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Stax Night at the Proms - BBC4 this Friday

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Started to watch it, but much to my shame and against my better judgement my irrational pathological hatred of Beverley Knight's singing eroded my will power, alongside the flaccid rhythm section. After last years Quincy Jones prom with Cory Henry and the Metropole Orchestra, which was quite simply dynamite this was underwhelming to say the least.

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I was wondering how this 'spectacle' was conceived. Jools, his orchestra, Beverley and Tom (old school tie buddies with Jools).
I think we should be told.

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Not long back from the show. Many in the crowd were sat on their hands to the "rappers" duo. Applause was only out of politeness.
It was a BBC Proms production, hence Jools Holland, which also means hence Beverley Knight & Ruby Turner, the latter I thought did OK.
As pointed out all of the originals from the first tour are now in their 70s and 80s so I thought they all did amazingly well considering.
Cropper's amp blew a tube literally minutes before curtain time, so he was a bit quiet in the mix, I'm guessing until the new one warmed up.

But it's always great to catch up for a "small sherry" with an old friend.

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Most enjoyable. Great to see some of the originals and I was amazed at how well they performed considering there ages. I always preferred Stax to Motown.

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I thought it was ok and the band sounded good etc.... but not a patch on the previous BBC Prom show with the Metropole Orkest and the Mingus arrangements, and again, with the Quincy Jones tribute. That Dutch Orchestra really is the best at these big live, tribute occasions with some world class players.

@ Mickyboro, no viewing or listening isn't compulsory. But how the hell are people going to come on here and give an opinion either way without viewing? Daft.....:)

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I gave it a miss - no fan of JH & the beeb never have had a clue about mixing this kind of stuff.
Shame, because it could have been one of those 'must see' moments.
I'll keep playing the originals............

:)

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[quote name='lowdown' timestamp='1504449182' post='3364920']

@ Mickyboro, no viewing or listening isn't compulsory. But how the hell are people going to come on here and give an opinion either way without viewing? Daft.....:)
[/quote]

The negativity just gets wearing sometimes, mate...

I went to Memphis last year and the Stax studios are a reconstruction. (The real thing was torched.) If that offended me, I could have decided not to go. I went cos it's the nearest thing to the actual place. These at least were some of the original singers.

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[quote name='Mickeyboro' timestamp='1504450238' post='3364927']
The negativity just gets wearing sometimes, mate...
[/quote]

Yep, unfortunately it does. Just part of listening to (or playing) music though.
Although, some of it does become amusing.
:)

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There'd been 5 days of rehearsals (between interviews) for the JH guys and the Stax originals. That's not a hell of a lot between guys who hadn't met before, and considering their ages. Cropper and Booker are such seasoned veterans and session men that they can pretty much drop in with most bands, but the vocalists I thought did really well considering.
I was three rows back almost directly behind JH and the sound was pretty good from there, once Cropper's amp got fired up properly.

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[quote name='Oldman' timestamp='1504355659' post='3364337']
Having seen the Stax Roadshow in the mid 60's with Booker T, Duck Dunn, Steve the Colonel and the Bar Quays, Arthur Conley, Sam and Dave I was disappointed and agree with the consensus about Mr Chuckles, he's sh1te. Walking the Dog what's that all about?

In September '66 I was privelaged to be on the set of Ready Steady Go when Otis Redding headed up the Stax Band, there is no substitute for the original Artists, but Bev did a good job.

I watched some of the last half, I will watch it all before consigning it to room 1001.
[/quote]

Bev is worth mentioning, I agree. She was a good element in the mix.

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[quote name='Mickeyboro' timestamp='1504425603' post='3364688']
Yes it was cheesy, but it wont be possible in 10 years time so glad they did it.

Watching is not compulsory!
[/quote]

For me it was.

My experience of some of the artists is lacking and in your own words, it wont be possible in 10 years time. Like I say, I wont repeat the experience.

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I thought overall it was worth a watch.

In my book, the good - Beverley Knight, thought she was outstanding, James Morrison's version of Try a Little Tenderness, and Private Number.

Not so good, Jools' presentation style (although he kept his playing to a minimum, and most of it fitted), Tom Jones first number lacked a bit of energy, and, the controversial one, I felt the bass was way too prominent in the mix :o .

The ugly - that finale :blush:

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I thought the bass was just about right in the mix, and by eq-ing the kick drum 'down' the BBC sound managed to get rid of the rhythm section mush that I've heard every time when live. So, in spite of my initial scepticism, I thought the band sound turned out well. And Mr Swift, of whom I haven't been the greatest fan, probably due to the aforementioned mush, absolutely nailed it.

I tend to agree with the previous posters re the good bad and indifferent 'acts'. And why do they play Green Onions at that speed these days?

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[quote name='bassace' timestamp='1504468467' post='3365119']
..................And why do they play Green Onions at that speed these days?
[/quote]
Under the circumstances I thought "Time Is Tight" would have been more in keeping. :lol:

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Hmmmm..... Having had to put up with these sort of comments for some years due to the type of band I play with, I thought the production was pretty good.

Good to see some original artistes and for me Beverley Knight is probably the best female Soul singer the UK has produced for quite some time.

Any way... I had a T-shirt printed so I could make my view visible without having to enter into conversation with certain voices..... Apt here!

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[quote name='Big_Stu' timestamp='1504459629' post='3365011']
There'd been 5 days of rehearsals (between interviews) for the JH guys and the Stax originals. That's not a hell of a lot between guys who hadn't met before, and considering their ages. Cropper and Booker are such seasoned veterans and session men that they can pretty much drop in with most bands, but the vocalists I thought did really well considering.
I was three rows back almost directly behind JH and the sound was pretty good from there, once Cropper's amp got fired up properly.
[/quote]

Sounded great on my tele as well - the bass needs to be prominent in that sort of music and credit to the guys mixing, it was good.

I watched some of the earlier big band Prom as well and that sounded good - double basses nicely in the mix.

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[quote name='bassace' timestamp='1504468467' post='3365119']
And why do they play Green Onions at that speed these days?
[/quote]

I'd tend to agree with you but I saw a video of Booker T and the MGs doing it live in the late 60s and they did it at that speed - I was astonished how hard Duck Dunn played on it as well. The version they did on the Prom was true to the live version I've heard (I suspect some of the other songs were as well - probably the influence of Booker T and Steve Cropper).

Jools was very laid back and only played one piano solo in the whole set, and that one was perfectly in genre. I really don't know why people have such a downer on such an excellent musician and band.

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Low points for me were the rappers who in fairness are probably good at their thing but it had no place here ... and Dock Of The Bay, a song I love, getting murdered by two people who should've done it so much better.
I recorded it and will listen through it again, but I doubt I'll keep it.

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I thought Beverley Knight was great, and the old guys only had to be there, it was just great to see them get a turn.

The rappers were hilarious. I think Nadia Rose is brilliant but totally out of place there and probably didn't want to be there. It smacked of a TV producer deciding the evening needed a contemporary flavour and I thought everyone ginned and bore it just fine [audience included].

The music was pretty lifeless but that's what happens when you take a small tight soul band and get a big band to play it to stricter arrangements. It's not the band's fault, it's just not a great idea. They'd hired Cropper and Booker T - why not let them put together a small band to do it right?

I'm surprised to see so much praise for the Mingus one the previous week. I couldn't watch more than a few minutes at a time because I felt that it had the same problem - the energy and inventiveness of a small band dissipated by a big flappy orchestra reading note for note. I'm a huge Mingus fan and I know some of his stuff was for much bigger groups, but all the rhythmic intensity he had with smaller groups disappeared when arranged for the big band. What about it did people like?

M

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Big flappy orchestra? I thought the great thing was how such a big orchestra was so together and managed to swing. Yes, a small group would probably have been more appropriate and involving but its place would have been at Ronnie's. This, after all, was a Prom performance, a season of orchestral performances.

Contrast the Mingus Prom with the big band concert that preceded Stax: two big bands that couldn't swing with trumpet sections on the verge of being out of control. And compère (commere?) Claire Teal outdoing Jules in the forced jollity stakes.

Edited by bassace

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