The Epic 2017 Project #145: 170525
King Size Slim – Chukka Chukka (2015)
I discovered King Size Slim late last year when he supported ‘Son of Dave’ on the Brighton leg of his current tour.
Using just a metal bodied dobro guitar and no other accompaniment than the stomp of his boot on the floor, the man started his set by suggesting he dispense with the amplification and just get down and dirty with the audience. So that’s what he did.
What followed was 40 minutes of heaven culminating in this barnstormer to which you cannot help but sing along. In fact – it’s an essential.
‘May we find’ comes from King Size Slim’s second album released independently in 2015.
The Epic 2017 Project #110: 170420
Jimi Hendrix – Isle of Wight (1971)
Isle of Wight is a posthumous live album by Jimi Hendrix, released in November 1971 by Polydor in the UK only. It documents Hendrix’s performance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival on 30 August 1970, his last performance in England before his death in September. The album was engineered by Carlos Ohlms (a British-based engineer). The record company did not use a picture from the Isle of Wight concert. The cover photo is from a live concert on 4 September 1970 at Deutschlandhalle, Berlin.
The album spent only two weeks in the UK Albums Chart, peaking at No. 17. But it remains one of my all time favourites
Isle of Wight contains just part of the concert, but this release has a unique mix compared to the 2002 release of the entire performance on the album Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight.
The Epic 2017 Project #099: 170409
Gong – Floating Anarchy (1977)
Back to my hippy days with this one.
Live Floating Anarchy 1977 came from Planet Gong. Essentially the late Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth accompanied by the band Here & Now. It was recorded in Toulouse on 6 November 1977, apart from the track “Opium for the People” which was a studio recording.
Floating Anarchy – a snub to the Sex Pistols debut single – was originally released on the French LTM record label, run by Jean Karakos, who had previously run Tapioca and BYG
The Epic 2017 Project #048: 170217
Dr Feelgood – Stupidity (1976)
Dr Feelgood’s third album release (and first live one) topped the UK charts on its release in 1976 without the aid of a hit single release. It was the first ever live album to go to number 1 in the UK chart in its first week of release. And, rather less significantly, was also the bands’ first and only recording to reach number 1.
The original vinyl album release featured seven tracks, recorded in Sheffield, on Side 1, and six tracks, recorded in Dr Feelgood’s hometown, Southend, on Side 2. A free single, only issued with the first 20,000 copies, included live versions of ‘Riot in Cell block No.9’ (also recorded in Southend) and ‘Johnny B Goode’ (recorded in Aylesbury).
This is Southend’s Kursaal today, the ballroom of which was where side two of ‘Stupidy’ was recorded. It’s a Grade II listed building which had originally opened in 1901 as part of one of the world’s first purpose-built amusement parks. Sadly, with the exception of the ballroom which had remained Southend’s foremost rock venue, the Kursaal as a whole went into gradual decline from the early 1970s. At the end of 1977 the decision was made to close the ballroom as well though and the main building finally went the same way in 1986. The outdoor amusement area was redeveloped for housing but the main Kursaal building reopened in 1998 after a multimillion-pound redevelopment, containing a bowling alley, a casino and other amusements. Happily, the unique ‘Kursaal’ lettering on the dome remains.
The Epic 2017 Project #024: 170124
The Black Crowes & Jimmy Page – Live at the Greek (1999)
This ranks up there in my top ten live albums of all time. Working in partnership with Jimmy Page and recorded over the nights of 18-19 October 1999 at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, this double album is the result.
It is superlative. Nuff said.
The Epic 2017 Project #014: 170114
Average White Band – Person to Person (1977)
I brought this double gatefold live album on vinyl for my wife’s 21st birthday back in 1980.
The Average White Band came from Dundee, Scotland. Formed in 1972, they had worldwide success as a funk and R&B band with a string of hits between 1974 and 1980. The biggest and most successful of these was the instrumental ‘Pick up the Pieces’ (1974) which now has the accolade of being the 15th most sampled tune in history. The band split in 1983 only to reform six years later. They still tour now, albeit with a vastly different line-up; Alan Gorrie (guitar) is the only original member.
The ‘Person to Person’ live album was recorded at the Tower Theatre and The Spectrum, Philadelphia, The Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh and The Colosseum, Cleveland.
Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #330: 161125
[Song from a band seen in 2013]
Top five gigs I’ve been to in recent years:
- Royal Blood – Brighton – December 2014
- Stevie Wonder – Hyde Park, London – July 2016
- The Temperance Movement – Portsmouth – January 2016
- Underworld – Brighton – March 2015, and
- Stereophonics – Brighton – November 2013
Not in any particular order – but Stereophonics has to up there pretty near the top for all the right reasons.