18 August 2012

Arthur Brown at the Half Moon

Every time that I see Arthur Brown in concert I am reminded why I keep going to see Arthur Brown in concert.

And this time it was even better than usual.

I arrived at the Half Moon in Putney with plenty of time to spare (I knew that there was a support band on but had no idea when Arthur would be on) and was at the bar getting my first pint when in trots the fabulous Ms Angel who invited Pete and I to join the others outside. The others included Arthur and the band and over the next hour or so conversations were had about the gig in a Soho cafe and, it had to be asked, the status of the Astoria DVD. It's coming.

Inside I managed to get a front-row spot just left of centre which gave an excellent view of Arthur and the band.

Arthur was font and centre with the band arranged in a semi-circle around him. The two ladies, Lucie Rejchrtova on keyboards and Nina Gromniak on lead guitar, occupied the two wing positions and the lads, Jim Mortimore on bass and Samuel Walker on drums, held the defensive positions at the back.

That left Arthur a lot of room to move in, which he took full advantage of.

The set-list was much as expected with most of the songs having featured regularly in his shows for as long as I have been going to them. There were the (very) old favourites like Fire and Devil's Grip, some more recent songs like All the Bells and Voice of Love and a whole swathe of covers like Kites, Misunderstood and Spell on You.

The late sixties set-list was mirrored by the late sixties sound mainly thanks to the keyboard sound. Think of Light my Fire by Doors and you'll get the picture.

Arthur did all the usual Arthur things which involves far more bouncing around the stage than you would expect from a man now in his seventies.

Lucie takes Arthur's lead and is almost as energetic. She is (mostly) tied to the keyboards and makes up for this limitation in her movement by playing on her knees etc, The one chance she gets to move is when Arthur picks up the keyboard and walks away with it dragging the still-playing Lucie with him.

Another touch of dramatics came from Ms Angel who made a few appearance during the evening, but nothing like as many as she does with Space Ritual where she is on stage most of the time.

As usual she had a different costume each time the most extravagant of which was a set of glittering bat-wings (though they probably have a more exotic name) that she fluttered with extended arms.

The final icing on the rich cake was meeting up with some friends old and new, such as the ubiquitous Melissa and big Hawkfan Martin.

Frankly, music evenings do not come much better than this. I just wish that Arthur got out a little more often.

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