Tag Archives: Les Binks

Live Review of BROKEN BONES in Concert at Staines

A group of friendly Norse Warriors showed up at the Staines Riverside Club this Friday for BROKEN BONES — the famous local hard rock band that emerged from the skeletal remains of the London Rock Legends BAD II THE BONE.

The Norsemen were eager to see the rock trio that includes Ed (on guitar and lead vocals) Smiffy (on bass & supporting vocals) and Les (on drums) — they play plays 1970s and 1980s Classic Rock.

The grunts and screams of the visiting ‘Vikings’ confirmed my suspicion that they were there for a bit of “Priest.”

The band’s drummer has played with Eric Burdon, Roger Glover, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, and Ronnie James Dio. But he is probably most famous for his work with Judas Priest.

The Staines club could have been busier — Friday night rock night is a new venture for the Riverside club who have been reacting to the generally glum mood in the area — felt & expressed by many — about treasured local music establishments closing. Live Music fans need to come down and support nights like this if they they want to help keep places running. There will be no use grouching and complaining when “all the venues are gone…” if we didn’t at least do our bit and support them… Right?

Broken Bones pack their superb shows with well-known cover songs like “Wishing Well” (Free) and “Hey Joe” (the traditional song, made famous by Jimi Hendrix.) We loved their energy and their drive. Their sounds are dark and muscular. And the trio are quite able to handle big and complicated hits like Deep Purple’s “Black Night” with dignity and power. The special treatment that Smiffy gave this song, on that low-line of bass, was pure delectation.

Broken Bones - dark and muscular
Broken Bones – dark and muscular

After the break, the second part of the show was also strongly exciting …

The 1973 Joe Walsh number “Rocky Mountain Way” was a pleasure. Rough cut yet handsome. With excellent, high-strung and edgy vocals and incredibly skilled drum work.

The trio managed to deliver two sweltering hot Skynyrd numbers too — “Sweet Home Alabama” and the show finale “Free Bird .” Both interpretations were bold. But they hit the spot.

An audience member told me, during the course of this final number “If you’re going to cover this song with only three musicians, then the guitarist had better be bloody good …. And My Oh My — this guy is one of the best I have ever heard…

Yup! The well-respected local axe-man Ed Hudson certainly managed to convince all of us that there were twin lead guitars on stage!

Probably the most exciting cover was Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades”. Not surprisingly, the bearded and leather-clad ‘Vikings’ went mad for it. Most moved onto the dance-floor to really enjoy it. To move & shake their stuff. It was the heaviest speed-metal in the band’s repertoire… Oh Boy! What a reaction!

Unfortunately, we did not get any Judas Priest or Iron Maiden (maybe next time, boys … please squeeze one or two songs into the show) — but this was still a high quality night in one of only a handful of local live music venues left in operation.

There are a lot more amazing live shows coming up in Staines in the coming weeks…

Check Rocking Surrey  for up-to-date listings of all gigs in Surrey or alternatively  go to Lemonrock and search for Staines or Ents 24

Words & Photo: @neilmach 2016 ©

Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Broken-Bones/


BROKEN BONES — Live at Staines Riverside Club

BROKEN BONES has emerged from the skeletal remains of London Rock Legends BAD II THE BONE.

The remaining trio play 1970s & 80s Classic Rock and are based in Hither Green.

The line-up includes Ed (guitar and lead vocals) Smiffy (bass & vocals) and Les (on drums).

We saw their exciting live show this week at the comfortable and
excellent Staines Riverside Club.

Sadly, the place was only half-full. Which is a pity, because rock fans missed out on a very special night.

There is something about Ed Hudson that reminds us of Joe Walsh...
There is something about Ed Hudson that reminds us of Joe Walsh…

Broken Bones started their show with a series of well-known cover songs —

”Wishing Well” (Free)  and “Hey Joe” (the traditional song, made famous by Jimi Hendrix.)

Then the 1968 number “Hard to Handle”  (made popular by the Black Crowes) and the Deep Purple hit “Black Night” (with that bass-line famously nicked from Ricky Nelson’s version of  Gershwin’s “Summertime”.)

After the interval and the mandatory raffle, the band returned to the stage with renewed zeal and
. They seemed altogether sharper, more vibrant and

So the second part of the show was powerful and exciting

The hard-rock numbers transported the Staines crowd to dry creeks, cattle drives and ranch-house heroes of cow-town America. We could almost smell the sagebrush on the Chaparral. It was an enjoyable and impressive experience.

Broken Bones logo
Broken Bones – Filled with most authentic guitarwork we have experienced this side of the Arkansas River….

We thought there was something about frontman Ed Hudson that reminded us of Joe Walsh.

Perhaps it was his humble attitude. Or his
everyday working approach to his music. He is a highly adaptable musician and a talented showman. Yet he is no show-off. And the nose & the whitened teeth… and that gritty tone of voice… That really clinched it.

So, it was no surprise, really, that the band tackled the 1973 Walsh number “Rocky Mountain Way”.  It was as rough edged and
magnificent as we expected.  Sandpapered with excellent vocals and filled with most authentic guitarwork we have experienced this side of the Arkansas River.

Drummer Les likes to remain unrecognized. So we will respect his
desire for modest anonymity. Suffice to say, though, that he is one of the best heavy metal drummers in Christendom.

And scary looking Smiffy on bass-guitar reminded us of a bearded Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep in The Mummy Returns.) But his devilish bass-playing more than compensated for his diabolically cursed appearance and those wide-staring eyes.

Somehow, Broken Bones managed to deliver the sweltering heat, magnitude and grandeur of “Sweet Home Alabama”...
Somehow, Broken Bones managed to deliver the sweltering heat, magnitude and grandeur of “Sweet Home Alabama”…

Once, we were once lucky enough to see the ‘full’ Lynyrd Skynyrd show…

It was incredible. There were seven core members on stage, plus two further touring members and additional backing singers plus assorted ‘Frynds.’

In fact, we remember that there were 13 musicians

Somehow Broken Bones (a trio, need we remind you) managed to capably deliver the sweltering heat, the
magnitude and sheer grandeur of “Sweet Home
” to the delighted Staines audience.  It was not a sketch or a parody. No, it was the full-blown thing!

But, above all, this band are suitable for bass-heavy songs — created for  trios and by trios. So, everything from Jimi Hendrix Experience, ZZ Top and Motörhead is fair game.

It is not often that we have had the opportunity to enjoy Lemmy’sAce of Spades” at the Staines Riverside Club. (Actually, we think that most bands would not dare.)  But Ed and his team (with Smiffy on lead vocals) had the courage to pull it off.

Now we are gonna blow your minds…” Announced Ed, before the
thunder began…

And you know what? That mega-heavy speed-metal number went down very well!  Generating enthusiastic applause, dancing in the aisles and, overall, a growing sense of crowd excitement.

After the show, as two mature ladies left the club, we saw them
happily smiling…

One said to the other “Wow, that was a really exciting!  It was just what we needed...”

We couldn’t have summed it up any better!

Words & Images: @neilmach 2015 ©

Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Broken-Bones/

Kindred Spirit Album Launch Show — Whitton

If you live in the North Surrey or West London areas and you like to come out and support live music once-in-a-while, then it is almost certain that you will have seen Elaine Samuels and her band Kindred Spirit playing live. Elaine is simply the hardest working music-maker on our local scene — playing regular concerts throughout the area. A real asset to the community.

And last Saturday night — 18th April — was Elaine’s special night. Because it was the launch show for Kindred Spirit’s new album “Phoenix Rising”.  Held at St. Augustine’s Church, Whitton — with money raised from the concert going to the wonderful local charity “Homelink”.

The show started with a Fleetwood Mac cover to loosen things up… then right away we went into the first track of the album titled ‘Kindred Spirit.’

This had mellow beginnings that grew magnificently into vibrant reflections. It was a clever composition and, right away, we knew we were in for a great evening.

Gavin Jones - impressively talented
Gavin Jones – impressively talented









Second track ‘Life is a Circus’ was one of our favourites. It was poppy and totally clap-along enjoyable.

The acoustics of the church were not entirely favourable for the acute and often smooth-rolling voice of Elaine. But the instrumental accompaniments always hit-the-spot. With sparkling violin (and even creative pizzicato on at least one song from the impressively talented Gavin Jones) and astonishing flute and sax play (from the multi-talented Catherine Dimmock) plus reliable and poetic bass-play from Mike Hislop (he also provided smooth and efficient backing vox. )

Les Binks (best known as the drummer from Judas Priest) provided the artistic and well-balanced percussion.

At one point there were at least eight musicians on stage (many of the musicians who had worked on the recording had made special journeys to be able to join Elaine for this special night) and the pews were packed with delighted music lovers. It was a celebration of all the best things in life… Good company, wonderful sounds and a peaceful, sacred place to meditate on those things that we sometimes take for granted.

Elaine with the multi-talented Catherine Dimmock
Elaine with the multi-talented Catherine Dimmock







A high-point of the evening was “A Horse with No Name” (written, oddly enough, by a man from England named Dewey Bunnell) but made famous by ‘America’ for ‘America’. This song can also be found on the new album by Kindred Spirit.

Other covers included a lively and bouncy version of “Lola” (Kinks), which we appreciated, but mostly this was a night of self-written compositions. And creative excellence.

And so by the time we reached the rise of The Phoenix’ we felt proud and lucky to be witnessing this first ever public performance of the album in full. This song is an impressive number — complicated enough to be considered ‘Prog’ — but not intimidating in any way. It is easy to get into… And at St. Augustine’s Church it was a beautiful and harmonious piece.

Congratulations to Elaine and all of the band at Kindred Spirit — thanks for putting on such an excellent evening of musical entertainment.

And we wish you every success with this rather special new album.

Words and Images: @neilmach 2015 ©

Link: http://www.elainesamuels.co.uk/
Homelink: http://www.homelinkdaycare.co.uk


Evolution of a Phoenix

There is a certain regal oak named ‘Kindred Spirit’ … but for us
Kindred Spirit” means only one thing … the locally based five-piece, electric folk rock band that features the radiant and deeply moving voice of Elaine Samuels.

The band line up also includes Gavin Jones (electric violin) Catherine Dimmock (flute and sax) Mike Hislop (bass) and Les Binks (former drummer for Judas Priest.)

The band are about to release their stunning new album Phoenix Rising – and we have been watching the project unfold and develop.

Elaine Samuels - Voice is radiant and deeply moving...
Elaine Samuels – Voice is radiant and deeply moving…

We’ve been having a sneaky listen to some of their (yet unreleased) tracks currently being recorded @SkylineStudios by @JezLarder:

Opening song “Kindred Spirits” certainly contains the ethereal quality you might find in early Moody Blues.

It has that dramatic “Threshold of a Dream…” feel about it.

This has a soulful flute and intricate acoustic guitars that embroider the surface.

The finest crystal bell clear voice ripples seamlessly through the
vision … creating a sort of divine salvation.

Album Launch show - St Augustine's Church Whitton 18 April 2015
Album Launch show – St Augustine’s Church Whitton 18 April 2015

We also heard the jaunty number “The Phoenix” with its trotting pace and pizzicato strings.

The violin animates the piece (although it maintains a shaded heart.)

This song seems to be about facing all that is left … (in other words, the “Ashes” ) trying to make sense of them … before you can even hope to fly again.

Finality and sadness has to be visited upon us before we can hope of being re-born.

This song reminded us of Renaissance (the rock band) around their ‘Novella’ period.

It immediately draws the listener into enormous depths – the pay-off is complex, exciting and invaluable.

Book a ticket to the Album Launch Concert April 18th Here>> http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kindred-spirit-album-launch-tickets-15087938430

@neilmach 2015 ©