View Full Version : I like the Autumn

12-10-2003, 21:09:34
It means the concert season kicks off again.

This week I've seen Aynsley Lister (http://www.aynsleylister.co.uk/) on Thursday at Farham Maltings, and Keith Emerson and The Nice (http://www.keithemerson.com/) at The Anvil, Basingstoke.

Aynsley is a stunning blues guitarist, who has started moving away from the old blues covers to building up his own repertoire, and I think his presentation of his own work gets more polished each time I hear it, and more rock-orientated. Touring Germany, Switzerland and Austria over the next month or so.

I almost left the concert during the first half of Keith Emerson's gig at the Anvil: the sound was appalling - as if the speakers had been stuffed with socks filled with cotton wool, and then immersed in a vat of mud, and then there was that annoying buzz ... I have no way of knowing if I enjoy the music of The Nice (Emerson and the other two originals supplemented by a young lead guitarist) because I couldn't hear much more than enough to distinguish 'America' in the opening medley. After the break, the young guitarist was wheeled out on his own to do a pedestrian song of his own devising, which didn't exactly stir my soul. Keith then did some pretty good keyboard work on a grand piano, and the sound did seem somewhat better. However ...

Keith returned to his massive organ (pause for comic effect) installation - five keyboards and a humongous mixing/amp/patch panel - and introduced the return of the lead guitarist plus another couple of youngsters on the bass and drums. He then proceeded to play the whole of 'Tarkus', and followed that with 'Nutrocker', 'Fanfare ...' some of 'Pictures ...' and a bunch of other stuff which came across with a great deal more clarity than the opening half of the concert. The drummer and bassist from The Nice joined the emsemble on stage for the end of the session of ELP classics, and the concert ended with a standing ovation: something that I don't encounter too often in the sort of gigs that I attend. By the end, I was glad that I stayed, because my faith in one of my all-time heroes of rock had been restored!


16OCT03 - Ben Waters - Farnham Maltings
24OCT03 - Australian Pink Floyd - Basingstoke Anvil
25OCT03 - John Otway - West End Centre, Aldershot
30/31OCT03 - Musical Box (early-Genesis tribute) - Southampton Guildhall/Royal Albert Hall
07NOV03 - Australian Pink Floyd - Guildford Civic
08NOV03 - Uriah Heep, with guests Focus - Astoria
09NOV03 - Robert Cray - Guildford Civic
21NOV03 - Genesis G2 - Camberley Theatre

... should keep me going for the next month or so!

13-10-2003, 07:39:40
I like Paris in the
the springtime.

13-10-2003, 10:20:57
Autumn in New York....sigh

07-11-2003, 00:35:19
Well, I've crawled into my shell a bit over the last two or three weeks and missed most of the bands I've listed. However, yesterday I ventured out to Princes Hall, Aldershot to catch Peter Green's Splinter Group. These five veterans have the blues off pat, and the first half was an acoustic set centred on Robert Johnson staples. Now I like the blues, but I have to admit that the blues that I like is the British interpretation of the style, and these guys stuck to straight down the line Southern blues. It was really enjoyable listening to a bunch of excellent musicians having a great time but - all in all - once you've heard one blues song you have a pretty good idea of what the next one is going to sound like. Listening to a CD by The Producers in the car today was much more to my taste.

Each time I go and see them, Peter seems to come a bit more out of his shell. I have to stress that this mainly refers to his tendancy to talk into the ground when he is talking to the audience: when he is singing; on the mouth organ or playing guitar his communication skills are fine!

The second set saw the band move to an electric set-up, and split the material between original stuff that the Splinter Group has generated over the last few years, and the classics from Peter's time in Fleetwood Mac. More to my taste entirely.

(Chalk up four guitars and a drummer.)


Tonight, it was a spur of the moment trip to the Guildford Civic to see Wishbone Ash. After spending half an hour in part of the eight-mile queue along the Hog's Back/A31 caused by an accident that had happened in the morning (!!!), I arrived at the tail-end of the support act - Hurricane Party, I believe they were called. Now, I love heavy metal, but somehow staying in the bar to wind down from the stress of the traffic jam seemed preferable. Taking up a place a couple of feet from the stage, I joined in the rousing reception given to the band - and they did everything they could to reward us for it. After introducing the bassist who had stepped in to replace the regular band member who was prevented from turning out by illness in his family, they launched into classics from the 'Argus' album - which suited me down to the ground, because that's the only album of theirs that I really know. (I think this was constrained somewhat by the fact that the bassist had stepped in at very short notice, and 'Argus' was what he was familiar with.) For saying that, I thought he gave an excellent account of himself! He gave a strong underpinning to their rock performance based on a compelling guitar sound that can be exceedingly lyrical, but often builds into a powerful driving rhythm. I have to report that I was exceedingly happy to see Wishbone Ash again, and I'll keep my eyes peeled for the next time they are in the vicinity.

(Chalk up another three guitars and a drummer. Guitar heaven over the last two days!)