Archive for the ‘Everly Brothers’ Category

Simon and Garfunkel Manchester Arena 14th July 2004

Simon and Garfunkel Manchester Arena 14th July 2004
sandgtix2004I really didn’t expect to get the chance to see Simon and Garfunkel together again. But, 20 years after touring the world, including a show at Wembley Stadium, the duo reformed again, and were back out on the road on their “Old Friends” tour. Support this time came from their childhood heroes and influences the Everly Brothers. The show was in three parts. Simon and Garfunkel started with “Old Friends / Bookends” and then were straight into one of my favourites, “Hazy Shade of Winter”. The first half featured other classics including “America” and “Kathy’s Song”. For the last song of the first set the pair took us right back to their first hit, “Hey Schoolgirl”, from the days when they were known as Tom and Jerry. That song gave them a chance to pay tribute to the guys whose songs and harmonies influenced them, as they welcomed Don and Phil Everly to take the stage. The Everlys then played a short set of four songs: “Wake Up Little Susie”; “All I Have to Do Is Dream”; “Let It Be Me” and “Bye Bye Love”. sandgprog2004Simon and Grafunkel returned for a second set including all the other great tunes: “Scarborough Fair”; “Homeward Bound”; my all-time favourite “The Sound of Silence”; “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Paul Simon also sang a number of his solo hits. The screens behind them showed videos of them as kids, and during the ’60s, bringing back lots of memories for all of us. The audience called them back for a few encores, including the haunting “Leaves That Are Green”. Wonderful stuff. Now whats the chances of them coming back again in another 10 years? Well you never know, do you.
Set 1: Old Friends/Bookends; A Hazy Shade of Winter; I Am a Rock; America; At the Zoo; Baby Driver; Kathy’s Song; Hey, Schoolgirl.
The Everly Brothers set: Wake Up Little Susie; All I Have to Do Is Dream; Let It Be Me; Bye Bye Love
Set 2: Scarborough Fair/Canticle; Homeward Bound; The Sound of Silence; Mrs. Robinson; Slip Slidin’ Away; El Condor Pasa (If I Could); Keep the Customer Satisfied; The Only Living Boy in New York; American Tune; My Little Town; Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Encore: Cecilia; The Boxer
Encore 2: Leaves That Are Green; The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

The Everly Brothers in concert

The Everly Brothers in concert
You can hear the Everly Brothers everywhere; through their own music and through the way they have influenced the music of others. There are, without question, one of the most important acts in rock music. Without the Everlys, Simon and Garfunkel wouldn’t have sounded the same, The Beatles harmonies may not have developed in the way they did, and The Hollies, and CSNY would not have existed in the way they did. Their influence was that substantial. I was lucky enough to see The Everly Brothers in concert on four occasions. The first was low down on the bill at the Grangemouth festival in 1972. At that point, they certainly weren’t cool, and their importance was largely unrecognised or worse, forgotten, by most. They were just another band low down on the bill, singing some great pop songs. I remember wondering why they were on a bill alongside Jeff Beck and Status Quo, but being pleasantly surprised by their performance. I think at that point they were playing few of their hits and were playing their latest (country I think) album. The brothers then drifted apart, and didn’t perform together again for some years. I saw them twice on reunion tours, once at Newcastle City Hall, and again at Sunderland Empire. Those concerts were very much about the hits. By then we all knew just how important they were; its funny how it often takes some time to realise how good some acts were. The last time I saw them was as special guests to Simon and Garfunkel on their reunion tour some years ago, Paul Simon introducing them as the reason he started singing. The Everlys in concert were just superb. How could they not be with all those great songs to choose from? Don would lift up that big black acoustic guitar and strum the chords to Wake Up Little Suzie or another of those classics, and then Phil would come in and those perfect harmonies would just flow. There was simply nothing better. And as well as the songs, the show was a story of two brothers, who have had their differences and personal difficulties, and yet came together and made such beautiful music that everyone could enjoy. It just doesn’t get any better. A typical set would include all of these great songs and more: Cryin’ in the Rain; When Will I Be Loved; All I have to do is Dream; Bye Bye Love; Till I kissed you; Cathys Clown; Wake Up Little Susie; Let It Be Me; Walk Right Back; Bird Dog; the list just goes on and on. I have some of their old records on 78 upstairs; its time to dig them out and play them again on my trusty old Dansette.

Grangemouth Pop Festival Scotland 23 September 1972: Jeff Beck, Billy Connolly and others

The Grangemouth Pop Festival
Line up: Beck Bogert Appice; Status Quo; Steeleye Span; Lindisfarne; The Everley Brothers; Beggars Opera; Average White Band; Sunshine; Billy Connolly; The Chris McClure Section; MC: John Peel. All for £1.50!
I’m going to see Billy Connolly at Newcastle City Hall on Thursday night. I’m looking forward to the gig, and it made me think about the couple of times I’ve seen Billy Connolly in the past. The first time I saw him was at The Grangemouth Pop Festival in Scotland in 1972 (see ticket right). At the time he was unknown outside Scotland and, as he delighted in telling us, he was scared shitless about this gig, as it was his biggest to date. The festival was organised by Great Western Festivals, who had also run the excellent Lincoln Festival which I attended earlier in 1972, and was billed as Scotland’s first pop festival. My friend Nicky and I went by train to the gig. Grangemouth is north west of Edinburgh. The festival took place on Saturday 23 September 1972 and was part of the Grangemouth centenary celebrations. It was held in a sports stadium, which was in an industrial area, next to a gasworks, which spewed smoke over us at various times during the day. It wasn’t that well attended as I recall, with quite a heavy atmosphere, drunkenness, and some fights as the day went on. The promised line up was good, however a few of the bands who were billed did not play; a not uncommon occurrence in those days. Billy Connolly (see left from the programme of the festival) delivered a set pretty early during the day which was a mix of comedy and folk songs, and was one of the hits of the day for me. He’d just had a success at the Edinburgh festival and was just starting to make a name for himself.Other highlights of the day were Beggars Opera who were also local heroes with great swirling Hammond organ, The Everley Brothers who sang all those timeless hits, and Steeleye Span, who were still playing quite traditionally-based elecric folk at that time, before the days of All Around My Hat. Status Quo were at the top of their game in the early 70s, and were great favourites of Peel, who was DJ/MC for the day. Marsh Hunt was to seen wandering around the crowd. The extract to the right, which is taken from the newspaper programme (also see below) shows the line up and timings. Chris Mclure, who was another local hero, also played. Unfortunately, neither Uriah Heep or The Electric Light Orchestra played. Beck, Bogert and Appice were the main reason we went along, and Beck was a revelation. His guitar playing eclipses Clapton in my view, and I was in awe of him that night. I remember him playing Superstition and am pretty sure that he used a mouth-tube, which was the first time I’d seen suc a strange contraption, and was a few years before Peter Frampton used one on Show Me The Way. I can’t remember much of the set, but I’m pretty sure it contained Morning Dew, a new song called Black Cat Moan, Going Down, and an epic version of Keep Me Hanging On, which Bogert and Appice will have brought with them from Vanilla Fudge. After the gig we got the train back to Edinburgh, where we spent the night trying, and failing, to sleep on some pretty hard and uncomfortable benches, until it was time for the first train back to Newcastle on the Sunday morning.