18 October 2014

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown sets Leamington Spa on fire

Arthur Brown was on something of a tour but, as the poster above shows, there were no London dates planned so I had to go a little further to catch him. As luck would have it I had a good excuse to be in Warwick/Coventry on 18 October so it was an easy matter to stop at Leamington Spa on the way home.

I was not sure how the day would pan out so I did not buy tickets in advance and I was thankful that my business finished around 5:30pm which gave me time to find the venue and a place to eat before the doors opened at 8pm. The place to eat proved to be the local Weatherspoons, the Jug and Jester.

I got to the Assembly Rooms just as the doors opened and bough my ticket. I was driving later but had had only one small glass of wine all day so I treated myself to a pint of Hobgoblin before the show.

The Assembly Rooms were an attractive building which is just was well as I had plenty of time to kill. I was not expecting a support act, I don't think that I have seen Arthur with one before, but there was one and they did not start until 8pm. They were sufficiently entertaining to help the time pass but really it was all about the wait for the main show that turned out to be at 9pm. By then I was thinking that I could have been home by then.

But that would have been a big mistake because Arthur was brilliant from the start.

The line-up was a surprise. Long-term keyboards player Lucie Rejchrtova had been replaced and while the substitute made a similar sort of sound he lacked the sheer exuberance that Lucie brought to her performances. There may have other changes in the rhythm section but I was not paying enough attention to work that one out.

Nina Gromniak was still there on lead guitar and that was good news. She always was good and seems to be getting better as she add more little tricks to her playing.

Despite the changes in personnel the sound was much as I remembered it from the previous show in March. It was very funky with a taste of the 60's on top, mostly from the prominent keyboards.

Angel Flame was there too to add her dance interpretations to some of the songs. The highlight was this outfit which was used for Fire.

The set was much as I expected, and hoped, though it was not a straight copy of the previous show that I saw. In addition to Fire there were also expected appearances by Kites, Spell on You and The Voice of Love but Devil's Grip was missing.

There was at least one song that was new to me but that was my fault for not buying his latest album, Zim Zam Zim, earlier, a fault that I have now rectified. I'll know the new songs better the next time I see Arthur which should be in early November.

Arthur did what Arthur does which is entertain mightily. He bounced around the stage, talked to the audience, changed his outfit several times (mostly by taking another layer off, it was like watching a Russian Doll strip), interfered with the band and walked in to the audience for one song, despite the significant barrier in the way.

It was a wonderful show (again) and I loved every minute. The sheer joy of it all more than made up for the wit beforehand and the long drive back to London afterwards. That drive meant that I could not stay behind and mingle but I did say hello to Angel because it would have been rude not to.

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown are like Chinese food, as soon as the concert is over you want another one. Hopefully it will not be too long a wait this time.

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