Matlock, and its surrounding area, including Darley Dale and Matlock bath, in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District is somewhere dear to my heart and inextricably linked with both my Mum’s and Dad’s side of the family, all of them hailing from there. The Grand Pavilion, a Georgian building that stands imperiously by the river side deep in the gorge where Matlock Bath sits, has long been a focal point for entertainment. In the post-war years, my Dad well remembers attending concerts and watching Dance bands there. In the 1980’s, I performed there myself with my band Tubeless Hearts.
So it really piqued my interest when my Dad mentioned that it had been at considerable risk of demolition in recent years, and was now in the hands of a trust committed to saving this historic building. I’d been canvassing around to fill out dates for my visit from Spain in June, when, with our new project Straight Shooters, we’ll be making a special appearance at the Quad in Derby, and also in Burton -on-Trent, but more about those shows in another post.
After connecting with Andie Brazewell at The Pavilion, we now have a date in place for Straight Shooters – Friday June 6th – we’re hoping everyone will come along and support the event – priced at just £5 a ticket, and help fund the restoration of this beautiful venue.
You’ll be in for a night of classic British 70’s rock, courtesy of the music of Free and Bad Company!
I was recently invited to perform at the opening of a Museum exhibition. Now, having been in the Music business professionally for nearly 35 years, this might be something I could take offence at! But, this is no ordinary exhibition. It is The Rams Collection. Curated by Andy Ellis, author of several Derby County books and a lifelong Rams fan, it is an extraordinary hoard of Derby County Football Club memorabilia that reaches back into the 19th. Century and takes your breath away, particularly, if, like me, you have supported The Rams all your life. Collections like this are fascinating. It is not always the ‘grand pieces’ that draw the gasps, it can be the discarded golden goal ticket, one of so many thousands that lay strewn across the terraces following a match. It evokes a memory, a passion from the past, perhaps something that provokes conversation between Father and Son, as the younger generation finally gain an insight into what it was like to support the club in yesteryear. During discussions about this exhibition which I sat in on with Andy and Peter Bonnell, Curator of The Quad, I saw some amazing stuff! -But i won’t spoil the surprise, come along to opening night and see for yourselves!
It was C. V. Wedgwood who said: ‘Without passion there might be no errors, but without passion there would certainly be no history‘. – Well, there’s no passion like that of a football fan, and DCFC’s history will be on display at The QUAD, Derby for all to see for 3 months during the summer. I’ll be taking a small band to open the exhibition performing tracks from my DCFC CD “Fan Fayre for the Commons People” live for the first time, comprising Mike Koch my musical cohort from B.C.Sweet and Witch Cross on guitar, my lifelong mate Stef Cybichowski (After the Fire, and soon to be BCS!) on Drums and special guest Tom Leary (Lindisfarne/feast of Fiddles/Clem Clempson) on fiddle. Derby County Club Captain Shaun Barker will be doing a DJ set to follow.
For our part, while I’m over from Spain, we’re hoping to turn it into a fun little ‘micro-tour’. – On Saturday June 7th, Me, Mike and Stef under the name of ‘Straight Shooters’ will be performing an exclusive set of Bad Company and Free numbers at the Uxbridge Arms in nearby Burton -on – Trent, and we’re looking at a venue to host us on the Friday night too. to complete a hat-trick, if you will!
There’s no such thing as the Kev Moore Band really, but that’s who Me, Mario and Stef were last Friday night at Zambra in Turre, down here in Almeria province, Spain. Stef had come over with his family, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a gig, so, one quick rehearsal, and we took the stage for 2 hours worth of rock classics, ranging from Led Zep, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Black Country Communion, Free, Bad Company, Thin Lizzy, Stevie Wonder…you name it, we gave it a go!
It was brilliant fun, and as I often mention on here, just great for me, as I don’t play all that often locally. Here’s a few examples from the night, but please bear in mind, it was recorded with a little camera and the sound quality is very Lo-Fi!!
We had such a good reception in fact, that who knows? The Kev Moore Band may ride again, down in the beach bars in the summer!
The new Joe Bonnamassa album, released the other day, features a cover of Free’s “Heartbreaker” (with Glenn Hughes) – and it reminded me of the original, and the eponymous album from which it came. I re-visited it, and it inspired me to put a version of my own down. I just love this song, and hope it will feature in the blues show Mike, Stef and I will take out this year. I thought, just for a bit of fun, I’d share it with you here:
In the beginning there was Music.
DJ’s then came along, because we needed someone to play the records, but they were just frustrated musicians, wanting to be famous, yet possessing no musical skill. then the unthinkable happening, DJ’s began m-m-m-messing about with r-r-r-records, and people who couldn’t sing started talking on those r-r-r-records and suddenly DJ’s were MORE FAMOUS THAN MUSICIANS!! Then to compound the problem, Karaoke went viral. Suddenly your Auntie Mabel, drunk on last years Christmas sherry was singing I Will Survive to a note perfect backing track and she actually believed, through her drunken stupor , that “I’m as good as Gloria Gaynor”
Then, Simon Cowell happened. If ever a ‘last straw’ could manifest itself in human form, then this was he. The man who inflicted “Mr Blobby” on the world realized that if he fed the psychosis of all these talentless wannabes, he could siphon off huge wads of cash from a frankly blinkered, force-fed public and inflict garbage music on the world at the same time. Ugly Scottish women became global superstars. Stupid airhead male blond twins without a braincell between them but sharing a collective name became famous for being nondescript.
Then, as a final nail in the coffin, the computer geeks designed a game that seduced the last remaining proper music fans into thinking that THEY TOO were rock stars.
All the while, the real musicians had fallen into a coma of depression. Because, when the world has had its fill of Carrie Underwood, Susan Boyle, Jedward and all that goes with it, who will be left to write and perform real, new music? Are we to be condemned to the entire unappetizing universe of underage talentless dross releasing their own album of Swing classics, or appearing live with a 100 year old ex superstar to “add credibility”? Music business? Dog business more like.
I suppose music is a very subjective er….subject. But really, have we been even remotely close to being shown the teenage talent of a band like Free in the last 40-odd years? No. I remember Ash being lauded as an ‘amazing young band’ – yet, when they appeared on Jools’ ‘Later’, they couldn’t even keep time or stay in tune with the one-note jam at the beginning, for Christ’s sake! Have we really set the bar so low that the only genuine talent we are likely to witness would be a limbo dancer?
But the problem lies in the Large record companies failure to recognize the need for change, and consequently, having relied too heavily on a back catalogue that people are now cheerfully downloading for nothing, (for “file-sharing”, read “property theft”) they are strapped for cash to develop new , upcoming artists. This may, just may, have a similar effect to punk, whereby all new bands effectively become their own little cottage industries, building a fanbase from the ground up. But this is an infintessimally small chink of light at the end of a very long tunnel, as sales of their music, such as they are, will be miniscule, and incapable of helping the band to develop to the next level. Music, (not disneyfied, American idol pap) will in fact be doomed to become an eternal hobby, or a plaything for the already rich.
Well that’s all from me. I’m off out to buy the Susan Boyle ‘metalhead’ add-on for Guitar Hero.