Voltarol - related music

Thursday, 9 July 2009


The Blue Five ponder the advisability of a reunion...

Greetings, dear readers. I have been conspicuously absent from the blogsosphere for rather longer than usual as a result of gallivanting around the country doing all manner of things, but I’m now back at the keyboard and raring to post.

Among other things, I spent a few days with my older brother – ‘alcohol’ – doing a little walking in the Malvern Hills, and incidentally getting a good sense of why Sir Edward Elgar found them so inspiring. Then Mrs Voltarol and I set off for Bournemouth, where we saw James Taylor and his band (great!) and stayed a night in The Queen’s Hotel (dreadful!).

I must admit to feeling a little uncomfortable with the rest of the audience at Bournemouth International Centre. This was the first time that I had been to what I would call a ‘mainstream’ gig in a long time, and I seemed to be surrounded by grey haired couples of a certain age. Granted, Mrs V and I also fall into that category, but we are used to seeing a much wider age range at the gigs we usually attend. Also, I got a distinct whiff of ‘Radio Two and Daily Mail’ from those immediately around me. If you were there and you don’t fall into that group then I apologise, but that was how it felt to me at the time.

Anyway, the music was excellent. James Taylor seems to get better as he gets older – both as a singer and as a guitarist – and his band and backing vocalists were superb. The line up was – Steve Gadd: drums (I can’t believe that this was the first time I’d seen him play ‘in the flesh’ as it were), Larry Goldings: piano, accordion, keyboards, Jimmy Johnson: bass, Mike Landau: guitar, Andrea Zonn: fiddle and vocals, Kate Markowitz and Arnold McCuller: vocals.

The material was a mix of back catalogue songs and tracks from the most recent CD – Covers, but despite the fact that they must have performed some of these songs a thousand times they still managed to make them seem fresh and alive. Indeed, Taylor said of ‘You’ve got a Friend’ that when he first learnt it and ‘worked up’ a version, he little thought that he would be singing it every single night for the rest of his life!

I’ll gloss over the hotel experience other than to say – if you’re ever in Bournemouth, don’t stay at the Queen’s Hotel in Meyrick Road. Mind you, I can’t think of any reason one would want to go to Bournemouth other than to hear a good band. It strikes me as a place that is good for passing through, or – better still – around.

We moved on to London to visit friends and family for a few days, and to see my granddaughter playing at The Barbican. I don’t know whether to be pleased as punch or pissed off. She’s nine years old and has already played the Barbican. Here’s me at 64 and I haven’t even made it to the foyer! Oh, and I caught up with my old mate Leigh Heggarty (see links) of Blue Five Fame. The picture at the top of the page shows us outside Pro Music in Ickenham. That's me in the shorts...

So that’s why the postings have been few and far between for the last month. Tomorrow I’ll be back with a vengeance!