Back from Milwaukee where the Rhythm Kings performed at the Northern Lights theatre inside a Bingo casino. You must walk through the casino to get to the theatre and for me and Kathleen this was like taking a stroll through a sci-fi movie set at full tilt. Bizzzzzarre!
Anyway, the theatre is small and cozy, we sat in middle of the 2nd row of the balcony but could see everyone on stage clearly and the sound was just about perfect. As Tony Sadowski, who sat next to us, mentioned, Bill's bass was a bit too loud, but not enough to detract from the spectacular performance from this group of incredible musicians.
Here's the rundown:
Bill Wyman: short into saying that 'We just enjoy playing'. (on his website he notes that the band wasn't on key and it was not a fun gig to play) Well, the audience sure had fun. Gary was in full voice and improvised quite a bit.
Let The Good Times Roll – Georgie Fame & Gary Brooker trading vocals
Jitterbug Boogie – Gary Brooker vocal
Walking One & Only – (Dan Hicks tune) – Georgie Fame vocal
Jump Jive & Wail – Albert Lee vocal
Baby Workout – Beverley Skeete vocal
Tell You A Secret – (Fame and Taylor sit out) – in key of A; Gary Brooker vocal with Spoonful riffin' (great song)
Anyway The Wind Blows – (Brooker sits out) – Georgie Fame vocal, Martin Taylor solo
Breakin' Up The House – Gary Brooker vocal
This Little Girl's Gone Rockin' – Janice Hoyte vocal (the Ruth Brown song)
Hit The Road Jack – Gary Brooker vocal – jazzy piano with vocal response from Beverley Skeete
Melody – Beverley Skeete – Brooker stands and rocks out with horn section but does not play piano
I Put A Spell On You – Beverley Skeete vocal (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Mystery Train – Georgie Fame and Gary Brooker vocals
Hole In The Wall – Gary Brooker vocal – intro asking audience name and age of theatre – incorporates into song
Tear It Up – Albert Lee vocal
Georgia On My Mind – (duet) Georgie Fame vocal, Martin Taylor guitar – Fame's story on meeting Hoagie Carmichael
A Whiter Shade Of Pale – (duet) Gary Brooker vocal, Frank Mead sax – Gary's A Salty Dog intro leads into the story of his inspirations for writing the music for AWSoP – listen to the mp3 of this introduction about Johann Sebastian Bach coming to Gary in a dream and talking about the falling bassline … asking him to take turns in trying to pass it on ('Gaz, boy, I'm picking you!') including Bach's Air on a G String, When a Man Loves a Woman, For No One from Revolver, No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley and then breaking into MF'S opening notes for a splendid version of the classic PH song that involves much improv. work from Gary and a stirring sax compliment from Mr Mead. This was an exceptional performance (as was the entire show)
Bill Wyman has Graham Broad and Martin Taylor stand side by side and asks the audience which one is taller (Broad looks 4 or 5 inches taller). Then he has them sit down side by side and Taylor looks an inch or two taller.
I'm Ready – Albert Lee vocals – roaring ovation from 300 fans.
Thanks, Jim and Tony
More Rhythm Kings information here
Wyman / Brooker interview excerpts here.
Bill Wyman talks to Record Collector about Gary Brooker