their numbers with the proviso “This is our take on …” This means that they have worked hard to come up with their own interpretations and arrangements. Some of these guys have been in the business for over 50 years … for heaven’s sake. And yet they’re still working hard trying to entertain the audience with new ideas and new approaches to old songs. That is true professionalism.
‘Hush’ is a crowd pleaser (first performed by Deep Purple in 1968.) It starts with that low insistent bass that’s pronged and prodded by Nick… then we get a highly infectious clap-along rhythm coordinated by Hud. After this the whole band bursts into song. And they can all handle the harmonies. Amazing ! This number is a jamboree of colour and boundless energy.
Did I say boundless? Well, it certainly seems as if these ‘Good Old Boys’ have no limits! “Did you enjoy yourselves tonight?” Asked Alan. The crowd showed their warm appreciation with a roar of approval. “Because you can’t do any of this when you’re dead...” He added.
The finale was a rousing version of Peter Green’s “Oh Well” first recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969. “We are still into drugs … after all these years …” said Alan cheerfully. “But we would prefer a cup of tea!”
Thanks to the organizers at the fabulous Staines Riverside Club for another unforgettable night.
And thanks to ‘The Good Old Boys‘ for all the joy that you bring. We look forward to seeing you again. For many years to come.
– © Neil_Mach November 2013 –