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Update July 2018


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Mott the Dog
 

July 14, 2018 - July 20, 2018

Mott The Hoople turn up the heat at Ramblin’ Man Fair

Mott The Hoople perform at the 2018 Ramblin’ Man Fair in Maidstone, Kent, southern England, Saturday, June 30. (Photo/Harpic Bryant)

Scorching hot English summer weather welcomed the ‘ramblers’ to the fourth Ramblin’ Man Fair in Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent, England on June 30, but not to worry, the beer and cold cider were in plentiful supply as usual, as was the shade.

Before the festival there had been some grumbles among ramblers about this and that but the organization of the event went like clockwork and everything that had been promised was there present and correct. The beautiful weather was a bonus.

There were too many bands and performances to give deserved long and flowing reviews to, but Gorilla Riot, if I dare say (many people had different favorites) just about edged it on the Rising Stage. Among the other more established acts that went down well were No Hot Ashes to be followed by great sets in no particular order from Myles Kennedy, Steve Earle, Cadillac Three, and Skinny Molly (their version of “Free Bird” sent shivers through the festival site.) Steel Panther pleased those who like that sort of thing and there were many other great bands but space restrictions here make me keep it short.

Headlining the Main Stage, nearly 50 years after forming, were the incomparable Mott The Hoople. There have been two previous goes at reforming the band, but with original members. This time it was the turn of Ariel Bender, A.K.A. Luther Grosvenor, and Morgan Fisher to join main man Ian Hunter on stage. On the first two rounds the band had played down their Glam Rock image of their later years. This time they brought the Glam with them, sauntering on stage with Morgan Fisher to your left as you looked at the stage in his keyboard collared jacket and Ariel Bender to the right in his snazzy suit, beret and low slung guitar. Ian Hunter commanded the centre with his ever-present shades, hat, two piece suit and shoelace tie, even the Maltese cross guitar was brought out for “Walkin’ With A Mountain.”

Behind them was the might of Hunter’s full time solo band, the Rant Band, allowing the stars up front full reign to add their own personal glitter to the show. The band started deceptively quietly with the opening to Don McLean’s “American Pie” until the volume rocked up when the lines rang out, “the day that music died”, or did it? When with a mighty blast, “The Golden Age of Rock’n’Roll” rent the air asunder and any thoughts that these guys were too old to headline a rock show (Ian Hunter has just celebrated his 79th birthday) were scattered to the winds.

As in the old days, Ariel Bender scampered across the stage like a man demented, ripping solos from his guitar at will while enticing the audience to higher fever pitches. Morgan Fisher meanwhile hammered the keys on his piano as if he was determined to make sure the poor instrument would never make it through the night.

All the favourite tunes were performed but perhaps the best was kept for last when the band let it all hang out to a twenty minute medley of their most rocking songs, followed by their biggest hit, the David Bowie penned “All The Young Dudes” and finally, as can only be appropriate as it was Saturday night, the band left the stage to “Saturday Gigs”, leaving the crowd singing “Goodbye” long after the band members had exited the stage.

Set List:

Introduction/Jupiter

American Pie/Golden Age Of Rock’n’Roll

Lounge Lizard

Alice

Honaloochie Boogie

Rest In Peace

I Wish I was Your Mother

Pearl’n’Roy

Roll Away The Stone

Sweet Jane

Rose

Walkin’ With A Mountain

Marionette

Medley (Jerkin’ Crocus/One Of The Boys/Rock’n’Roll Queen/Crash Street Kids/Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On/Violence)

All The Young Dudes

Saturday Gigs

Note: Written by Mott The Cat.


July 7, 2018 - July 13, 2018

Queen: ‘News of the World’

Queen in 1977 (from left) Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Freddie Mercury and Brian May.

By the time of Queen’s sixth album “News Of The World” (1977) the band already ruled the world of rock music and were in the prime of their careers. It showed up brilliantly on this album with all four members of the group bristling with confidence. Hence the song writing, instruments and singing are all shared out, with everybody shining.

The album was a smash hit internationally, going four times platinum in the United States alone and selling over 6 million copies in all. Of course it also dripped some of the best known singles of the Seventies. The double A-sided “We Are The Champions”/”We Will Rock You” has been played at every sports ground in the world and especially at cup finals. If you put “We Are The Champions” on in any gathering, automatically everybody is a Freddie Mercury wannabe.

The second single “Spread Your Wings” is probably an even better song, though perhaps not as commercial. But they all stand the test of time very well.

The album opens up with the rabble rousing “We Will Rock You”, designed by its author Brian May to be a song to get the crowd going. With its Stomp-Stomp-Clap-Pause four/four measure it’s a complete earworm of a song.

In the running order of the tracks released on the original album it’s Freddie Mercury’s turn next with the songwriting on the aforementioned “We Are The Champions”. Then third out of the traps is a real blast with “Sheer Heart Attack”, written by Roger Taylor and a screaming rocker if ever there was one. In contrast the next lament “All Dead All Dead” is a song inspired by the death of Brian May’s boyhood cat.

The quiet man of the band John Deacon then gets his name on the score-sheet with “Spread Your Wings” while “Fight From The Inside” is one of the few Queen songs almost entirely played by one member: Roger Taylor wrote it, sang the lyrics and played the drums and guitars. Slash has been quoted as saying the jangling guitar riffs are amongst his favorites.

“Get Down, Make Love” opens side 2 and is one of the most sexually orientated songs ever laid down in a recording studio (snigger). Immediately following it is “Sleeping on the Sidewalk”, a blues excursion from Brian May that was recorded in one take (mistakes and all). It has a lovely, loose feel to it. “Who Needs You” is another John Deacon song, featuring Spanish guitars and Freddie Mercury on cowbell.

“It’s Late” would be the stand out track of almost any other album. Written by Brian May as a three act song, the last act sees the band really wig out in true rocking style.

Lastly we have “My Melancholy Blues”, a showpiece for the talents of Freddie Mercury and his jazzy style. It’s a fitting way to close out a classic album.

Queen backed up the album with an extensive tour of America and Europe. It was the ‘must have’ ticket for both the end of 1977 and early 1978. Queen played a full set with all the stage props, pyrotechnics etc. and did not even bother with a support band on the tour, such was their ability to draw a crowd.

Frank Kelly’s artwork for the album was also groundbreaking.

Mott the Dog Rating: 5 Stars.

Queen:

Freddie Mercury - vocals, piano and cowbell

Brian May – guitars and vocals

John Deacon - bass guitar and vocals

Roger Taylor – drums, vocals, guitars

Track List:

We Will Rock You

We Are The Champions

Sheer Heart Attack

All Dead All Dead

Spread Your Wings

Fight From The Inside

Get Down , Make Love

Sleeping on the Side Walk

Who Needs You

It’s Late

My Melancholy Blues

Note: Written By Mott The Dog and Hells Bells, who can be found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub. Soi AR, North Pattaya.


June 30, 2018 - July 6, 2018

A New Day Festival promises three days of fantastic fun & music

Crowds flock to the stage at the New Day Festival in Kent, southern England.

The festival will feature a plethora of musical talent.

Mt. Ephraim Gardens with its large house and 800 acre estate is situated in Herne Hill in the centre of Kent’s rolling valleys, approx. 48 miles from London. The estate was first built in 1695 and for the last 300 years has been cared for and attended by the Dawes family. The gardens had to be completely re-furbished after years of neglect due to the Second World War but they have been lovingly restored with many different flowers and rock and water gardens. In the centre is a lovely old sweet chestnut tree.

Herne Hill itself is just outside Faversham, which is an old English settlement that can be dated back to pre-Roman times. Kent is famous for its beautiful countryside, cherry trees, apple orchards, hop fields and pretty girls. As Charles Dickens once wrote, “Kent, Sir, Everybody knows Kent”. Within the Mt. Ephraim Estate is the Mont Field Cricket Ground which was once a County Ground. Faversham is also the home of England’s oldest family run brewery - Shepherd Neame. Kent is rightly proud of its many local beers.

Once a year (this year from August 3-5), Mt. Ephraim opens its gates to A New Day Festival, and what a wonderful occasion it is too! Three days of great music, sitting about making new friends, re-acquainting with old ones and seeing people from previous years.

There are two stages which are set out at the bottom of two fields, nicely close, but far enough apart to be just right as it is about a two minute walk between stages. The Spitfire Stage and the Shindig Stage have bands who follow each other on with military precision. As you walk back up the fields each side is lined with stalls, selling everything your heart could desire: fish ’n’ chips, sandwiches, pastries, curries and pizzas. There is a marvellous cheese shop selling all sorts of local delicacies as well as people selling clothes and records (vinyl) and CDs - mostly of the artists appearing at the festival. There is a fabulous tent in between the stages where, after each band finishes, they congregate and sign any CDs bought by the patrons.

At the top of each field are the beer tents. All beers are kept at the same price (last year is was 3.50 a pint). The festival also employs proper, experienced bar staff and this makes all the difference.

The cricket pitch is turned into a camping/glamping site with plenty of parking space and the amenities are in abundance and impeccably clean. There are also plenty of nearby hotels and inns. Greed is not on the agenda at the New Day Festival so the numbers are kept down to allow plenty of freedom to wander about without having to queue.

With all this, there are Rock & Roll bands too. Last year the lineup was amazing and this year they have bettered it. Each day has a band in the mid-afternoon who could easily headline the event itself. On Friday its John Otway, Saturday Bernie Torme, and Sunday Son of Man. Saturday is headliners all day long.

A New Day Festival is a very special event for music lovers so if you happen to live in the UK or be visiting in early August, make sure to check it out. For more information, visit: www.anewdayfestival.com.

Note: Written by Mott The Dog of Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.

(Photos courtesy Gem Redford Photography)


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Mott The Hoople turn up the heat at Ramblin’ Man Fair

Queen: ‘News of the World’

A New Day Festival promises three days of fantastic fun & music


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