Archive for May, 2008

First bass No.5 – Off with his head!!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2008 by kevmoore

So, here we are with yet another bass guitar in my fickle fingers…

This is an 80’s classic – the Westone Superheadless. Its name , as you can see by the pics, is self-evident.  It had a Steinberger inspired tuning section below the bridge, but its weak point was the string clamp that held the strings at the blunt end of the neck.  It featured one bar that clamped across all four strings at the same time, so in a gig situation, a solitary string break meant that you had to slacken off ALL the strings at the same time! Nightmare! I had mine modified to take a more user-friendly 4 -point system that allowed clamping and release of individual strings. This model seemed quite rare to me. I never saw another one quite like it, it had see-through pillar-box red paint, with a beautiful birds-eye maple visible underneath, and all-black fittings, whereas most others I saw were an unappealing dirty-brown colour. This one saw off my Aria pro ll and became my favourite for a few years in the 80’s.

You won’t be surprised to know that it went the way of the others eventually…for a short while I had a Status headless – supposedly a wonderful instrument, and considerably more pricey than this Westone, but I hated it with a passion, it played like a cricket bat, and probably sounded like one. Small wonder I have no pictures of it!

These shots were taken at a charity show in South Yorkshire. I remember very little about it – except that we were on with a band called Slug the Nightwatchman!

Kev Moore

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Jess Roden – Beginnings -The Alan Bown Set

Posted in Entertainment, Music, Thoughts, Writing with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2008 by kevmoore

There’s been a few mentions about the recent Alan Bown compilation featuring Jess recently, so I thought I’d do a small piece on it. Enjoy!

You probably have to be of a certain age to remember the English soul club scene of the 1960’s. but for those of us who discovered the mighty larynx of Jess Roden a few years down the line, as his solo career was flowering, the journey of discovery back in time is a rewarding one.

If you missed Jess’s debut on the London stages first time around, this well-packaged release on Sequel records should get the adrenaline flowing, and satisfy Roden completists.
Entitled The Alan Bown Set – Emergency 999, it gathers together the first 5 singles, complete with B sides, plus the rarity, “Jeu de Massacre” (the killing game) a bona-fide oddity written by Jaques Loussier and included on the soundtrack of the movie of the same name, which previewed at the Cannes film festival.

Boasting 21 tracks, this compliation also gives us rare demoes, and  a live set, originally released on the London swings-live at the Marquee club LP – a peculiar release that saw The Alan Bown Set  and Jimmy James get a side apiece!

Jess joined the Alan Bown Set  in time for their second single, and remained with them throughout their name change to The Alan Bown! -which signalled their metamorphosis from soul band to psychedelic pop outfit. This set contains the song “Mr.Job” , which signalled their new direction, but had never been released until now, though it proved to be a useful debut for Midlands band Jigsaw to launch their career.
It was the rise of the discotheques that eventually put paid to the popularity of soul bands like The Alan Bown Set.  Clubbers could now dance the night away in the company of Sam and Dave, and James Brown. For the Brits, it was a case of adapt or die, but the Summer of Love was never really going to be the answer to their prayers.

So if you want to immerse yourself in a steamy Marquee, or Flamingo and catch the buzz that was around in those early days, this CD is your time machine, come on in and listen to Jess’s youthful, vibrant soul, hinting at the catalogue of classic performances  that were ahead of him.

Kev Moore

Travellin’ Light….

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2008 by kevmoore

It hardly seems five minutes since I got back from the double-header in the U.K., but once again I’m duty-bound to hit the road for a concert appearance in Torgau, Germany.

I am presented this weekend with a logistical convolution that sees me board an entirely unnecessary flight this afternoon to Stansted in England, where I will spend an entirely unnecessary night in a Days Inn before meeting up with the rest of the guys and flying out of Stansted airport tomorrow lunchtime bound for Altenburg in Germany. I will then repeat the process on Sunday, resulting in my arrival home here in Turre at about 2 a.m. early Monday morning. Yes folks, this is the glamour of showbiz. Oh, and did I mention, tucked a way in the middle of all that is a 1 hour show?

It’s a big debt of time that I pay, an hour onstage costs me 60 hours away from Miki. It is a high price.

As a result of years of these escapades, I have become somewhat adept at downsizing in the luggage department. That is to say, I have no luggage. I am a professional hand-baggager. I can last for weeks on the contents of my trusty yellow-and black regulation sized holdall. Not for me the lengthy queues at the airport, I’m straight through with priority boarding, as opposed to being treated like a second -class citizen because I had the temerity to buy a suitcase. I even arrange to keep one of my bass guitars in the U.K. to prevent the need to transport one on the plane. Oh, yes siree, I’m through that airport like sh*t off a shiny shovel.

Except this time. The German promoter, who very kindly booked me a perfectly pointless flight via the U.K., perhaps in the mistaken belief that I missed my homeland, also was kind enough to reserve baggage entitlement for me. This is unalterable, and will result in me queuing with the great unwashed for no good reason at all. I will wait for an hour, just so I can tell the girl on the desk that I have absolutely no luggage whatsoever. Just my little bag. The relentless march of airport efficiency goes on, grinding the hapless passenger under its giant cogs like so much grist for the mill…..

Kev Moore