Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

A Busy Weekend!

Me and Jeff Christie on stage in Dresden.

I’ve been all over the place this weekend – starting with a visit to The Bay Radio Studios in Javea on Friday to record an interview for that evening’s Sunset Strip with Noelle, and then leaving Miki’s parents apartment in Benidorm at 4.30 am to catch a flight from Alicante to Benidorm to connect with my flight to Berlin. There, I was driven two and a half hours south to Dresden, where I had time to say hi to a few fellow musicians- Graham Oliver from T Rex, Bill Hurd from The Rubettes, and Eric Faulkner from the Bay City Rollers etc, before grabbing a quick shower and then heading off to the gig, where I was performing with Christie.

Signing my Blue Odyssey CD for Rainer Frank backstage

After the show, I was really feeling ill, the lack of sleep and dehyrdation catching up with me. I went straight to bed, and left the hotel at 3.30am with the guys from Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich. They were dropped at Berlin Tegel, and I at Berlin Schoenenfeld airport, where I awaited my 8.30am flight to London Gatwick.

Fos, Jeff and Kev

Landing around 10am, I took the train up to Croydon, where BC Sweet guitarist Mike picked me up, and we headed across country to Brean Sands, ready to appear later that night with a number of bands including The Boomtown Rats at the Yesterday Once More 70’s festival.

I managed to grab a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon, and we hit the stage after the Rats at 11.30pm. Amazingly, given my constant state of exhaustion, both the Christie and BC Sweet gigs were great, and I was reminded why I do this job. I just love it.

I flew home from Birmingham the following afternoon, ready to recharge my batteries for the Estonia tour with Christie, which begins next Sunday when I head to the UK for rehearsals.

Kev Moore

November 8, 2011 Posted by | BC Sweet, Blue Odyssey CD, Music, Recording, Rock, Writing | , , , , , | 4 Comments

BC Sweet @ Rheine Festival, Germany

No sooner had I touched down from the Czech republic, than I was off again on Saturday, flying out to Dusseldorf to hook up with my band, BC Sweet for a show in Rheine at the local football stadium along with Scooter.  In a weird reversal of fortune, following watching Black Country Communion under torrential rain in Loket last week, I found myself undercover onstage while the poor audience got absolutely drenched!  They were amazing in their tenacity to hang in there and enjoy the gig, and on behalf of the band my heart and thanks go out to them. We were wonderfully looked after by our friends at Michow Concerts and Michael, the owner of the football club.

Here’s a few shots from the show:


We’re at the beginning of an exciting new chapter with the band right now – more news coming soon!

Kev Moore

(Logo design Copyright 2011 Kev Moore)

July 25, 2011 Posted by | BC Sweet, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ein, Zwei, Drei im Deutschland – Germany with BC Sweet

Yours truly in Spremberg

Just got back from a very successful three-dayer in Germany with BC Sweet, playing three shows in the East, including Spremberg, and a re-visit to Chemnitz where we played with Christie around a decade ago. It was great to catch up with old friends such as Dozy, Beaky , Mick & Tich, as well as Bill Hurd’s Rubettes, and my old mate Ricky, their sound tech.

The Freilichbuhne in Spremberg

All of the shows were outdoor affairs, performed on some of Germany’s impressive Freilichbuhnes – huge stage constructions serving natural amphitheatres – ideal venues (when the weather holds!) Thankfully, apart from a little light rain on the first night, it did!

Spremberg on the Saturday was a lovely gig, as was the town, where I’d also been last year with Christie. Quintessentially German, it has a lovely town square, immaculately kept, with great coffee shops.

It was Chemnitz on the Sunday, a city that in the communist era bore the name Karl-Marx Stadt, and a huge statue of his head dominates the city centre, ironically not a stone’s throw from that symbol of capitalism, The Golden Arches!

We were playing, unusually, on Sunday afternoon, at the Braustolz Fest -a huge party held at the local Chemnitz brewery. We were well looked after, with great food and drink (as you can imagine!) and the fans were fantastic. These three shows were invaluable to us as a band, the more regularly you play the greater your sense of identity and togetherness, and afterwards we felt like we could take on the world. We’ll use that energy and momentum to push on and take BC Sweet to the next level.

Needless to say, the trams still run on time in Chemnitz.....

Unusually then, for us, the Sunday night was a relaxing one. The view from my hotel room took in the beautiful Opera house across the Square, and later that evening we headed out for coffee, beer and a bite to eat, reflecting on a successful weekend. Roll on the next one!

Kev Moore

July 2, 2011 Posted by | Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gil Scott-Heron dies, aged 62. R.I.P.

One of the seminal black artists who rose to prominence in the 70’s,  Scott-Heron was something of a pioneer. He’s been labelled as the Godfather of rap, but he was much more than that, and it seemed to be a title he wore uneasily. his sparse rhythms and street poetry were of a higher order than most of what gets churned out today. My favourite track of his was “The Bottle” – and I was lucky enough to meet him when our bands were staying in the same hotel in Essen, Germany, back in the 90’s.

Rest in Peace, Gil, and thanks for the music.

Kev Moore

May 28, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Rock, Music, Recording, Thoughts, Touring, Video, Writing | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Live in Plauen with Christie

Here’s a few onstage shots of Christie from our gig in Plauen Germany a few weeks back. We had a great time, met up with a few old mates, and Eric and Isabel, two of our biggest fans, kindly sent me some shots from the show, and I thought I’d share them!

Kev Moore

December 4, 2010 Posted by | Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 flights, 3 days, 2 cars, one dead bass player……..

Hopefully a big dressing room, then...

It started off simply enough. Leaving the house at 9am on Friday morning,  I made my way to Alicante airport (with a brief stop in IKEA Murcia to pick up some picture frames).

My first flight was to take me West, to the Spanish capital, Madrid, where I would have a 3 hour layover awaiting a connection, improbably, to Blibao on the Northern Coast.  Kicking my heels in Madrid, I had my fingers crossed that the Bilbao flight would be on time, as I only had 45 minutes with which to connect with my final flight of the day to Frankfurt. Nobody can say our promoter doesn’t have a sense of humour.

View from my second hotel room window in Plauen

Nice 'n' cosy - and barely slept in....

Luckily, that plan seemed to come together, and I arrived in Frankfurt around 10 o’clock at night, with the other guys flying in from the UK  around a half an hour later. Had we arrived at our destination? Well, not really. A 3 hour drive awaited us, which rapidly turned into a 4 hour drive due to autobahn closures. The hotel didnt have 24 hour reception, and luckily our driver had had the presence of mind to check in advance, and asked them to leave a key outside. It would have been amusing if it hadn’t been so late, as we stumbled about in the dark, once we’d enetered the hotel, trying to find the other keys, after having failed to find the light switch. My head hit the pillow around 2.30 am – and left it again around 9 as we had to get up for breakfast and move to another , admittedly more opulent, hotel for the second night.

Jeff discovers we get a free drink on check-in

Salvation was at hand in the form of a whirlpool and sauna in the basement, which the management kindly opened up for our exclusive use. Time that perhaps would have been more prudently spent running through the numbers was instead spent wallowing in the waters!

Environmentally-friendly town, then.

Plauen's busy tram terminus

From my halting German, this seems to mark the site of the first workers protest against the DDR. Hooray!

We also managed to spend an hour or two out in the town of Plauen, a charming, well kept place with trams running through it, and some nice sidewalk cafes – full of Germans braving the autumnal chill. Although it was pleasantly sunny, my defences are low after having lived in Spain for so long, and I persuaded the lads that we should take our coffees behind protective glass!

I know it looks lovely, but it was too bloody cold to sit out!

Simon Kay, Drums, Fos Foster, Guitars. Instruments not included.

Obligatory arty-farty shot

Far from being a typical DDR 'clone-town', Plauen had some lovely architecture

A young German fan is delighted to get Jeff's autograph

A frowning, inanimate object (the one on the right)

Pointy

Plauen had its share of interesting buildings and monuments, and I was glad I’d brought my camera along.  5 o’clock saw us heading for soundcheck. We were opening the show, and were therefore the last band to check, which was perfect, all the settings would remain as we left them! I was debuting my Dan Electro semi-acoustic bass with Christie, and was running it through my Hartke bass attack pedal, so I was reasonably confident of maintaining my signature sound.  So often, these multiple bills with hired backline prove to be more an exercise of battling against the odds than anything else, but tonight was a dream, crystal clear monitoring, a sweet bass sound, and a great onstage mix. The crowd must’ve sensed we were enjoying ourselves, too, as we really seemed to storm the show! As this is probably the last Christie show of the 2010 season, it was great to go out on a high.

Jeff's Stratocaster relaxes backstage.....

Simon sorts his kit out at the sound check

Eric Faulkner's Rollers take the stage

BC Sweet's Pete Phipps on extra-curricular drumming duties with The Rollers

Jeff chats backstage with one of our loyal fans

After our performance, we relaxed backstage and had dinner, courtesy of some excellent catering, and swapped stories with our mates who were waiting to perform. Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, Sailor’s Grant, Henry, Phil and Nick, and Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers. It was also quite funny to see Pete from my other band BC Sweet – he was standing in for Eric’s drummer, and did a great job, with no rehearsals!  I’ll be seeing Pete again in a couple of weeks for a BC Sweet show in the UK.  One of our fans, going by the name of sweetyglitter(!) who follows all the glam rock era bands, offered to film our set, so hopefully I’ll have a clip up from the show in a couple of weeks.

Photos by me, in case you were wondering!

We were ferried back to the hotel following the show, with only The Dozys left onstage, and continued our conversations in the hotel bar.  We were set to leave the hotel at 3 am, so sleep seemed a little pointless. I relaxed a little in the room and then had a shower to try and boost my energy!

Simon looks pensive......

Heading off into the night along the autobahn to Frankfurt, we braced ourselves for a long drive. The other lads needed to fly at 8 am. Although I was with them, my flight didn’t leave until midday, so I had the prospect of four hours alone in Frankfurt airport!   It’s amazing how things change though……….45 kilometers from Frankfurt, the hire car started to misbehave and our driver became a little restless. Eventually, with smoke pouring from the bonnet, we pulled over onto the hard shoulder as one of the con rods exploded through the side of the engine onto the ground. Our shiny new Renault had died. It would ‘va-va-va-voom’ no more.

...while Fos sees the funny side

Standing in the freezing cold at the side of the autobahn at 7 in the morning, wearing a hi-vis jacket and erecting a little plastic triangle 50 meteres up the road to stop a truck from ploughing into us, I pondered on the glamour of our profession……………….

I'm not sure what it does, but I'm fairly certain it's supposed to be INSIDE the engine.

Jeff, inspired by Fos, also sees the funny side. Simon contemplates suicide.

Needless to say, the lads missed their flight. A breakdown truck came and dropped us at a nearby depot, from where a taxi charged us (well, our promoter) a small fortune to ferry us to the airport. As luck would have it, we’d all been booked with Lufthansa instead of one of these cheapie ‘we take no responsibility whatsover for yo’ ass’ airlines.  As they have done in the past, Lufthansa came through with flying colours, and without question, bumped the lads up to the next flight to Manchester at midday. Needless to say, the promoter was happy, and we didn’t hesitate to point out what a good idea it is to fly Lufthansa for just such eventualities!

So we left Frankfurt around the same time, albeit to different destinations. I landed in Madrid around 2pm, and braced myself to spend a further 5 hours in that airport.  By the time I had caught my next flight and was coming into land in Alicante at around 8pm, I was unravelling. A mild headache had blossomed into a full-blown migraine and I was fighting extreme nausea and exhaustion. I could barely get into the courtesy bus to take me to my car. A woman from a family who shared the bus with me, greeted me, and I must have looked like a drug addict or an alcoholic or something, because I could barely mumble a reply, so scared I was of offering projectile vomiting as an alternative form of greeting, which, even in the age of Reality television, is unlikely to catch on.

I stumbled out of the bus at the car park, alternatively looking for a) somewhere to throw up and b) some way to function.  After getting my key and transferring my luggage, I sat in the car wondering what to do. Speaking to Miki at home, she forbade me to drive back and insisted I find a hotel. I seemed to remember that the services near the airport had a hotel attached, and prayed I was right.  Driving the kilometer or so to it proved very hard indeed, and I was constantly speeding up, in order to get there quicker, and slowing down, ready to jump out and throw up.  I must have been driving like a schizophrenic.

Finally, I made it. There was indeed a hotel, and the look of gratitude on my face that followed the sallow and resolute death mask of a man determined not to toss his cookies, must have convinced the concierge that I’d escaped from the local nuthouse. To his lasting credit, he allowed me to have a key and I trudged up to my room.  I managed to send some kind of nondescript text to Miki to tell her to call, and I lay on the bed with the phone balanced on the side of my head, I couldn’t even hold it in my hand. When she called me, I think she was convinced I was dying!

Another day, another headache, another hotel room.....sweet respite in Alicante

I slept for about four hours before I had the strength to look for the two precious aspirin that I knew were somewhere in my bag, and then I slept for another six hours after that.

Even the following morning, as I drove the two and a half hours home, my headache was threatening to return.  These trips, all for a mere 40 minutes onstage, are a killer.

They say that a man who repeatedly does the same thing expecting a different outcome is clinically insane.

Will I do it again?  Yes.

So colour me crazy!

Kev Moore

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Another weekend away….

It was cooooold! Mike, Pete & me brave the elements...

This Friday saw me head off from Alicante via Palma, to Hamburg – where after being driven through that great city’s holiday traffic, I finally linked up with the rest of the guys in BC Sweet at the Radisson in Rostock.  About half an hour from there, we were booked to play at the “Rock in Runnige” festival. I only had around an hour to get myself showered (mainly to wake up) and meet the lads in the lobby before heading down to the sound check. As we were going to be eating courtesy of backstage catering, that would be where we stay until we’d done the show.

We were getting a little concerned about the food situation, having spied just a handful of open sandwiches, but , quite randomly, an English guy with a Yorkshire accent appeared and conjured up steak and chips!

It was cold, and it was wet, (the weather, not the meal) and as bad as it was for us on stage, it must’ve been a whole lot worse for the fans out in the field, but they bravely endured the elements and somehow, enjoyed the show.

Unanimously, we decided to leave the ‘field of battle’ as soon as we’d got changed, and headed back to the hotel. Ordering a coffee at the bar, I noticed it being propped up by more than just the usual German hotel clientele. It was pretty much a who’s who of British rock – and of course, The Monsters of British Rock were playing the festival the following night. There was Harry James from Thunder, Neil Murray and Micky Moody from Whitesnake, and Laurie Wisefield from Wishbone Ash.

It was great to meet Micky, a top bloke, and I had the opportunity, albeit a sad one, to tell him of the passing of a mutual friend. Keith Webb, drummer for Terry Reid, Donovan and Paladin, my good friend and near neighbour, was also a friend of Micky’s back in the day, when he was playing with SNAFU.  Keith sadly died a couple of years back, and I told Micky. He said what a great character Keith was, and how he could tell a great story, and indeed, he was right.  I was happy to be able to ‘complete the circle’ as it were.

Rather than post a video of our band on this article, it seems more appropriate to show you an example of Micky’s playing-particularly his wonderful slide style, and why he’s been at the top of his game for around 40 years.

Kev Moore

September 6, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring | , , , , | 7 Comments

On the road again

The German Summer....

“On the face of it, it looks like an easy weekend ..” I thought, as I glanced at the itinerary sent through from the promoter’s office. Little did I know! I set off from home around 11 a.m. on Friday, missing the visit of Miki’ s relatives entirely.  Leaving behind the Spanish sun, but hoping for a little German summer, I boarded my plane in Alicante , landing in Nuremberg around 5.30 p.m.

Met by not only our driver, but a torrential rainstorm and a complete absence of any summer, I was then driven 2 and a half hours south to Munich airport where we were to rendezvous with the rest of the guys from Christie , flying in from Manchester. Their plane was delayed, and they finally came through the arrivals hall at 10.30 p.m. We then discovered that we had to drive North for a further 4 and a half hours to near Leipzig, in order to check in at our hotel. It was an admittedly very nice hotel, but my head didn’t hit the pillow until 4.30 a.m. – a full eleven hours after landing in Nuremberg.

Simon and Fos help themselves to free beer backstage - no change there, then....

Fos and I opted to forego the arduous task of getting up for any kind of breakfast, and ordered a lunchpack for noon.  A couple of hours chilling at the hotel, where we welcomed our old friends from Sailor, and we were then whisked away for a soundcheck at the open air venue in Borna. We were also joined on the bill by 70’s band Hello.

Me and Simon, post-gig

Chatting to Sailor backstage we were made aware of Henry’s, (one of their keyboard players) good fortune. In the years prior to Sailor, he had been a part of a prog rock outfit called Gringo, who recorded one album. Apparently Eminem decided to use one of Henry’s synth lines from it as a sample on his latest Worldwide best-selling album!  As the impeccably-spoken Henry put it when I congratulated him, : “Yes, I’m a mean mother f***er!”

Fos and the irrepressible Henry

It’s always great to catch up with old friends on the road, and the members of our own band are no exception! I don’t get to see Jeff, Fos, and Simon as often as I’d like, and these weekends present the perfect opportunity to do so.  The only drawback of course, being that most of those hours are spent on the autobahn!

Grant Serpell, Sailor drummer and all-round top bloke

Phil and Henry pounding the Nickelodeon (Mark 7)

Following a great gig, I went to  bed around 1 a.m., as I wanted at least one chance to sample the hotel breakfast , and we had to be on the road for 10, in order to drive the length of the country again so I could catch my 5.10 p.m. flight from Munich to Alicante. The lads, travelling with me, had it worse though. Flying from Munich also, they had a further 4 hours to wait after I left before they were Manchester bound.  To paraphrase Charlie Watts, we had one hour on stage and 47 hours hanging around! But never fear, I’ll be doing it all again with BC Sweet in a couple of weeks time!

Square peg:Round hole. Jeff tries to manoeuvre the guitars through the chairs at Munich airport, much to Simon's amusement

Kev Moore

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , | 2 Comments

By the ski slopes of Wittenburg….

Alpine fun in the flat North German countryside......

First gig of the concert season for BC Sweet saw us heading over to Germany. Now, Wittenburg is a small Hamlet east of Hamburg in the North, and the countryside is fairly flat, but our venue sat beside a huge indoor ski slope, and adjoining Swiss chalet style hotel. These slopes are amazing, as you look through the window, it really seems like an alpine resort in there.

Have guitar, will travel

We were very well looked after, and it was great to get back onstage with the guys after the winter break. But it nearly didn’t happen. The ash cloud still spewing out of the Icelandic volcano was coming perilously close to both UK and Spanish airports, and indeed, the day before I was due to fly, airports here were closed as far East as Granada.

From the outside, one can see the huge construction required to simulate a ski slope

These gig weekends can get pretty tiring – early mornings, hanging around in airports, late nights etc. I flew 4 flights in 36 hours, going

Alicante -Palma-Hamburg-Munich-Alicante.

The day after we all flew home (the lads flew into Heathrow)  – Heathrow was closed!   So we were very lucky to get the job done and get home safely!

It promises to be an interesting year for BC Sweet – for a number of reasons, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

Kev Moore

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring | , , , | Leave a comment

Germany Double

Jeff and Kev

Jeff and Kev

A quick weekend away with CHRISTIE allowed me to hang out with a lot of old friends, who also happen to be part of Pop history.  We did 2 shows, in Eberswalde and Landsberg, and had a great time with T. Rex, Sailor, Middle of the Road, and Dozy, Beaky Mick & Tich. handling guitar duties for T.Rex was my great friend Graham Oliver of Saxon, and on the kit was the last drummer of the Bolan era, Paul Fenton, who also just so happened to be the Christie drummer from 1972-75!  Jeff and I were well pleased to see our old mates, and we got Paul up on stage at the first show to play “Yellow River” with us, the first time he’d done so for around 35 years!

It was also great to see Sailor stalwarts Phil, Henry and Grant, who has just returned to gigging after a nasty hand injury. These trips can be endurance tests, particularly with the flights and road trips, but the shows and the chance to spend time with friends more than makes up for that.

My next sojourn away will be in around 10 days, when BC Sweet descend on an unsuspecting Gronau, in Germany.

Kev Moore

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment