UK, January 24. 2003
Last Update: 03.
|My Little Red Book
Your Mind And We Belong Together
Alone again or
A House is not a motel
Between clark and hilldale
Live and let live
Good humour man
Bummer in the summer
You set the scene
My flash on you
Everybodies Gotta Live/instant Karma
She comes in colors
Always See Your Face
Listen To My Song
7 and 7 is
Photos: Chris Jones and Elly Roberts
Arrived at the gig in plenty of time and met up with Chris Adams (a
Eurotrader friend of mine) and my son Dan (first time we'd been to a gig
together) who is a student at Liverpool University. I was hoping that Arthur and
the lads would be on good form as Dan hadn't heard Love before and I really
wanted him to be turned on by the band.
I'd been given a free guest ticket as a couple of my pix had been used in the
programme so I was already pretty high on emotion before the show started.
The place filled up rapidly and the attraction of the bar meant that I was a
bit late taking up a spot close to the front, but I managed to squeeze my way in
to a good position almost at the centre of the front of the stage.
The gig started with a high energy My Little Red Book and before the number
had ended the crowd were already right behind the band. Throughout the gig
Arthur was interspersing a lot of comment and banter between songs - he seemed
really pleased to be back in Liverpool and made lots of comments about it
throughout the show.
The spotlights cast an appropriate vivid orange-red glow over the whole stage
as Orange Skies followed LRB.
It seemed no time at all before the string and horn sections came out and
took their places at the rear right of the stage.
Having seen Love three times on this tour, I have to say that they orchestra
musicians are getting better and better - and they are clearly totally into the
Arthur is on top form - working his audience like the superlative showman he
is. Coaxing and crooning his way through Old Man - for which he needs a music
stand as he can't remember the words - and wringing every ounce of feeling from
And then a change of tempo as the band launch into the Red Telephone. It
seems to me that they perform this live a little faster than on the album - and
there's certainly a lot more spirit in the live version. Just before the song,
Arthur makes a comment about the song being relevant thirty years ago
and being relevant again now with the American war machine gearing up in the
At the climax of the number the whole place is erupting and crying
"Freedom" in reply to Arthur.
Clark and Hilldale is the moment when Mike Randle really starts letting rip -
in the background the horn section start bobbing up and down in time to the
music and end up pogo-ing madly as they get totally caught up in the vibes.
Needless to say, everyone is singing along as Live and Let Live begins -
never in the field of gigging has so much snot caked against so many pants. Mike
again comes centre stage to deliver his power riffs which ring out loud and
clear - this guy really delivers.
Another change of pace and mood with the Good Humor Man and I think that
everyone appreciated the opportunity to mellow out a bit. The horns really work
well here giving the song a stunning climax.
Bummer in the Summer starts cranking things up again and the crowd erupts at
the opening notes of You Set the Scene.
As the last echoes of the Forever Changes suite resonate through the hall,
the crowd erupts. Arthur seems absolutely bowled over by his reception but
doesn't forget to pay tribute to the strings and horns.
The guys are only off for a few moments before they're picking up their
instruments again to wild applause from the crowd.
They kick off with a superb version of Robert Montgomery - this is such a strong number and is even better than it is on Four Sail. I'm so pleased
that they've brought it back into their repertoire.
My Flash On You gives Dave Chapple the chance to show off some gorgeous bass
runs in this proto-punk number.
Signed DC is, as always, 100% emotion. Arthur's harp soars out between verses
dripping with feeling.
Arthur never misses the opportunity to give John Lennon a name check ("a
good friend and a hero of mine" ) before he launches into the sing along
fun of Everybody's Gotta Live/Instant Karma.
She Comes In Colors is another favourite of the crowd (though let's face it,
they all are) and Mike does a lovely impression of a flute at the appropriate
The next one from Four Sail is August - and this is one of their most
requested numbers, along with Singing Cowboy. Tonight we got both and they
The strings and horns return for another Four Sail favourite - Always See
Your Face - which neatly brings the tempo down again after the highs of August.
This in turn is followed by the gentle Listen To My Song.
My Anthem is the new one. No piper as for the RFH (wonder if they'll bring
one back for the February RFH gig) and I think that this is the weakest moment.
Perhaps the song will develop, but I'm really not sure about it.
The fourth and final number from Four Sail is Singing Cowboy. This is a
fitting finale to the show and everyone is whooping and hollering "Coming
back to you-hoo, yoo-hoo" in response to Arthur.
The band leave the stage again and look as if they have all given everything
they've got. The crowd cheers madly and within a few seconds the band comes back
to play an encore. Most unexpected as they haven't done so hitherto when I've
They launch into a fierce Seven and Seven Is and when that ends it really is
the end of the show. The crowd leave with beaming faces. My son has had a really
good time and thought they were shit hot - and so did I.
Arthur is such a dominating showman and Mike such a powerful lead guitarist
that it would be easy to overlook the contribution made by the rhythm section in
holding the whole thing together. Daddy-O Green never misses a beat and provides
a solid foundation. Dave Chapple plays a very neat bass and clearly enjoys every
minute of what he is doing. Rusty is a very talented guitarist indeed, but in a
totally unpushy way. It seems to me that it is he that actually ties the whole
thing together. It was certainly noticeable last year in Leeds that Arthur had
to constantly refer to Rusty to find out what happened next, and sometimes to
help him remember the words. This wasn't quite as obvious this time around, but
nevertheless, Rusty was the man.
Love are now performing four songs from Four Sail, and I wonder if they'll
also bring in to the repertoire Nothing and Dream - two more strong songs from
this underrated album. I'm also eagerly awaiting the resurrection of some of the
tracks from False Start - I can really envisage Mike Randle tearing the place up
with The Everlasting First.
When I first heard about Love performing Forever Changes with strings and
horns, I had serious doubts as to whether it would work in a live setting. My
doubts were totally dispelled at the RFH and I have to say that these people -
totally unaware of Forever Changes until a few moths ago - just keep getting
better and better. They have made a huge contribution to the enjoyment of the
show and it's so nice to see that they are enjoying it too.
Well that could have been it. But after the show, I decided to wait around
and try and get a word with some of the band. So, like the tour slut I've become
in the last year, I hung around outside by the band's bus and vans and waited
for the band to emerge. It seemed to take ages before they did finally leave the
hall, but my waiting time was made easier by the presence of Lavinia a beautiful
twenty-something student at the University who had brought along a copy of the
booklet from the Forever Changes CD in the hope of getting Arthur to sign it.
I'd brought a ringbinder full of my photos in the hope that I could get a few
autographs too. I'd had a chance at Sheffield when I'd met all the band bar
Arthur before and afterwards but had stupidly not taken the opportunity to do
so. This time - my last opportunity for this tour - I wasn't going to give up
Eventually, after an hour, they emerged and started to dash straight for the
bus. Lavinia managed to buttonhole Arthur though and got him to sign her booklet
and posed while I took their picture. Mike came out and asked me if I'd gotten
in all right on my guest pass before he boarded the bus. I then had the chance
to show Arthur just one photo of mine - but one which he seemed impressed with -
and got him to sign it (you can see a scan of the signed print at Torben's
review of the January RFH show). Lavinia took my picture with Arthur and that
was it. The band were away. The show was over and now it was all just memories.
But what memories - whoooo.
Lavinia & Arthur
Chris Jones & Arthur
Thanks Arthur and Love, and the horns and strings for three superb concerts
(RFH, Sheffield and Liverpool). The memories you've given me will give me a warm
glow during many a cold winter night in the future.
Controversial sixties legend Arthur Lee, born
Arthur Porter Taylor, put his troubled past behind him with an astonishing two
hour show at Academy Liverpool.
Iconic Lee is a cool past master, and showed why he is so revered amongst musos
around the world. Looking remarkably fit at 57 years of age, he rolled back the
years as he revisited the album which brought Love such critical acclaim back in
1968 – Forever Changes, a musical extravaganza of gargantuan proportions. At
the time it was regarded as the American equivalent of the Beatles’
Sgt.Peppers despite strong competition from Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. Music
cynics might argue that this is a dubious concept in itself, regurgitating
compositions from 35 years and beyond, but as far as I’m concerned it was an
absolute master stoke.
Advertised as the 35 Anniversary of Forever Changes, it was in reality a
celebration of one of the most groundbreaking albums of all time. It also served
to influence a whole generation of musicians from the outset, with the opening
song Aloneagainor setting the scene for a collection of immaculately crafted
songs that have not dated one iota.
Aloneagainor ranks amongst my all time favourites, made even more remarkable by
the fact that despite several attempts, six in all, to get it into the UK
singles chart over the years, it never made it.Sadly it was the number one hit
that never was. As with many bands from that period, the only remaining member
was frontman Arthur Lee with a superb new line – up of musicians, Mike Randle
guitar, Rusty Squeezebox guitar, Dave ‘ Daddyo ‘ Green drums and Dave
Chapple bass. Added to this combo was a young Swedish string and horn ensemble
who seemed to be relishing every moment of their inclusion. Just about every
decible of the sound had been meticulously engineered, even down to the vocal
mics which gave unparalleled clarity to the lyrics, almost replicating every
nuance of the studio recording .
With the benefit of a photo pass, I was able to get right in the thick of it so
to speak, directly in front of Lee for the first four numbers. Artistic licence
is permitted when you’re a mega – star, so the band elected to open with My
Little Red Book, a riffy lamment with Lee’s vocals showing richer tones than
the original, rapidly followed by Orange Skies and Your Mind And We Belong
Together. Then it was enter orchestra for Aloneagainor. It was almost like
having him play it in my own living room. Full on delicate chords and then bag
into the brass and strings – absolute heaven ! And it didn’t stop there
either, as the set threw up other gems, A House Is Not A Motel ( covered by
Robert Plant on the very same stage last Summer ), the delightful Andmoreagain,
Red Telephone and the exquisite You Set The Scene. Other album material got an
outing such as Signed DC, She Comes In Colors with newly penned songs such as My
Anthem and Singing Cowboy bringing new light to his present portfolio, making
this one of the best gigs I’ve ever attended and the fans, packed to the
rafters certainly did. Best part of the evening was watching two teenage men
looking on at the stage front, with their jaws dropped throughout in amazement
at the beautiful music conjured up three decades ago. Faultless performance in
every aspect – truly outstanding and I can’t begin to tell you what that
music did to me.
Pulling off Forever Changes was a major feat in the first place, as it was
reportedly dogged by in – band friction, but thankfully it successfully
emerged as a magnificent eleven track masterpiece that all budding musicians
should check out.
Freelance Music Reviewer
WIRRAL GLOBE Wednesday, February 5 2003 Page 31
Love's very, very good indeed
ARTHUR LEE & LOVE @ Liverpool Academy
LOVE released Forever Changes -the best album in the world - in 1969. You
might think that since then the appeal of the album and the band might have
but the crowd at the sold-out Liverpool Academy would disagree.
Forever Changes sounds as good now as it ever did and it may, in fact, sound
better. With bands such as the White Stripes and The Strokes constantly
referencing their work, Love's sound is about as contemporary as you can get.
Lee stepped on stage with the same musicians that toured with him last year but
with the added bonus of a string section brought all the way from Sweeden.
Every age group was represented and all were blown away by a performance that
proves Arthur Lee is still very much the man.
In three words Coral guitarist and fan, Lee Southall, summed up the night:
"Very, very good," he said.