AUTHOR: JOHN MOROZ
PUBLISH DATE:  25 April 2010

FAIRFIELD HALLS, CROYDEN 9 OCTOBER 2009, "MAXIMUM RHYTHM N BLUES"
The Alan Price Set including Bobby Tench & Zoot Money plus Maggie Bell & Chris Farlowe.


A line up, packed with well known names from the sixties, were welcomed by a theatre about two thirds full (credit crunch blues, perhaps?).
Alan Price came on stage with his 'set', comprising of Zoot Money on Moog, Bobby Tench on lead guitar, Colin Allen on drums, Peter on base and Horns of Plenty (Kim and Howie on sax). “I'm Crying”, an Alan Price penned song, opened the evening, with less than perfect sound, however this was soon rectified and we could hear the vocals clearly for the rest of the evening. All the artists were given spots in both halves, which worked well. 

In the first half,
Bobby Tench showed his guitarmanship on “Black Magic Woman” and his funky side on the James Brown number “I Feel Good”. Zoot Money also did his James Brown bit with “Papa's got a Brand New Bag” and “Out of Sight”. Chris Farlowe ripped into the Wilson Pickett number “In the Midnight Hour”, a track he recorded for Immediate but doesn't often include in his shows. This was followed by Chris's own interpretation of “Stormy Monday Blues”, which disappointed my colleague as it seemed to bear no relation to the well know track of that name. An excellent version of the Free classic, “Wishing Well” opened Maggie Bell's first half set, with a lot of emphasis on the hook line “Love in a Peaceful world”. “Try a little Tenderness” displayed Maggie's undoubtedly powerful and soulful voice. She showed that at 64 she can still strut around the stage with much energy.

Alan Price gave us a number of his hits including “Hi Lily Hi Lily Hi Lo”, “I put a Spell on You” and Randy Newman's “Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear”. The latter song was preceded by a long story involving Randy's Dad, George Newman and an iron lung! There was plenty of banter from Alan delivered in his usual lugubrious style.

The first half ended with Chris and Maggie duetting on the
Judy Clay and William Bell classic “Private Number”. Perhaps too sweet a song for these two raucous voiced artists but they seemed to enjoy it. 

“Changes” from the film
“O Lucky Man” opened the second half, apparently Alan Price wrote the soundtrack in less than 3 days. Whilst “No don't stop the Carnival” was in full swing my colleague said that clowns and acrobats would be appropriate! In the same style, this was followed by “The Jarrow Song”, perhaps he should put on a circus show? Rhythm n' Blues, this wasn't but it was good to be reminded of these songs.

Zoot then gave us his only hit “Big Time Operator”, great to hear this one again. Next was a slow bluesy song called “Stop the Wedding” which was apparently played at the Flamingo Club in the sixties, an excellent number that I don't remember hearing before. Internet research showed this was originally recorded by Etta James in 1962. 

Bobby Tench's contribution in this half comprised of the John Lee Hooker classic “Boom Boom” and Ben E King's “Stand by Me”. Apparently the latter number has featured in an advert recently which brought it to my wife's attention. Chris gave us two sixties classics in “Handbags and Gladrags”, originally written for him, a point he likes to make and his signature tune “Out of Time” (how many times have I heard it and how many times has he performed it!). Maggie Bell then did her interpretation of “I believe I'm in love with you”, a number originally recorded by Bonnie Raitt.

Next came Alan's rendition of
the Animals classic, “House of the Rising Sun” and an excellent job he made of it too, some 45 years on from when it was first a hit. Another Animal's number “We gotta get out of this place” brought everyone back on stage to join in and supposedly end the show. However after much clapping and cheering we had the obligatory encore, “Tell me what I say” with everyone joining in again and bringing a very enjoyable concert to an end.