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the Pale

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I'll be Satisfied ?

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, 1 June 1999

Dave Lee regretfully writes:
I was disappointed, really.

The jazzy music early on was quite dull and played with little enthusiasm, and only Gary was able to get them going later on (I scribbled down some highlight tracks for me, the Willy and The Poor Boys numbers: Jitterbug Boogie, Mystery Train, Turn It Up, and I'll Be Satisfied (the one PH did twice at the Barbican). Plus of course Heartbreaker: ('How can you write such a song like that when you've been happily married for 30 years? I reckon you've had an affair!' quipped one of the other musicians.).

Bill chatted briefly with the crowd at the beginning about having played in Stoke / Hanley with the Stones in the early 1960s, and was amazed that a lot of the crowd had been at that gig, but nobody spoke much after that.

The gig had sold poorly, and I met some friends there who informed me that loads of unsold 15 tickets were flogged off the week before around schools etc for a fiver, and even then they couldn't get rid of them all. What would have been the cheaper seats (originally advertised at 9) would have been in the Upper Circle, but they didn't even bother putting these on sale, and that whole section was closed, which must have looked good. So as the minimum tickets were about 13 it put people off.

The musicianship was good, but there were far too many musicians, and so a lot of the time the sound was just a mush of noise. I couldn't even see (or hear!) the point of having the great Georgie Fame there at all. [I'd seen Jools Holland and his big band. They'd used their sound better, but their MOR wallpaper music was ghastly, and the early Rhythm Kings numbers reminded me of that.]

The support guy was interesting, singing intriguing cover versions. Why, as an American, he decided to try and make humorous political references to government treatment of single mothers in Labour stronghold Stoke-on-Trent is beyond me. He looked dumb enough to do Hague / Thatcher jokes in Surrey / Kent.

I never saw the Poor Boys, but I suspect I'd have enjoyed them a lot more.

Rhythm Kings 1999 tour

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