Sunday, October 23, 2011


Friday night starts off with an excellent quality show by The Ruts, live at The Marquee Club in London on July 19, 1979. 

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The main act late this evening was Electrafixion, an alternative rock band, formed by former Echo & the Bunnymen members Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant in 1994, joined by bass guitarist Leon de Sylva and drummer Tony McGuigan.  They were at the La Route du Rock Festival in St. Malo France on August 14 in 1994, the day after my birthday.  It was broadcast over the radio because the announcer would come on periodically and speak in French, interuppting the flow of the show.

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Saturday night staterd off with Television, their second night at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, CA on April 14, 1977. 

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Steve the Bunnymen bootleg archivest released a recording of his of a very recent show of theirs.  Echo and the Bunnymen at the London Palladium on September 26, 2011.  The band is tight and Ian is chatty with the audience who willing provides him with suggestions or comments that invariably bring on a witty reply.  At least when you can understand what he's saying, a difficulty for us folks over here in the states.  I still enjoyed the show of their clasic numbers, although I was stunned when they performed "The Fountain" from beginning to end.  I had commented to Will last May in Anaheim that Ian should do this, avoiding the usuals lame response when he beckons the audience to finish a line in the song, his way of gauging our interest in a particular number.

"If these whole-album playbacks are all about bloodless nostalgia, no one has told Ian McCulloch. During a lull in the title track of tonight's offering, Ocean Rain, he orders the bouncers to turf out a pair of chatty punters for disturbing the contemplative atmosphere."

"A jarring reminder, then, that Echo and the Bunnymen's frontman remains the bristling autodidact who brought swagger to an early-Eighties new-wave scene in Liverpool that already brimmed with characters. His band arguably reached their peak with the escapism and aching romance of this, their fourth album."

"Having already revisited Ocean Rain three years ago, and after recently playing earlier works Crocodiles and Heaven up Here, the band should now be about ready to disinter 1999's misfiring What Are You Going to Do with Your Life? Instead, they play two sets, opening with a mixed bag that takes in both ends of their career. Of more recent material, though, only a driving "Stormy Weather" can hold its own with an impassioned "Rescue", Macca's wracked vocal sounding better than his attempts at smooth crooning."

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Thank you Steve!

Sunday night was spent with Amy on the overlook with the mountain view at sunset.  The show was from the Astoria in London, UK from February 19, 2007.

"Amy Winehouse- brilliant rock and roll star, a voice like gloopy syrup and an bunch of songs that makes you weep with pleasure. Her jazz-tastic 8 piece band brought the songs from ‘Back To Black’ to life- the Brit award winning singer played to a packed house, closing the set with a surprise cover of The Zutons ‘Valerie’."


"Her eight-piece band are all suited and booted. Two jiving male backing vocalists keep up terrific dance moves to the right of the stage. A couple of brass players honk atmospherically on the left. The set is studded with red lampshades and ruched curtains, like some Prohibition-era jazz club. Winehouse arrives into this vintage set-up without fanfare and just opens her mouth and starts to sing."

"Her voice is a thing of wonder. Unlike all the ghastly, ululating soul manglers out there, Winehouse doesn't care about showing off her range. She just chews up syllables to suit her mood, reducing 'Addicted', her playful weed ode, to a kind of soulful Klingon tonight. Her rich, murky, weathered voice follows her instincts without effort or obvious manipulation. She is offhand, almost unpremeditated, crooning out 'Wake up Alone' in a waltz-time blur of words."


"Never the most salubrious of venues, the Astoria seems to have been transformed into a brothel for the night. Pearly-grey satin hangs in swags down the back of the stage, illuminated by red velvet lamps. It's a glorious setting for Amy Winehouse's impeccably suited backing band, who could have arrived here from the 1965 Motown UK tour. In fact, the only person who hasn't dressed up for the occasion is Winehouse herself. Beneath a vertiginous beehive she wears a greying T-shirt, faded jeans and trainers. Maxine Powell, head of Motown's finishing school, would be horrified."

"Still, Winehouse can afford to be blasé. It apparently requires no effort whatsoever to produce the seductive, furious vocals that last week won her the best solo female artist award at the Brits. Between songs, she scampers about the stage like a child; singing, she sounds decades older, reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, yet entirely herself."


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