My Little Red Book
Photos by Jane (Isle of Man)
It was a great evening and Arthur's voice was strong and excellent - if you shut your eyes you could have been listening to him singing the original recordings!!
Regards, Alun Jones
Review: Arthur Lee & Love at Concorde 2, Brighton (June 6th, 2002)
What a night! We got there only moments before the familiar strains of "My Little Red Book" began pumping out (having been sitting around at home quaffing red wine with my old mate Micky Stannard & smoking a couple of joints with my daughter Alice - don't worry, she's 30! - and then all running out into the night & hailing a cab over to Concorde).
Met other friends there, even though the Concorde was packed solid, my Sudanese friend Fatih just in from Arabia & dancing about, my younger brother Richard too, grinning from ear to ear - he hasn't been to a gig at that volume since the 70's! - but for Arthur Lee he made an exception...
And what of this new Love? How did they interpret this classic material? Impeccably - all respect to Mike Randle in particular, getting the flute lines from "Orange Skies" 100% right with his lead - people were agape, openmouthed - and all the punchy brass riffs from "You Set The Scene" too. I couldn't BELIEVE how graceful it was. I remembered owning a vinyl copy of "Forever Changes" circa 1967 (living in a small flat in Streatham) and everytime the intro to "Alone Again Or" started I always got goosebumps, and I still do - but if anyone had told me then I'd be witnessing the man doing it live, 35 years later, bringing the house down, I woulda said "get outta town" or the UK equivalent ("give it a rest, guv"?)
I was kinda hoping for auxiliary brass & strings at Concorde, like reports of some of the European gigs, but in the event didn't miss 'em at all - messrs Randle, Dave Chapple, Rusty Squeezebox & David Green can do the lot! And Arthur Lee was brilliant - what a voice, what presence; what extraordinary songs. I couldn't believe the nonchalance with which he & the band pulled off "The Red Telephone" - such an eerie song - I just didn't want it to stop - ever - I want my freedom. And the 5/8 dementia of "Stephanie Knows Who", the driven apocalypse of "House Is Not A Motel", the blistering harp on "Signed DC" and the totally uninhibited (this man is 57?) "My Flash On You". All around me people were singing their hearts out - the final "Singing Cowboy" was like one big communal singalong - but with balls. Whoo-hoo! So great - and if I'd known they were selling official Love knickers outside I would've got a pair for my long-suffering wife, but I was fairly out of it by the end (bundled into a taxi by my daughter Alice who, laughing, kept her feet up against my chest to stop me falling off the back seat. ahem!).
Next time Love play Brighton we'll take 'em for a decent breakfast! - the Market Diner down on Circus Street - clientelle's a bit iffy (24-hour opening for market traders & all the usual suspects, like me), but the food is great (for Britain, Mr Randle!) - go for the gutbuster my son...
thanks, Arthur, for the best night since I can't remember when