22 November 2007

Arthur Brown and Nick Pynn on top form

Earlier this week I went to the 100 Club on Oxford Street to see Arthur Brown supporting The Pretty Things.

I like the venue because it is fairly small and it feels like the band are playing in your front room. The stage is low and there is no barrier so you can get right up close. This also makes it good for taking photos!

As with the other Arthur Brown gigs that I have been to recently, the only accompaniment came from the multi-instrumentalist Nick Pynn. But he does more than just play a range of string instruments, he also does some amazing things with his feet that, for example, enable him to record himself playing one instrument then to repeat that recording as a rhythm track while playing another instrument as the melody.

I was pleased to see that the set was opened by Nick playing one of his own compositions while he was on the stage alone.

Arthur Brown performed a relatively short set of established songs, I think that he performed all of them at the ICA earlier this year, but that did nothing to lessen the magic.

I use the word "perform" deliberately as Arthur does much more than just sing, if that was all there was to it then I would just sit at home and play the CDs.

Hopefully this picture shows the drama that Arthur puts into his performances. This was particularly evident during that old crowd-pleaser from 1968, Fire which he preceded with Fire Poem.

Other very old songs played were Spell on You and Devil's Grip (his first single from 1967 reprised on the new album). We also had the title track from his current album, The Voice of Love, and another old song reworked on the album, the classic single Kites that was a hit for Simon Dupree and The Big Sound also in 67.

Arthur Brown is a must-see performer which is why I am seeing him again next week :-)

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