Tag Archives: ry cooder

STEVE WHALLEY — Live at Staines Riverside Club

Here at AD PONTES we always said that STEVE WHALLEY is the zen master of cathartic liberation.

Steve Whalley – an interpretation that was incredibly perfect. Picture by @neilmach 2017 ©

There is no nonsense or schmaltz in his show, oh no!

He will tear your emotions apart before healing you with a frenzy of dramatic soul & rock numbers from the song books of heroes like Tom Waits and Dylan.

And at Staines Riverside Club last night, after an excellent start that included a stylish Leon Russell type “Youngblood” Steve tried some new material.

In fact he even produced a special guitar for the Ry Cooder number — Vigilante Man.

This is a dangerous tool ...” he alerted the audience. “I have to keep it set to stun, otherwise it will cause some serious damage...”

His interpretation was incredibly perfect. And although we know that Steve’s one of the best vocalists on the circuit, it was clear from this number that we shouldn’t underestimate his guitar skills either… His blues-picking and finger slides were remarkable.

Steve with Tat Whalley – Tat Whalley… ” he eclipsed my achievements many times” Picture by @neilmach 2017 ©

The incredible rhythmc finger-picking skills were evident again on the “Kingston Trio” style Bahamian folk song John B. Sails [aka Sloop John B.]

It was a sensational way to end a memorable night.

With his son Tat Whalley on bass (he eclipsed my achievements many times) and Bruvvers/Meal Ticket drummer Chris Hunt [he taught me everything I ever needed to know about music] this was one of the best concerts of the year.

And the amazing thing is that Steve suffered a nasty head-cold head all night long. And complained, often, “ I cannot hear a damn thing...”

We can’t imagine how good this would have been if Steve had been in ship-shape condition and didn’t feel “so broke up...”

If you missed the show, regularly visit the STAINES RIVERSIDE club for quality live music [every other Thursday] and most weekends. Please support your local live music venue.

Words & Pictures: @neilmach 2017 ©


PAPA GEORGE and MICKY MOODY — Live in Staines

Award-winning bluesman PAPA GEORGE and legendary guitarist MICKY MOODY played a live concert at the fabulous STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB on Thursday night. Rock vocalist and talented composer ALI MAAS joined them onstage as a special guest.

The duo played a selection of blues, rhythm and blues, soul and gospel songs that included some choice cover songs as well as a selection of Papa George’s own first-class numbers.

Songs like Little Feat’s “Sailin’ Shoes” had the crowd swaying along with its indolent lurching pace — the lethargic guitars and fervent passion of the lyrics penetrated every moment.

George’s fine picking on “You Can Love Yourself” ( by contemporary Delta blues artist Keb’ Mo’) was praiseworthy. As was the liquid bottleneck slide work from Micky.

Here George’s voice was wood-tar and old brandy seeing him perfectly capable of producing cream-hazelnut highs — husky-textured but sweet, sweet, sweet — from those incredible vocal folds.

Papa George at Staines Riverside Club — here with Ali Maas

Jesus on the Mainline”  ( Ry Cooder)  was finely picked.

This gradually evolving Gospel number is a crowd favorite.

Encouraged to sing, the crowd at Staines joined-in enthusiasticall with the good-natured call and response.

Who likes John Lee Hooker?” cried Papa George. There was a yell of support so the musicians launched into “Crawling King Snake.

This a delta-blues song from the 1920’s that is almost always identified with Hooker. George’s voice on the piece was curmudgeonly and appropriately raw — but the guitarists had a whole lotta fun with the arrangement when they stumbled upon Muddy Waters’ “You Need Love” [the precursor to “Whole Lotta Love”]

The dynamic interaction and interdependence between these two consummate guitarists — plus their whiskey ‘n’ dry voices, with velvet textures — along with a canny song choice and the highlight ALI MAAS appearance — meant that this was a night to remember.

Words & Pictures: Neil Mach 2017 ©

Link: https://www.facebook.com/StainesRiversideClub/


HALF MEAL TICKET at Staines Riverside Club

Meal Ticket were a country rock band that played the London pub circuit in the late 1970s. The Canadian performer Rick Jones wrote many of their songs.

Steve Simpson and Willy Finlayson played guitars (plus additional instruments ) in the original squad and are still going strong — now performing together in the band-project known as ‘HALF MEAL TICKET.’

Willy takes center stage and plays acoustic rhythm guitar. He still provides most of the lead vocals, though ocassionally defers to Steve. Steve, meanwhile, takes on the electric lead guitar.

The last time we saw HALF MEAL TICKET at Staines Riverside Club they boasted the fabulous Nigel Portman-Smith on bass.

Now Nigel has retired from music, and we wish him well. In his place this Thursday was the esteemed blues bassist Malcolm Hoskins — a long-time friend and collaborator of Steve Simpson.

Completing this all-chordophone line-up was the excellent lead guitarist Dean Barnes. We last saw Dean in action performing with LIZA MARSHALL and the Smokey Turtle Band [reviewed here: https://staines.me/2016/06/03/liza-marshall-]

Half Meal Ticket with Steve Simpson [L] and Willy Finlayson [R]  — Image by @neilmach 2016 ©
Half Meal Ticket with Steve Simpson [L] and Willy Finlayson [R] — Image by @neilmach 2016 ©
The show kicked-off with the sensational Singalong classic: “It’s All Over Now.”

The band gave us motoring rhythms, jangling strings and the first fine harmonies of the evening.

Both Steve and Willy are passionate vocalists. Steve’s voice has dark amber gravitas with tobacco edges. Whilst Willy’s is less rough — more fervent.

Look Good In Blue” had scintillating guitar-work from Dean and an ‘Ain’t No Sunshine‘ riff. We spoke to someone who seemed convinced that this number was originally performed by the hard-bop drummer Grady Tate.

The show continued to be an exploration of truly great, but rarely covered gems. Such as “She Will Be Loved” [Maroon 5] and the Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson number “Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know)” which was made famous by Ry Cooder in 1980.

At times the band sounded very similar to Dire Straits. (With the two Knopfler-like guitarists duelling it out.) But HALF MEAL TICKET produce more “rootsy” tones than most pub rock bands and their renditions are filled with deep soul and meaning.

Although improvisations seemed scarce, with few ‘blowing’ guitar breaks, nevertheless it seemed obvious that the band were merely ‘jamming along’ at times. The lack of smooth transitions between songs and no obvious pre-agreed set-list made the show a little less polished than perhaps really necessary — although it was never actually chaotic.

As one observer put it, “Once they get going they are better-than-good… But it takes more than a while to get themselves into things …

The stand-out song of the second half was the Springsteen number “Hungry Heart” [originally written for The Ramones and recorded by The Boss in 1980.] Here the audience at Staines was encouraged to clap and sing along. Soft and kindred guitar lines were eased out by Dean and Steve and sparkled in the warm summer air.

This was yet another lovely evening at Staines Riverside Club spent in the company of some really versatile and thorougly entertaining musicians.

Words & Images: Words: Neil Mach 2016 ©






5 Things- This Week in Staines



The Bad Thing! In Staines

The Bad Thing- Staines

The Bad Thing, St Peters Staines May 24 2008

Alternative rock outfit The Bad Thing, inspired by bands such as Foo Fighters and the Buzz Cocks (albeit with a more experimental and progressive sound) used a simple lyrical structure that allowed lead singer Scatty to throw emotion at the crowd. They are a hard band to peg, with their revolving system of bass and rhythm guitar keeping the sound fresh and constantly changing. Their song “What Up World” was the definitive song of the set.

The Bad Thing (from Staines) are a tight, experienced rock n’ roll unit made possible by 5 young men with a passion for music.

Best thing about their gigs is you don’t know what you’re gonna get from ’em till you get there, they like to play to new people, we’ve songs of good times, bad times, songs about you and songs about me, so go down and take a listen, you never know, you might be humming their tunes on the way home

They’re also playing at the Purple Turtle in Camden Town on 22nd June in BoB Round 2. Cheer them on!

Scott Freeman: Guitars, Lead Vocals, Songwriter, Keys

Sonny Evans: Lead Guitar, Backing Vox

Tom Ridler: Bass, Guitar, Comparative Vocals, Keys

Pete Rawlings: Bass, Guitar, Vox

Harry Shakespeare: Drums

May 24 2008 8:00P St Peters Hall ELECTRIC Staines,



Go see Innocent Enemies at Hobgoblin, Staines

Innocent Enemies

Innocent Enemies- The Hob, Staines, 22 May 7:30P

Innocent Enemies are a four-piece indie rock band originating from the Hounslow area.

The band formed in 2004 and with only a few original songs and a couple of well known covers began gigging in local venues. Towards the end of 2004, the band decided to focus on original material and quickly recorded their first demo at No Stairway Studios, Teddington. The demo contained live favourites Angel Eyes, Is London Listening? and Cavalier. It was through this demo that Innocent Enemies were able to secure a gig at Camden’s Purple Turtle, where they headlined the event.

In late 2006 the Innocents decided to take a break in order to focus on other projects. However, in late 2007 the band reformed with new songs, a new attitude and a clear vision of where the future will take them.

Paul Nicholas: Guitar, Vocals

Dan O’Sullivan: Bass, Vocals

John Carroll: Guitar, Backing Vocals

Gareth Powell: Drums & Purcussion
Influences The Beatles, Oasis, The Clash, U2, The Rolling Stones, Stone Roses, The Smiths, Stereophonics



Go to listen to virtuoso slide guitarist Michael Messer

Michael Messer by Alan Messer ©2004

Michael Messers Second Mind Band, Jagz Ascot, , 23rd May 8PM

Michael Messer is a virtuoso slide guitarist who has one of the best bands performing some of the greatest blues tunes produced this century. His playing encompasses the entire history of the blues but is totally individual and contemporary. His use of turntables in the band adds a new element to the music and Messer’s haunting vocals ooze authenticity and integrity. The American magazine, ‘Spirit’ listed Michael as one of the greatest slide guitarists ever alongside Duane Allman and Ry Cooder.

Michael Messer was born in Middlesex in 1956. Throughout his childhood and teens he played rock music with his two brothers and in various local bands. In his early twenties, Messer spent time in Nashville where he had the chance to meet and hear
some of the ‘greats’ of country music performing in their home environment. These included Roy Acuff, Hank Snow and Johnny Cash. Back home in England in the late seventies, Messer was mastering the art of Mississippi delta blues slide guitar, buying his first National steel guitar in 1979. He began playing blues gigs, both as a solo artist and in various local bands in the early eighties.

The 2008 band:

Michael Messer – Vocals & Slide Guitar

Ed Genis – Rhythm & Lead Guitar

Louie Genis – Turntable

Jerry Soffe – Bass Guitar

Simon Price – Drums

Occasional shows – Richard Causon – Piano
Occasional shows – Matt Round – Bass Guitar & Upright Bass

With Michael’s soulful voice & brilliant slide guita playing; featuring the unique Louie Genis ‘scratching’ with ancient blues vinyl & Ed Genis on rhythm guitar, this trio rocked its way through one & a half hours of the best & most original blues I have heard in a very long time. Highly original, totally unique & very catchy.
A brilliant concert! [What’s On]

Also catch Michael Messer on Jun 14 2008 at the LONDON MUSIC SHOW, ExCeL,



Go dance to the sounds of a Big Band- Staines

The RHC Big Band- Staines Riverside Club- Poster by aDPontes ©2008

The Royal Holloway BIG BAND- Staines Riverside Club, Thu 22nd May £3

For more information on any of the ensembles or concerts at Royal Holloway, please visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/music/about-us/concerts.html or e-mail concerts@rhul.ac.uk.

Last year the band performed at the Frost Fair outside the Tate Modern

Instrumentation: saxes, trpts, tbns, kybd, gtr, bass, dr., perc., vocals

email: bigband@rhul.ac.uk.

Chuckle at the Terror of Pam Ann at 41,000 feet!

Pam Ann at Hayes

PAM ANN terror at 41,000 feet – Beck Theatre Hayes May 20 & May 21

May 20 2008 8:00P Beck Theatre Hayes

May 21 2008 8:00P Beck Theatre Hayes

Whatever happened to the golden age of flying? When ladies always wore heels and gents would smoke cuban cigars… and you could sit in the cockpit sipping champagne with the captain…before joining him in the mile-high club.

Now all you get is a long queue through security, a meaningless video presentation, a cheesy pasta meal you have to eat with a bendy plastic fork and a rude and rough looking ‘bird’ giving you the evil eye if you dare to ask for another pillow.

Pam Ann brings it all to you in this witty, sexy and very rude show … the highs and the lows, the good old days and the not-so-good present age of flying.

Pam has toured with Cher and Elton John and is described as ‘cruelly funny’.

Performed and written by Caroline Reid

To learn more click on Pam Ann’s myspace:




Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts