Sunday, 29 October 2017

70 still buzzing

the wreck of the Brighton pier

The photo above was taken by Alan Obee in the evening before the show at the Real Music Club some weeks ago. I really like the photo very much. Thanks Alan. It was lovely to see you and Jude.

Quite a lot has happened since I last posted here. I went up to Leicester for a couple of days to hang out with Luke. Oxfam put on a series of pop up gigs across the UK and Luke had elected to play the Beeston gig not far from Leicester. After a short rail journey we arrived at the pub in time to see a young woman already playing her set. She was quite good but hardly any one was listening or paying her any attention at all. She battled on in a way that showed she is used to this. I am always slightly shocked by the volume of the loudest noise makers at these times. The people who, four pints into the evening, are speaking loudly enough for people to hear across a room. When the song is a little louder , sure enough the noise maker ups the volume to maintain the annoyance felt by any one trying to listen.

Luke followed a singing uke player who was not good but who had a weird factor that was interesting if just one small, unintentional step from being comedy. I stood watching Luke with a group of guys who had been at the Focus gig I had just played in Nottingham. To our right a group of people sat chatting very loudly as Luke went through his first couple of songs. I leaned across at one point and asked "why don't you make some noise". They calmed down a little and some left. Three remaining women sat still chatting but then Luke played his heart rending version of the Kate Bush song Running Up That Hill. The whole pub was silenced and from then they listened in near silence to the rest of his set and the applause grew with each song. A very satisfying evening and well worth the time spent.

Next day was Luke's gig he'd organised for the landlord of the Western Pub in Leicester. This was a great success on so many levels. Along with some very polished singer, song writer friends of Luke, I was the guest artist. I played just before Luke and had a great time. The pub was full and there were people in the beer garden that couldn't get in the room. I think Luke was at his best and played a longer set than usual, to a crowd that know his material and get where it's coming from. Some of us sat at the back singing along. That made me proud. All good.

Next was the Focus gig at the 100 Club. Sound check was a joy and they gave me longer than I'd had in Nottingham so that was cool. I had a chance to say hello to the Focus guys who seem to be a very friendly bunch. I got the chance to hear a bit of their set. Very clever but a bit lacking in emotion for me. I love the flute playing keyboard wizardry of Thijs van Leer and the other guys are very good but it's not for me.

I had a very nice time with a very European audience. Most listened and others chatted. Some how it didn't seemed to matter. Its always like that at the 100 Club even when you are the headline act. It's cultural. Ha!
There were quite a lot of Dutch people come to see their heroes and that gave things a nice flavour. It was my first solo performance at the 100 Club and it was nice to see a few friendly faces such as Shoreham Steve and Oxford Pete and co.

Next a trip to see Blade Runner 2 at the Waterloo Imax cinema. 
Grim, bleak, cold, cruel and raining. Gone is the exotica of the street markets with noodles to die for and creatures made in Labs. It snows or rains forever. It's so desperately sad when every one is a victim and essentially slavery, unfettered greed and it's wider philosophy are the causes. 

Visually stunning and dripping with class. A sound track that is almost minimalist but with massive dynamics and full of emotion. I have some criticisms of the sound track but I'll keep them to myself. You judge. Go and see what must be one of the great films of our time. 

Back in the room......I am working hard on my new album and enjoying having uninterrupted time to do it. I am really enjoying fitting together the pieces I have been working on for the last few years, since By Myself. 

I am also working on two online projects where the musical parts, vocals will be performed by several contributors remotely. The parts are individually recorded, at home for example, and then posted online from where the separate parts can be downloaded and combined into a finished piece. It is something I have wanted to do for some time now and to be invited onto some one else's project is very exciting and challenging. 

This year is nearly over already as the clocks go back and winter settles. I've had and survived my 70th birthday so now I look forward to the next adventure. 

Look after yourselves and each other.



Anonymous said...

Hi. Great stories. Hope to see you live soon. Lily.

edgar broughton said...

Thanks Lily.

alan in southampton said...

Good to hear a bit about Luke in your latest tale – He really is establishing himself - watch out!

Your experiences with some of the audience reminded me of the Family gig at the Empire almost a year ago.

We got into conversation before the show with a couple who had travelled down, by train, from Burton - on - Trent and were staying overnight in a hotel. We spoke about Family and I had to tell them we had actually travelled to see the support act, yourself of course, although I was also a fan of Family, a band I had heard and seen live as a teenager and followed for many years. They told me that they were excited to attend the “Last Ever” Family Gig. They were clearly unaware of the added Leicester date. I knew Burton wasn’t that far away from Leicester. I kept quiet.

Anyhow throughout your performance a group of about a dozen stood at the gallery at the back of the 2nd tier very loud and more “here for the beer” to the annoyance of those trying to listen.
Jude had been to The London International Horse Show at Olympia a couple of days before and a few weeks later we saw Ricky Gervais in Southampton.

My point is that at both of those venues access to the auditorium is controlled and restricted during individual performances. Sure it’s not rigid after all some people may need to use the Loo but you just can’t wander in and out as you please. It made sense to me, not only for the sake of the listening audience but particularly for the performers.

I wonder sometimes if you ever draw comparisons (and differences) between Luke’s solo career and yours early days – maybe before EBB even. It would be interesting to hear it.

My early recollections and love of music as a teenager involved huffing and puffing with a dozen vinyl LP’s under each arm (I know it’s a Bloke thing) wherever I went.

We’re off to Cornwall for a couple of weeks on Friday. House by the beach. Some mackerel or a sardine or two. Phone. IPod. Every last bit of music I possess all stored in a thumbnail of a device. Bliss! Or maybe it’s just all too accessible.

alan in southampton

Pete Pool said...

Good to see you if only briefly at the 100 Club the other week Rob. Thanks for the tickets. Would like to have had time for more of a chat, but never mind. We enjoyed your set but have to say it was annoying the amount of chatter that was going on. My mate Geoff was getting particularly annoyed, but there is not a lot one can do when it is so many gabbling away. They did pipe down a bit when you cranked things up a bit with "Hole in it" and they all shut up when Focus came on - odd really because there was not much of a message in their songs! Prog was never really my thing but have to say they were not the worst prog band I have sat through this year, having seen Marrilion at Fairports Cropredy festival back in the summer!

Best wishes and hope to catch you in more appreciative surroundings again sometime soon.

Pete from Oxford

edgar broughton said...

Thank you for your kind comments. Regarding noisy audiences I think that apart from being disrespectful to the artiste it is very irritating for folk who have turned out to listen. I must admit I have got used to it to some extent but occasionally I feel compelled to speak up and ask for due consideration. It doesn't happen so much at my own gigs where I am not playing support.
Regarding Prog, for the most part I would rather not. Not my thing and never was, To call the EBB prog was a misnomer because no one knew how to categorise the proto punk style we had. How ever it is interesting to play support to these prog acts and some times extremely amusing if a bit disappointing. No names for obvious reasons, but I played a gig with a prog band not so long ago that had not realised it was a poor cover band of itself. It was both very funny and very sad.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a great set at the 100 Club despite the irritatingly noisy crowd!
It's always baffled me why people attend a gig and then chat throughout.
You're right that your own audiences are quiet for you. You could have heard a pin drop during the Real Music Club gig in Brighton but not just throughout your own headline set, Rob but also through Luke's opening set and also for the supporting local folk band. So you clearly attract a respectful audience !

Shoreham _Steve