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Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:49 am
by Garth Cartwright
Memphis soul gig at Brooklyn Bowl at 02 Greenwich this Friday with William Bell and Otis Clay - 2 formidable singers. The film Take Me To The River will be released here soon and I believe focuses on the life of the late Teenie Hodges (Hi Rhythm guitarist and co-writer of the Al Green standard).

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:13 pm
by alister prince
Two great singers. I can't/won't be going. I wouldn't be able to see their lips move...
Aly

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:11 am
by Garth Cartwright
A concert both messy and inspiring. Started with 3 youths from the Stax Music Academy mugging their way through Green Onions and a couple of other standards. Then the Hi Rhythm Section band came on and, oh, what a beautiful big band - about a dozen musicians (including 3 female singers). They were lead by Boo Mitchell, son of Willie Mitchell, and they started with a few of his dad's instrumentals. Perfect ensemble playing with Charles Hodges on Hammond. Then one of the backing singers did a superb version of I Can't Stand The Rain then Otis Clay came out and did 2 numbers - i think a rapper joined him on one of the tunes; turns out the film Take Me to The River has Snoop Dog and other rappers jamming with the old soul guys - and while it was slick it didn't really add anything. Then the rapper Al Kapone - who did the Hustle & Flow movie raps - came on and did some of the Hustle & Flow raps (with band backing him). Well done but not really what this veteran soul fan audience wanted. Then Bobby Rush - who admitted to having no Memphis connection but simply "being old" - came on and was superb. BR is 80 and magnificent. One of the tunes surely had a rapper join in for a bit. Finally William Bell came on and lead the band thru a long Knock On Wood - why he did this and not one of his tunes I don't know - then he did the magnificent I Forgot To Be A Lover and again a rapper joined him for a bit which detracted from the song's intensity. Then everyone did Al Green's Take Me To The River. Brooklyn Bowl literally has bowling alleys which detract from the music - listening to Bell pleading while bowling balls crash is jarring - but has a good stage and sound and sight. Arriving at that awful O2 complex i looked to see who was in the arena - Lee Evans. It blows my mind that people will pay to see a comedian in an arena. What joy can that be? Is lee Evans any good? the suburban looking crowd filing in appeared enthusiastic about seeing him. Outside the next O2 music venue was a long queue of young black people waiting to get in to see Wizkid. I've never heard of him - turns out his a big star of Nigerian rap. In the Bowl to see old black men perform was a small crowd of old white people. A pity the gig was not held until after the film has had a UK release. Bell and Clay almost never play the UK so it was a treat to see them but sad that they both only got to do a couple of numbers.

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:51 am
by NormanD
Sounds like the Memphis gigs at The Barbican a few years back were more fun. William Bell got more of a look in than he did at the 02 - and a lot more of the original session guys were there too (and, obviously, still alive then). And you could see their lips (and hands) move. Didn't we go together, Aly?

I hope William Bell did "You Don't Miss Your Water" - it's not worth going if he doesn't, such a wonderful song.

And Lee Evans? He's a pretty physical comedian - or he used to be, when still a Norman Wisdom doppelganger - so the 02 Arena's space would suit his show. I like what I've seen of him, he was really good as Leo Bloom in The Producers, and he's also played in Beckett. But given the choice I'd sooner see Lee Allen.

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:57 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Norm, Bell didn't sing Water - I know, shameful. He did a very long Knock On Wood where he introduced band members and chatted and charmed then Lover with a rapper and then it was the encore. There were so few people at the bowl you could literally touch the musicians (if you so wished). I walked right up and stared at Charles Hodges as he worked his magic just in case I never see/hear him again. His brother Teenie passed a few months ago. Oh I forgot to add that Ian Siegal was invited on stage to sing one tune. He's a talented guy but I would rather have had Bell or Clay or Rush doing another tune. The event is repeated at 100 Club tonight but i'm not sure if you can buy tix or it is purely a media invite. The Hi Rhythm Band are worth the price of a ticket alone - they are magnificent. The rappers will chase a few people away tho' (as they did on Friday). Otherwise, come down to the Ritzy for Soulahula with leon and me!

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:00 am
by alister prince
Yes Norman, we both went to the Barbican. I'm pretty sure I sat next to Rob. I'm not too sad to have missed the session Garth. In all honesty it sounds like a bit of a misguided mash. All too often compilation gigs do no acts a service. Nor are they satisfying for the paying customer. They are frustrating because the performers have no time to develop a rapport with the audience. Equally as a punter I'm just stating to groove along with whoever and off they go after a couple of numbers to be replaced by another. Arghhhh...
Aly

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:16 pm
by NormanD
Sorry I couldn't make it down to Soulahula last night. I'm having to take it a bit easy at the moment, all a bit annoying.

Anyway, here's a review of the Lee Evans gig http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/s ... -o2-review which offers no surprises. When did comedians - or even 'comedians' - start playing massive rock venues. Were Newman & Baddiel the first? (at least Newman had the sense, and the money, to get out and become a political satirist)

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:05 pm
by Rob Hall
Yes, Aly, we were sitting together at that gig. Wasn't Bonnie Bramlett involved that night? And George Soule, if I recall. And I think it that Tony Joe White played too.

I have a very distant memory of seeing Otis Clay and the Hi Rhythm section(?) as part of a revue-type show playing somewhere in N London (Kilburn?) years ago. The thing that sticks in my memory from that gig was that Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet got up onstage to join them, and was roundly booed - which was a pity, I thought at the time.

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:36 pm
by alister prince
Yes Rob TJW and Mavis Staples. Both excellent, but all too brief. Also a surprisingly good atmosphere for the Barbican.
Aly

Re: Take Me To The River

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:11 am
by Garth Cartwright
I saw the movie yesterday. It's pretty shambolic - out of focus, poor edits, lack of a strong narrative -but does capture some wonderful musicians: bobby bland, hubert sumlin (jamming with Ian Siegal - explains why he performed at gig), Mavis and Yolanda Staples, Otis and Bobby and William, Charlie Musselwhite etc. Snoop is the big star and I must say he comes across well when interviewed, no gangsta nonsense, just a big r&b fan. I doubt it will get a BBC4 screening cos of poor technical quality but when on DVD worth checking out.