Tag Archives: staines riverside

THE ALI MAC BAND — Live in Staines

Original Birdman ALI MACKENZIE with his renegade pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll talent — Strawbs drummer Richard Hudson, Glitter Band bassist Bill Phillips, and Renaissance guitarist Simon Bishop — form the ALI MAC BAND.

They play good-time rhythm and blues, replete with soul-thumping harmonies and the tightest musicianship you are ever likely to witness.

We saw their sold-out show this February 16 at the STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB.

Their perfectly handled recreations included many favorites from the American soft-jazz songbook ( like Little Feat’sWeed, whites and wine…” flavoured ‘Willin‘ ) and teasing blues pieces like Willie Dixon’s provocative “Hoochie Coochie Man” or intelligently voiced soul-hits such as Eddie Floyd & Steve Cropper’sKnock on Wood.”

THE ALI MAC BAND - the tightest musicianship you are ever likely to witness... Photo Credit @neilmach 2017 ©
THE ALI MAC BAND – the tightest musicianship you are ever likely to witness…
Photo Credit @neilmach 2017 ©

In the mid sixties THE BIRDS were the biggest rhythm and blues act in London.

They appeared on TV’s Ready Steady Go and released four hit singles including the Holland-Dozier-Holland number “Leaving Here.”

That Birds song went onto inspire Lemmy’s Motörhead [Leaving Here was their debut single — 1977.]

Famous for their vocal harmonies and exciting live performances THE BIRDS came close to becoming as big as THE WHO.

They first ventured onto the scene in 1964 as The Thunderbirds but decided to change their band-name to The Birds to avoid confusion with Chris Farlowe’s band.

But when “America’s answer to the Beatles” aka the folk rock band THE BYRDS entered the UK Singles Chart with “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965) the British BIRDS were forced to take action to defend their “trading” name.

Surrounded by an excited buzz of media coverage, the BIRDS manager began to take legal steps to prevent the American upstarts from using their name. But the court favored the Los Angeles “Byrds” and by 1967 the British band had faded.

Ali McKenzie was the original leader of that particular ensemble (voice and harmonica) along with Ronnie Wood (guitar) Tony Munroe (guitars) Kim Gardner (bass) and Pete McDaniels (drums).

At Staines, Ali Mac’s band — understandably — distanced themselves from the compositions of Dylan and McGuinn. Instead they played some lasting rockabilly hits (such as Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and Big Boy Crudup’s “That’s All Right”. )

With Simon’s effervescent guitar playing, Bill’s adventurous and tight bass and Hud’s precise rhythms, it was a night of class entertainment.

Ali’s remarkable vocal work — his mastery of tension and release — and controlled use of vibrato, was truly astonishing. It’s not often we witness vocal skills of this quality.

Another stunning show at Staines…

Support the RIVERSIDE CLUB and keep LIVE MUSIC alive…

Words & Pictures: Neil Mach 2017 ©
Link: https://www.facebook.com/StainesRiversideClub

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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/
SUPPORT LOCAL LIVE MUSIC

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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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Chris Dowling And Friends — Live at Staines Riverside Club

The talented front-man of the Brainchild band and the ‘Eccentric Party’ candidate Chris Dowling has a huge repertoire of great songs. In fact, he is well known in the community as a “one-man jukebox”.

Chris never fails to amuse and entertain us at the Riverside Club and he is a great friend of this precious Staines venue.

This week Chris brought a few chums with him to play a session at this town’s most wonderful club. Chris did what he does best… He played a rough jam with his musical pals.

Chris never fails to amuse and entertain us at the Staines Riverside Club...
Chris never fails to amuse and entertain us at the Staines Riverside Club…

His smoky voice (reminiscent of Tom Petty or even Dylan) was emotional, if not particularly lively or animated. Maybe he was tired after his recent political campaigning.

But his guitar-playing was, as usual, excellent. And, although there was no proper set-list or rigid structure for the show, it was a pleasant and agreeable performance nonetheless. And a great way to spend some time.

Favourite numbers, for us, included Bolan’s “Life’s A Gas ” from the T Rex album Electric Warrior (1971 ). It was sung passionately and convincingly by Chris and in memory of our beloved Cilla, whose funeral was this week.

We also enjoyed ‘The Joker’ originally performed by the Steve Miller Band. It was fun-filled yet retained an edge. And the emotional Mike d’Abo number “Handbags and Gladrags” was also popular. This was made famous by Rod Stewart (first) and then the Stereophonics (later.)

Swinging songs, gritty rock ‘n’ roll numbers and urban blues. A slice of musical fun for a Thursday night.

Words & Images: @neilmach 2015 ©

Nigel Bagge at Staines Riverside

It is unusual, even in the refined atmosphere of Staines Riverside Club, to see an audience so entranced.

But last night’s concert by Nigel Bagge (with Mike Piggott as special guest) was an amazing experience.

These two exquisite performers, ably assisted by their wonderfully competent band-mates, created a hot-pot of deluxe blues-based sounds that were absolutely delicious and hypnotically magical.

Guitarist and smoky-voiced singer Nigel Bagge began playing professionally back in the 1970’s with the folk-rockers ‘Lamplight.’

After a decade ‘doing other things’ he came back to music in the 1990’s when he was involved with the Mighty 45’s  – supporting both Angela Brown and Philip Walker.

Nigel Bagge - Russet vocals and liquid crystalline guitar flourishes...
Nigel Bagge – Russet vocals and liquid crystalline guitar flourishes…

He also collaborated with heavy-metal singer Nicky Moore (who took over vocal duties from Bruce Dickinson-in the hard-rock band  ‘Samson’) going on to form, with him, the ‘Blues Corporation’.

Since then he has worked with Peter Green, Chris Farlowe and Miller Anderson, as well as fronting his own band.

The professional career of violinist Mike Piggott also began in the early 1970’s – playing guitar with soul, blues and reggae bands throughout the London scene.

It was while he was on tour with ‘The Bone Idols’ that he met Stéphane Grappelli – and his love for jazz violin began to grow.

He temporarily replaced John Renbourn (Pentangle) on their 1985 album ‘Open the Door’ and he also worked with Bert Jansch.

Mike was nominated in The British Jazz Awards 2012 for his violin play.

Mike Piggott - Ever-trilling violin breaks...
Mike Piggott – Ever-trilling violin breaks…

This fine ensemble played a wonderful collection of songs at Staines, some taken from Bagge’s own catalogue. Others were familiar covers.

Numbers like Dylan’s 1971 classic ‘Watching The River Flow’ went down extremely well with the crowd.

Those smudged, russet vocals from Nigel contrasted compellingly with the super-smooth delivery of the liquid crystalline guitar flourishes. And,of course, augmented by Mike’s ever-trilling violin breaks.

One of our favourite numbers was the cover of John Hiatt’sThe Tiki Bar Is Open” – this was cheeky,  cheerful and efficient. Pulling together some exhilarating bass-work ( from Grant Tunbridge) and an incredibly articulated violin.

This was a quality show, From beginning to end. With a host of blues ‘n’ jazzy sounds that reminded us of Mark Knopfler, Dylan and Wishbone Ash – all playing together at a “Tennessee County” jamboree!

This concert was a uniquely paced.

A sweet-toned and truly melodious experience.

Thank God for the Staines Riverside Club

Because this show opened up our minds!

Images and words by @neilmach 2014 ©

Links:

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Riverside-Club-Staines/675514245797621

https://www.facebook.com/THENIGELBAGGEBAND

http://www.mikepiggott.com/

5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Heavy Classic Rock Masters – in Staines

Netherworld at Staines

Netherworld Nov 28 2008      8:00P Staines Riverside Club     Staines £3

Fronted by the awesomely talented Jason Stretch on vocals and guitar, backed by the brilliant bass playing and vocals of Paul Smith and the dynamic drumming of Ian Roberts, NETHERWORLD ROCKS. Covering the best classic rock songs known to this planet, this three-piece bring their wealth of professional talents together for this new project.

Previous gigging and recording credits include ; Bad II The Bone, British Lion, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden),Hal Lindes(Dire Straits) Neil Murray(Whitesnake,Black Sabath) Reload, The Dhogie Band and Phil Mogg (UFO).

You will not fail to be impressed by the superbly tight musicianship of these three heavyweight players

Links

www.myspace.com/netherworldrock

Also check them at:

Nov 29 2008     8:00P The Cardinal Wolsey     East Molesey Surrey
Nov 30 2008     6:00P The Dog & Partridge     Middlesex, London and South East
Dec 5 2008       8:00P Ye Old Swan     Burnham, Berkshire,

2.

Big Rock/Punk Sounds – in Staines

Her Enemy


HER: ENEMY Nov 27 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin *with nixa*     Staines £3


Links

http://www.myspace.com/herenemy


3.

Hot Dance – Latin and Jazz – Live at Ascot

palenke at Ascot

Palenke      Saturday, 29th November  8:45P   Jagz Ascot £8

Columbian band with a passionate Latin repertoire. Back by incredible popular demand, Adrianna and her fellow Salsa partners are back and ready to shake Jagz from its very foundations! Palenke, Londons leading Latin American Dance band, was born in 1990 to the collective talents of Fernando Suarez – Kinacho and Lisandro Zapata from Colombia. Both are highly professional performers and are widely experienced in the Latin and Jazz scene. The Bands eclectic repertoire is passionate, dynamic and eminently danceable: from the characteristically hot blooded tempos of Cuban Salsa and Brazilian Lambada, the traditional folk rhythms of Colombian cumbia and Dominican Merengue, to the latest Caribbean Reggae and universally popular Spanish style Gypsy Kings.

Saturday, 29th November
Show will start at 8.45
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub

Links:

http://www.palenke.co.uk/

4.

Smooth Jazz Piano at Ascot

John Donaldson Quartet

John Donaldson Quartet Sunday, 30th November    Lunchtime     Jagz Ascot

The winner of the piano category at the 2006 British Jazz Awards

Jazz gigs began when he was a student in 1978. He was part of the Cambridge Modern Jazz Club’s resident trio, backing visiting guest soloists in the city. In 1980 he won the prize for best soloist at the San Sebastian International Jazz Competition.

In 1982 he moved to California . He worked there and gigged with local notables including Eddie Henderson, Red Holloway, John Handy, Richie Cole, Paul Jackson and David Baker as well as working in groups alongside Larry Grenadier, Jeff Ballard, Donny McCaslin, and Louis Romero.

Since returning to England in 1993 he has worked with many of the leading musicians on the British scene including groups led by Iain Ballamy, Art Themen, Clark Tracy, Alan Barnes, Don Weller, Dick Pearce and Norma Winstone.

Sunday, 30th November
Show will start at 1pm to 3.30pm
Ticket cost: £6.00
Special – entrance and roast lunch £12.

‘With remarkably little publicity or fuss John Donaldson has emerged as one of Britain’s most exciting jazz pianists with his own distinctive style’
Dave Gelly. The Observer.



5.

Top Unsigned Act of  the Year- at Staines

Nixa at Staines

Nov 27 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin *with HER:ENEMY*     Staines £3

“One of the top 10 unsigned acts in the UK”
Metro National Newspaper

Rock / Tropical

Nixa are rock. They’re here to remind you that despite reality TV, plastic indie tat, the cult of celebrity, and production-line pop, ultimately it’s still all about the music. They write great songs, and have a lot of fun while they’re doing it – and that’s their manifesto. Fundamentally, they just love music and want music to love them back, and as a result they have so many riffs that they’re currently being investigated by The Monopolies Commission. Multi-layered and yet accessible to anyone who’s ever felt adrenaline surge through their veins, Nixa songs combine addictive melodies, intertwining vocals, riotous screaming, ferocious guitars, pulsing drums, and dirty bass to create an energetic morass that climbs the walls and rips the roof off. Nixa was born in the summer of 2006 after a massive gangbang involving Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Soulwax and Death Cab for Cutie: the custody battle still rages…

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/nixaspace

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