Keith E Rice
03/03/02 - 12:27:52
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Did you see my post about Big Brother at the Beverley Picture Playhouse - Britain's oldest cinema (with stage) - a couple of weeks ago?
It ranks as my third best gig experience ever - beaten by Fairport w/ Richard Thompson @ Cropredy 89 - coincidentally saw an excellent Fairport show at Beverley the week before (but it didn't transcend the way BBHC did!)- and the Manchester Camaratta doing Ravel's "Pavanne Pour D'Une Infante" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" in Bradford 92.
(Sorry, JS London 95 doesn't compare. The post-Grace Starship did a pretty reasonable set - under the most difficult circumstances! - @ Reading 88!)
Peter Albin was clearly disappointed with just how few people had turned up - maybe 50 in a 250-seater with excellent acoustics. But Sam Andrews and Lisa Mills didn't let it phase them, Peter pulled himself together, and the band produced a set which - talking to people during the intermission - most of the audience will treasure for the rest of their lives. (I certainly will!)
My challenge to Paul and MC at the end of the post was to fuck the pathetic smallish London showcase - Shepherd's Bush Empire? - and do a full small venue tour - like Big Brother did.
Neither PK nor MC have responded to my challenge.
Could JS attract a reasonable crowd to Beverley Playhouse - and could they cope with it (Big Brother-style) if they didn't? Answer is: I don't know.
But I do know people in Hull, who would never travel 250 miles to London to see the remnants of a band they half-remembered, might just go 15 miles down the road to Beverley.
Such a tour would be unlikely to make any money - break even at best? - but it would - assuming the band delivered the goods - establish JS in a way they never have been before in the UK. JA/JS have only ever played - and that very, very occasionally!!!! - London and festivals. (Tuna booked to do tours in 74 and 78 and both were cancelled - 74 due to Sammy Piazza's departure and 78 due to the Jack-Jorma fall-out.)
If JS were to do a UK tour, then, sure, I would do my best to raise the profile in the Beverley-Hull-Grimsby area. (I have a few contacts in the local press here.) One of my comments to Sam Andrews was about how little press - to be precise, none! - BBHC had - and he admitted they hadn't really tried!)
But the guys to get involved would be Adrian Brown - who has both his JA/JS Web Site and a pretty wide tape-trading network - and the HOLDING TOGETHER axis of Bill Parry and Steve Rowland. Those guys could really make things hum!
Now, John, I don't know if you still have any influence with the JS office - but, if you do, perhaps you could put some pressure on for JS to really bite the bullet and do a UK tour?
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