Mott the Dog
August 18, 2018 - August 24, 2018
Edgar Broughton: ‘By Myself’
Broughton performs at the 2017 New Day Festival in Faversham, Kent, England.
The Dog was a big fan
of the Edgar Broughton Band in the late Sixties and early Seventies, when
they played a mixture of heavy psychedelic jagged blues rock, fronted by
Edgar Broughton’s almost Captain Beefheart voice and singing songs of
political outrage and social commentary.
The band broke up in
1976 and while there were various attempts at reforming, the plug was
finally pulled for the last time in 2010 when Broughton opted to go out
recording and playing as a solo artist.
I was most intrigued to
see him on the bill of the wonderful New Day Festival in Faversham, Kent in
August 2017. I learnt that Broughton would be performing solo, accompanied
only by himself on guitar and imagined we would get a run through of some of
the Edgar Broughton Band classics and then a long version of “Out Demons
Out” to fill in the set. I would have been quite happy with that, shouting
along to the final chorus, but how delightfully wrong I was. We managed to
secure places on the very front row before the stage area filled up and we
stayed there mesmerized by this incredibly talented singer.
As soon as I was able,
I ordered myself a copy of this album, Edgar Broughton’s latest. From
Thailand this was not the easiest of things to do but, with a little help
from a wizard I know, I managed to buy one off Amazon as a download. I am
delighted by the results.
Mixing new and old
songs from as far back as 1971 (“Poppy” and “Evening Over The Rooftops” from
the Edgar Broughton Band album) and including many other favorites from that
earlier era, Broughton bravely changes the arrangements around to suit
playing with an acoustic guitar: “Green Lights” is no longer based around a
piano and “Evening Over the Rooftops” has bared it’s soul without the David
Bedford string arrangement.
But this does not mean
that Edgar Broughton has settled into middle-age by playing the nostalgia
circuit, even if it would be the underground one. There are plenty of new
songs that demand your attention and they certainly hold their own amongst
the older diamonds. “This England” is a biting stab at the state of the
nation that Edgar Broughton sees tumblin’ around him as he sings: “This
England now is in distress, as bad as we have seen.” No, this old boy has
lost none of his teeth. “Christmas Song” meanwhile is a lament of rare
beauty of the type that used to be written back in the day when songs had a
There are all emotions
on this album, with Broughton always wearing his heart on his sleeve, some
of it making the listener feel quite unsettled as he often hits far too near
the mark for comfort. Please do not buy this album if you expect a
collection of soulful ballads. You get so much more than that.
At the New Day Festival
Edgar Broughton played a song in tribute to his friend Mick Farren (rock
legend) called “The Sound Don’t Come”. The song was heartbreaking to listen
to and held the several thousand strong audience members spellbound. This
will be released on an album next year, making that also a must buy.
Dow/Speak Down the Wires
Ice on Fire
Cool Dark Room
Say You Love Me
Soldiers of the
light. There’s a Hole
Written by Mott The Dog and pictures from my good friends at the New Day
Festival. Mott can often be found in Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North
August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018
Syd Arthur: ‘Apricity’
from Canterbury, UK.
A wonderful group, the members of Syd Arthur named the band after two of
their major influences; Syd Barret of Pink Floyd and Arthur Lee of Love and
this shines through in their music. Everybody has influences, and in musical
terms these are two of the finest.
Formed in Canterbury,
Kent, in 2003 by the brothers Liam and Joe Magill, the band soon added Fred
Rother on drums and completing the line-up was one Raven Bush on violin, son
of John Calder Bush, brother of Kate.
Gigging regularly in
the south of England they released their self titled debut in 2006 and have
since released “On an On” in 2012, and then “Sound Mirror” in 2014. Each
album has been a significant step further along their musical journey and
they have kept their growing group of fans happy by releasing several EP’s
along the way.
Now we have “Apricity”,
released in 2016 and the largest leap forward between albums. Sadly, after
more than twelve years together, Fred Rother had to vacate the drum stool
due to tinnitus, so filling the void on this album and keeping it in the
family was Josh Magill. A very good job he does too, not missing a beat.
It is very hard to
describe Syd Arthur’s sound except to say it’s very good. It’s
psych-pop-rock with elements of jazz and although many of the songs are
plaintive, some by contrast are very cheerful. There are influences of
British progressive goup Van der Graf Generator plus some of Dave Gilmour’s
solo material, all given the Syd Arthur’s positive stamp.
The album opens up with
the title track, introducing us to Liam Magill’s hypnotic vocals and with
the band following him strongly. It’s awash with keyboards, subtle but
vibrant violin, militant drumming from newest family member Josh and pumping
bass lines from Joe Magill.
Once you’re settled
into the Syd Arthur sound, the band break off to deal with diverse topics
such as happiness, sorrow, evolution, coal mining, science fiction, and the
dangers of the sun, with the positive and negative emotions being doled out
in equal portions. Perhaps listening a little bit too much to Nick Drake?
The music never fails
to deliver the songs subject matter, although that can at times make it a
little difficult to follow. The song “Seraphim”, however, serves up
everything that is good in Syd Arthur lyrically and musically and I feel
sure is destined to become a classic.
This marvelous band
have been flying just under the musical radar for more than a decade but I’m
sure that 2018 will see them get much more recognition. The world needs a
new Pink Floyd.
Album Rating: 5 Stars
Liam Magill - guitar &
Joe Magill - bass
Josh Magill - drums
Raven Bush – violin
Plane Crash in
Written By Mott The Dog, who can be found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi
AR, North Pattaya.
August 4, 2018 - August 10, 2018
Scorpions: ‘Animal Magnetism’
The Scorpions were
created in 1965 by Rudolph Schenker and have always been at the forefront of
German rock music. Klaus Meine has been the lead singer on every Scorpions
album and has one of the most distinctive voices in the game, handling the
ballads equally well as the all-out rockers. At first, Rudolph’s brother
Michael (Schenker) was the lead guitarist and focal point of the band, but
his shining light got noticed by those British ruffians UFO and they soon
stole him away. Next on lead six string was Uli Jon Roth, but then he got
recalled to the planet of his origin, so since 1978 Matthias Jabs has made
the position his own.
of The Scorpions.
The classic era of
Scorpions is thought to be from 1978-1992, with the line-up completed by
Francis Bucholz and Herman Rareball. They were known primarily as a
hard/heavy rock band, but their well crafted ballads also garnered them
“Animal Magnetism” was
the Scorpions seventh album and the first to feature Matthias Jabs as sole
lead guitarist. The album comes from the beginning of that classic period
and shows off a band ready to take on the world. The songwriting is pretty
evenly shared out between the group, showing that they were all heading in
the same direction. But that doesn’t mean the songs all sound the same, far
The album opens up as
it means to go on with a livewire rocker in the shape of “Make It Real”,
with forceful lyrics, screaming guitars and a thunderous rhythm section.
The big ballad and
centerpiece of the album, “Lady Starlight”, is an emotional lament and to
this date (2018) is the only Scorpions song to be recorded with strings and
orchestral winds. Klaus Meine’s vocals are obviously heartfelt and probably
came from experience. Rudolph Schenker holds the musical reins on this one
whilst Matthias Jabs puts in a sensational solo to bring the song to its
“The Zoo” is an early
classic from the Scorpions that has probably been played at every one of
their concerts since this album was released. It is a storming rocker that
is guaranteed to get the crowds going in live surroundings. The sight of
Rudolph Schenker windmilling his arm around while rushing to the front of
the stage is one of the most symbolic sites of rock music.
The closing title track
meanwhile is clearly influenced by Led Zeppelin, but then everybody has
their influences so why not take from the best?
The Scorpions are still
going strong today and Mickey Dee (ex-Motorhead) has found a nice little job
on the drum stool, driving on the band from the back. All the while, rumors
of the Scorpions being ready to call it a day continue to be rife every
year. They have now released eighteen studio albums and countless live
albums plus compilations and DVD’s. They have played over 5,000 concerts in
over 80 different countries. Who knows what is next for them. With over 100
million sales behind them they already have a fantastic legacy.
(on Animal Magnetism)
Klaus Miene - vocals
Rudolph Schenker -
Matthias Jabs - lead
Francis Bucholtz - bass
Herman Rareball - drums
Make It Real
Don’t Make No
Promises (Your Body Can’t Keep)
Hold Me Tight
Falling In love
Only A Man
Written By Mott The Dog, swooned over by Hells Bells, both of whom can be
found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.