Archive for the ‘Crazy World of Arthur Brown’ Category

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Whitley Bay Playhouse 26 May 2022

arthur tixWelcome to the Crazy World of Arthur Brown. A rare treat experienced by a group of middle-aged (and older) followers, along with some younger devotees, in the seaside town of Whitley Bay. Even Arthur partook in some fish and chips and found them to be to his liking. This is the show that Arthur always wanted to deliver to us. The vision was always there. Back in the early days where he ascended up on a crane wearing his crown of flames at the Plumpton Jazz Festival or when I was so lucky to experience a performance by his band Kingdom Come in the early 1970s at Wearmouth Hall, Sunderland Polytechnic Students Union and he emerged from a coffin, was tied to a massive cross and was dragged off stage in a straitjacket. I thought it was one of the weirdest and craziest things I had ever witnessed. Now technology has enabled Arthur to deliver the full concept to us in all its splendour.

arthur bdgThe first half consisted of Arthur performing the majority of his first Crazy World of Arthur Brown album, including “Fire Poem” which leads into his anthem “Fire!” Everyone knows this one: “I am the God of hellfire and I bring you – – – Fire! I take you to burn”. The reaction of people when I told them I was going to see Arthur Brown. “Who is he?”, or “is he still around?” When reminded most people did remember “Fire!” He also included some new material and some classic Kingdom Come songs. Lots of costume changes. And, a real crown of fire! That is something I have never seen him wear before. Psychedelic backdrop showing liquid lens videos of Arthur in his prime in the late 1960s. Mannequins wearing spooky masks. The band wearing crazy costumes and headgear with feathers just as I remember Kingdom Come back 50 years ago. Gauze, flimsy, drapes adorning the stage.arthur 4

Arthur creeping about and moving off and on stage during costume changes. A theremin with its own mannequin and spooky, psychedelic sounds. Swirling, 1960s Hammond organ. In other words the full concept. Psychedelic. Fully encaptivating. Crazy. Drawing us into his crazy world. Amazing. Strong screams. Deep, soaring operatic voice.

Arthur reveals he is 80 next month. He is fit, lean and dances like a whirling dervish. His voice is as strong as ever. He finishes the first set with the classic “Time Captives” which I have seen him sing several times with Hawkwind. My friend Norman just reminded me of this and the time we went to see them (Arthur and Hawkwind, that is) at the Magna Centre in Sheffield. Everyone dressed as robots! Now that was a crazy evening as well.arthur 1

“Without Arthur Brown there would be no Alice Cooper”: Alice Cooper. “Arthur Brown has the Voice ofarthur 5 Death”: Bruce Dickinson – Iron Maiden. “Arthur Brown was a man ahead of his time”: Elton John. “Arthur Brown is as much a dancer as he is a singer”: Pete Townshend – The Who. (All quotes from Arthur’s website)

The second half is just as encaptivating. Less costume changes, just as crazy dancing. A medley of Arthur’s roots. “Be Bop a Lula”, “Hey sinner man where you gonna run to?” Some obscure; many crazy. He finishes with “this one you will know”: Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. I have seen Arthur perform this Dylan classic several times. I remember David and I went to see Arthur at the Compass Club in Whitby (Arthur’s hometown) and he emerged from the back of the hall dressed all in black with a large top hat and banging a long staff on the ground singing this song. His treatment is immaculate. And then he is gone. Leaving us with memories of his crazy world and a night spent in the company of a true artist who has just shared with us his vision of madness, darkness and Fire! The crowd gave him a standing ovation, which is richly deserved. Laura declared it “amazing”. The last time we saw him together was at York Fibbers club more than 10 years ago. But this was the pinnacle. Thank you Arthur for an amazing evening. But then why would I expect anything less?arthur3

Many thanks to Jackie for her exquisite photographs and Chris for helping me back into my bed. A final memory. When I was 12 years old, with my Christmas money I treated myself to two albums. The first was the Who’s Tommy double album rock opera. The second was Tyrannosaurus Rex and their second album Phrophets, Seers and Sages; The Angels of the Agesarthur 2. The third was, of course, Arthur Brown’s first album The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. I loved that album and played it and played it. One omission, Arthur, if I dare to be so greedy: I wish you had played Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You” from that album. But then you can’t always get what you want (now there’s another song!)

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Fibbers York 19 Oct 2012

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Fibbers York 19 Oct 2012
Laura had expressed interest in seeing veteran psych crazy guy Arthur Brown, so last night we took a trip to York to see our hero perform in all his splendour at Fibbers Club. The current Arthur Brown show returns to the “Crazy World of” moniker and concept, and thus focusses on his early material, drawing heavily from the 1968 album of the same name. Arthur has put together a band of young musicians who authentically replicate the 60s sound, with swirling keyboards reminiscent of the late great Vincent Crane (courtesy of Lucyy Rejchrtova), and lots of fuzz and wahwah guitar (from Nona Gromniak). Jim Mortimer is on bass, and was also introduced as the musical director of Arthur’s latest project, and on drums is Samuel Walker. Arthur was accompanied at the front of stage by dancer Angel Fallon, who wore a series of bright different costumes throughout the show. We arrived around 8pm and said hello to Charlie who was doing the sound. The set was a mix of covers (Kites, Green Manalishi) and tracks from the early days (Devils Grip, Spontaneous Apple Creation, I Put a Spell on You). Quite a few of the other songs in the set sounded familiar to me, but I’m not able to put a name to them. Arthur was as manic as ever and in good spirits, having a bit chat to us all, and indulging in some crazy, silly dancing. The new show is very theatrical and Arthur and the band have obviously put a lot into creating it. It features lots of costume changes, and great dance routines between Arthur and Angel. The band took to the stage wearing quite spooky bird masks with massive beaks, which set the tone for a quite dark night. The set ended with Fire with Arthur going  mad, and Angel in a splendid costume with a massive silver cape and a large crown-like hat. Arthur’s voice is really strong, with screaming very much in evidence; not bad for a guy who entered his 7oth year in 2012. The encore was a super version of The Animals’ Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood. The crowd loved it, as did Laura and I. Support act The Moulettes are worth a special mention. They were very different and quite unexpected, playing acoustic instruments: violin, cello, autoharp, bassoon; their music being a blend of folk and elizabethan. They reminded me a little of Blackmore’s night, and are certainly worth watching out for. Apologies for the grainy photo, I am really going to have to practice using my iphone camera.