Saturday, June 08, 2019

Flamin’ Groovies- Under The Bridge London Review 7/06/19

There are curses and then there are curses… For The Groovies, bad luck never seems to be far away, and once again it had struck as Roy Loney fell after going through security at the airport in SF, paramedics intervened and instead of boarding the plane to the UK, he was wheeled away to hospital.

So the band flew in without him. A very difficult situation to contend with for the band as the shows were supposed to highlight the Teenage Head album… so without Roy it was going to prove impossible to go ahead as planned.

The show must go on…

The band reconvened in the UK and worked out a set, including some tunes from Teenage Head that they felt they could pull off on stage without Roy. Following gigs in Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle, they arrived at Abramovich’s vanity Roadhouse at Stamford Bridge

Although through Facebook, many knew that Roy wasn’t appearing, the information obviously hadn’t reached everyone who attended. I didn’t see a sign at the door explaining the situation. This should really be remedied for the next shows

Anyway back to the music. With Cyril being the only original band member, on display a lot depended on him, however the band really rose to the occasion. Chris Von Sneidern (CVS) who is a real talent in his own right, having released some stellar Powerpop albums in the 1990//2000s. Chris also has a new album “Emerge”, which I am about to discover. Last time (with Chris Wilson) CVS was on bass, but this time he switched to guitar which suited him and the band much more. Atom (his real name!) Ellis filled bass duties with much aplomb and provided a solid bottom end. Last, but not least, Tony Sales on drums really lifted proceedings with his drumming and his vocals were really good taking the lead of on several Teenage Head songs and providing great harmony work with CVS.

Cyril was simply Cyril. It must be remembered that he is 71 years old, and while he mostly pulled it off, many of the songs were being played too slow. Shake Some Action in particular needs to be shifted up a gear, especially as it’s the opener.

There were some great moments, but the key moment for me was the guitar interplay between CVS and Cyril on Don’t Put Me On with both men playing parts that gelled wonderfully together. Thanks to Tony’s vocals;  the Teenage Head section also really worked, great to finally hear the Cyril’s slide part on High Flyin’ Baby

As the tour progresses, the band will get even better, they just need to work out another 3 or 4 songs. If Cyril wants to play some 80s material, I strongly suggest they drop Way Down Under (always a naff tune) and try Way Over My Head instead. Also the set was sorely missing Whiskey Woman.

It's all about managing expectations and making the most of a difficult situation. Roy is not going to re-appear during this tour which must be incredibly frustrating for him and everyone concerned.
So I suggest everyone goes to see the band and marvel at the effort the band is putting into these shows, and actually enjoy the songs on the understanding that this may be the last time that a Cyril fronted band will ever play Europe again

There will be a Mike Wilhelm tribute show in SF in October, I hope this is the occasion where all Groovies past and present, can come back together in a suitable tribute to the great man

In the meantime – good health and recovery to Roy

Pic of Roy 6th June 2019

1 comment:

planckzoo said...

Thanks for the review. I hope Roy recovers. The Groovies seem to find bad luck!