Tag Archives: Staines Riverside club

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.

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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/
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ALI MAAS BAND — Live in Staines

The excellent Staines Riverside Club is hosting a “Month Montage of Blues” — four Blues acts of high quality, hand-picked by the promoters, one for each Thursday evening during the month of September. You’ve probably seen the posters all around town.

This Thursday we enjoyed the Ali Maas band with Alan Glen and Micky Moody (guesting.)

The band more-or-less kicked off their set in Staines with Don Bryant’s song “99 lbs” (made famous by The Black Crowes — but actually first released by Ann Peebles in 1971.)

It’s a song-choice that reminded us that ‘Big’ Mama Thornton [she originally recorded “Hound Dog” in 1952] weighed a mere 99 lbs at the time of her death in 1984. This brings unexpected heartache to the songline: “Ninety-nine pounds of soul, oh, oh.

It is worth reminding ourselves that women blues singers like Big Mama, plus Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Lena Horne and, of course, “Lady Day” were among the most powerful and highest-paid entertainers of their day. These women ensured that the Blues remained a prosperous and potent art-form.

Ali Maas - wit and elegant passion in every phrase...
Ali Maas – wit and elegant passion in every phrase…

The soft-shoe number “Emotional Powder Keg Blues” was apparently written by Ali when she was going through a “bunny-boiler phase…” This number had pat-a-cake rhythms and expressive guitar-lines from Alan Glen.

One of Glen’s own compositions was the squelchy “No Time For You” whose rhythms and general 1970’s style reminded us of the bounce in “What’s the buzz?” That’s the song from the rock opera [Jesus Christ Superstar] that boasts the repeating percussive phrase: “Let me try to cool down your face a bit …

On the Alan Glen number the main voice from Ali was jazzy… With wit and elegant passion in every phrase.

The organ notes (Pete Whittaker) were talkative and blabby and delivered the goods along with guitar. This was a great number to introduce the skills of each musician. Roy Parsons’s bass was particularly memorable — a self-propelled jumble of electric jiggles.

After the break we had “Son of a Preacher Man” recorded by Dusty Springfield in 1968 but initially offered to Aretha Franklin. [Aretha turned it down, but her sister Erma recorded it for Soul Sister.]

Ali’s vocal performance reminded us of Dusty. She possesses a similar density of voice: with husky lows, followed by dashes to high places and heartfelt persistence when the song requires a big push. To sing the blues you need resolution and resistance. Ali has these qualities in abundance.

The"Million Dollar Sextet" here with Ali Maas [vocals]  Peter Miles [drums]   Alan Glen [harmonica]  Micky Moody [guitar]  Roy Parsons [bass]  Pete Whittaker on keys - out of shot
The”Million Dollar Sextet” here with Ali Maas [vocals] Peter Miles [drums] Alan Glen [harmonica] Micky Moody [guitar] Roy Parsons [bass] Pete Whittaker on keys – out of shot
Towards the end of this superior show in Staines Micky Moody came to the stage for the Muddy Waters number “I got my brand on you.” So, in effect, we had a “Million Dollar Sextet” in our club!

Who would not want to witness this incredible line-up and the resultant duel between the Yardbird’s blues harpist (Alan) and the lyrical guitar work from Whitesnake’s Moody?   And, of course, all this excitement was decorated with sweet care by Ali.

This was probably one of the best evenings we have enjoyed at this club.

Next Thursday Fran McGillivray (with Mike Burke) make their first appearance. Not to be missed!

Words & Images: Neil Mach 2016 ©

 

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THE LAVENS — LIve Down By the Riverside in STAINES

This week, Down By The Riverside in Staines, we were wowed by THE LAVENS family. They had journeyed all the way from San Antonio, Texas to entertain us at one of our regular BlueGrass Sessions.

Rachel Laven + Niko Laven - THE LAVENS Down By The Riverside in Staines. Picture: @neilmach 2016 ©
Rachel Laven + Niko Laven – THE LAVENS Down By The Riverside in Staines. Picture: Neil Mach 2016 ©

Brother Niko Laven, the tall singer/songwriter, accomplished guitarist and smooth vocalist possesses that calm bass-baritone voice you would probably associate with Johnny Cash.

[Check their orginal song ‘Shame On You‘ if you don’t believe us.]

Niko also provides a lot of vocal weight and drama to the LAVENS songs. There is a robust quality there that reminds us of Dan Tyminski.

Sister Rachel Laven is a whole other kettle of fish. Her vocals are cobweb thin and ephemeral at times. Yet, no less exciting and enchanting.

Her style sits part-way between the passionate fullness and delicate emotion of Stevie Nicks and the rootsy kookiness of Valerie June. But she is not a fragile little angel, no way. She has a cocky attitude that transfers itself into mischief with songs such as “Girls Do Too” — a.k.a the “Sh** Shower and Shave” song.

We’re not quite Partridge Family —” Niko admitted, after delivering a blatantly rude lyric (from his Mom’s song, would you believe?) It utilised the concept of travelling “a dirt track” during lovin’  (We’ll leave it at that… shall we?)

Joining this incrediblly talented duo on stage in Staines was Momma LAVEN — Jana. She provided backing vocals. “It makes your heart swell —” She told the Riverside crowd, “For a mother to listen to her own child playing a guitar solo like that … to one of her own songs.

Papa had to fly back to Texas, though. So we missed Andreas and his bass.

The Lavens and The Rosellys in Staines. here with Rachel Laven and Simon Roselly. Image: @neilmach 2016 ©
The Lavens and The Rosellys in Staines. here with Rachel Laven and Simon Roselly. Image: Neil Mach 2016 ©
However, even as a tight trio their songcraft was faultess, the delivery exemplary and the performance magical.

The wonderful English act, THE ROSELLYS presented us with a brilliant warm-up show, before they joined THE LAVENS on stage for a final rousing sing-song.

This band have been an essential part of the UK roots scene for years. With fiddle-play by Simon and intricately weaved vocal and guitar majesty from Rebecca.

This was a quality night of Americana Down By the Riverside.

With stand-out performances by two inspirational acts.

Thanks again to the wonderful STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB for hosting an evening of such memorable entertainment.

Words & Images Neil Mach 2016 ©

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/BlueGrassStaines/
https://www.facebook.com/BritishAmericana
http://thelavens.com/

 

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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 ©

Links:
http://www.willyfinlayson.com/
http://www.stevesimpsonguitar.com

 

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STAINES-UPON-THAMES DAY June 2016

This year’s fab STAINES UPON THAMES DAY on Sunday 26th June began with a successful performance by the talented SPELTHORNE YOUNG VOICES — a borough-based community choir, open to those of junior and senior school age, established in 2003 to promote and inspire young singers, as they prepare to develop good musical habits, discipline and musicality.

Shortly after, the Mayor’s Parade marched down the High Street. [Theme: Kings & Queens, to commemorate the 90th birthday of the Queen] with school children and community groups, dance groups and a marching band. This parade effectively opened the event.

As in previous years, there was plenty to see and do in the Memorial Gardens, and also along the River Thames, in the market square and on the High Street. With a Main Stage, more than three performance arenas, and an abundance of interesting & fun activities.

Folk, Blues 'n' Country outfit MOONSHINE ... One of several bands performing on STAINES UPON THAMES day ...
Folk, Blues ‘n’ Country outfit MOONSHINE … One of several bands performing on STAINES UPON THAMES day …

Local surf-punkers CHASING CARA [main photo] engaged the audience from the main stage with their high-energy antics, fast riffs and driving bass lines.

Other music came from the excellent Staines Lammas Band, the talented covers outfit SOUND MINED (their Elle King cover “Ex’s & Oh’s” was a treat) and lots more.

We headed towards the STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB too, for their free stage. Here we saw the splendid 6 piece Folk, Blues ‘n’ Country outfit MOONSHINE whose wide range of covers we particularly enjoyed.

Another stand-out attraction of the day was the Falconry display with First Class Falconry.

There were also some excellent dance performances in the Memorial Gardens, lots of interesting Arts & Crafts Stalls and Charity & Community Stalls, the exciting Dragon Boat Challenge and the wonderful duck races.

Staines Upon Thames Day - lots of interesting Arts & Crafts Stalls and Charity & Community Stalls, the exciting Dragon Boat Challenge and the wonderful duck races ...
Staines Upon Thames Day – lots of interesting Arts & Crafts Stalls and Charity & Community Stalls, the exciting Dragon Boat Challenge and the wonderful duck races …

Spelthorne Canoe Club and Surrey Canoe Club gave free Taster Sessions for those who fancied splashing about on the water, whilst French Bros organised hourly Boat Trips along the Thames.

The day stayed dry, the Thames Side Brewery served refreshing Ales & Pimms and the Pony Rides were busy all afternoon. And once we had taken in all the sights & sounds and the party-by-river atmosphere we found some tasty morsels to tempt us on the various Street Food stalls before heading for a well-earned cream tea in the Church Hall.

An exciting family fun day filled with joy and activities. It allowed us all to experience a real sense of community and belonging.

Link: http://www.stainesuponthamesday.co.uk/
Story & all photos: @neilmach 2016 ©

Dragon Boats and spalshing about on the River on Staines-upon-thames day
Dragon Boats and spalshing about on the River on Staines-upon-thames day

 

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LIZA MARSHALL with the Smokey Turtle Band

The country-music songwriter and guitarist Ray Peters usually fronts-up the talented Smokey Turtle Band with the excellent Dean Barnes on guitar and Hannah Cope on bass. But last night the good folks at Staines’s first-class Riverside Club were treated to the honeyed mellifluence of LIZA MARSHALL on vocals.

Liza’s voice is remarkable — husky with emotion it reminds us of early Carly Simon, but it also incorporates the trill and joy of Rita Coolidge.

Lynn Anderson was one of the many stars who covered “Drift Away” the song written by Mentor Williams. It was a good place to start. Liza’s voice was filled with cream and chocolate syrup for this. The song immediately delighted the crowd in Staines.

The Zutons creative number “Valerie” was super but most folk now contend that the Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse version is the “standard” recording of this high-bounce number. It was given superb balance together with tense and relaxed tones by Liza Marshall and the Smokey Turtles. Liza gave the song that same lively spirit and cool pop twinkle that we loved on the Winehouse variant.

Liza Marshall with the the Smokey Turtle Band vocalist Ali MacKenzie [inset]
Liza Marshall with the the Smokey Turtle Band vocalist Ali MacKenzie [inset]
Perhaps it is no surprise that Liza covered the Marvin Hamlisch James Bond number [with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager] — “Nobody Does It Better.”

Her voice is well suited to this type of vigorous hymn. With sexy cassis-flavoured low-notes, this number sent goosebumps down our spine and earned the biggest applause of the evening. Continuing this Carly theme, a James Taylor song was also covered.

An original Ray Peters song was performed with clarity and energy, and the set played out with a smooth rendition of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” the 1966 Motown Records number made famous by Marvin Gaye.

In the second half of the show we were entertained by special guest vocalist Ali MacKenzie [his ALI MAC BAND have played the Riverside Club, see here for review) and when Liza returned to the stage we enjoyed a sensual version of “When a Man Loves a Woman” a song that was first recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966. [Sledge died in April last year.]

The show was, more-or-less, wrapped up with the George Harrison number “Here Comes the Sun” — a song that was written not far from here, in the country house of Eric Clapton. Liza performed this as a solemn prayer of supplication (after a week of dark, cloudy misery) rather than the contemplative meditation that had been outlined by the “dark horse” back in 1969. The arrangement was moving and effective.

This was music of the very highest calibre, with some excellent guitar-work and imaginative, sometimes jazzy, development and paraphrasing of much-loved and familiar songs. All brought to brilliant life by a truly transcendent singer.

Words & Images: @neilmach 2016 ©
Link: https://www.facebook.com/TheRayPetersBand/

 

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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/