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Barking Spiders

Performances that left you slack jawed

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I saw Nate Smith + Kinfolk in London a few years ago. I have never seen such ensemble work. I used to think that mistakes were a bad thing, but in this kind of stuff if you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough. There was the odd musical ripple but they rode them with a smile and easy grace. It was just sublime. 

There was Miles Davies in the Festival Hall in London in '91. The whole band was astounding. I stood there thinking "what he is playing makes no sense, and yet it is fabulous". I felt like I was walking on air for 3 days afterwards

Edited by owen
because he thought of another gig.

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In the early 80s, I saw Jeff Beck on the There & Back tour at the Hammersmith Odeon. This still rates as one of my top 3 gigs of all time. Although everyone was great, it was Simon Phillips’ drum solo that had everyone on their feet. I was expecting the usual bore fest that drum solos normally are, but SP’s energy, speed, accuracy, musicality and just sheer stamina were a sight to behold. Just as soon as you thought it was over, or he was going for the obligatory slow section, he just launched full speed into another round of virtuosity. I’ve never seen the like since.

I also saw Segovia at the Festival Hall on the Southbank. He must’ve been 80 at the time and shuffled on stage very slowly and I was ready to be embarrassed for him. Not at all. As soon as he sat and took up his playing position, the years fell away and he just ripped up and down the fretboard. A proper :o moment.

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3 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

You were 27 in 1349 - are you Dr Who?

Consultant Whom, actually. Much higher class than that old quack!

  • Haha 3

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Years ago I heard this duo on my public radio station and went and saw one their rare US shows:

 

Both these guys coax an amazing array of percussive sounds from their instruments, especially Kropinski. Those tabla-esque bits are one or the other, on acoustic guitar or EUB.

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First time I saw Bonnie Raitt.  Her voice, her guitar playing, both used to such devastatingly emotional effect. 

Never heard anyone play slide guitar like that.  The control and subtlety, timing, note choices just blew me away.  The way she slowly increased the vibrato in the note, the light and shade.  But mainly her singing - it just made me cry. 

Only during the sad bits, obvs.

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5 minutes ago, Paul S said:

First time I saw Bonnie Raitt.  Her voice, her guitar playing, both used to such devastatingly emotional effect. 

Never heard anyone play slide guitar like that.  The control and subtlety, timing, note choices just blew me away.  The way she slowly increased the vibrato in the note, the light and shade.  But mainly her singing - it just made me cry. 

Only during the sad bits, obvs.

Never seen her live, but she is a class act.

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1 hour ago, Barking Spiders said:

Actually I'll amend what I wrote in the OP having  just watched the Jon Gomm vid. Incredible stuff. Three other phenomenal players I'd really liked to've seen are  Leo Kottke, Peter Huttlinger (RIP) and David Grier. Here's why

LK's a young whippersnapper here and he's doing fast Travis picking on a 12 string to boot!. The vid's from 1970's but you get the drift

Pete Huttlinger was an ultra-phenomenal fingerpicker and in his day equal to Tommy E.  Check this out. He banters around till about 2.35 and then some . Like Tommy, Martin T and Leo K and he makes it looks easy and effortless.

A tad different here. David Grier is one amazing pick style player, IMO the successor to Tony Rice but even a tad better mebbe. I'm 'kin useless with a pick preferring fingers so I have extra respect to guys like this who can cross- pick at speed and cleanly...

 

Speaking as a pick player with a slightly unusual technique, that technique is weird!

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Michael Manring in a little London pub about 10 years ago.

Chic at Love Supreme.

 

Both amazing, for completely different reasons 😆

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1 hour ago, MrCrane said:

 

Welch and Rawlings are brilliant; her songs are haunting, aching, wistful, and he wrings that guitar dry every time.

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Cold wet Blackpool club in December last year, No one in hardly and saw these guys easily the best live band I have ever seen and the Song writing is just superb. 

 

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Hank Marvin.

I was very much into my metal in the 80's, but when I saw The Shads' wow! Hank can hold his own against any shredder. 

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Richard Hawley at Leeds academy a few years back. His voice and guitar playing but also that of the rest of the band. Spiritual.

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Surprised the late Pete Zorn's mandolin survived this.

 

Edited by MrCrane
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I'm predominantly a rock/metal guy, and as such I am very easily pleased, I'd say 90% of (signed) bands I've seen over the years have impressed me, but a couple have stuck in my mind as leaving me slack jaw smitten by the performance, here's two from different ends of the rock spectrum,

1. Faith No More, at the London Astoria, just after The Real Thing album came out (so '91..???) , simply the most powerful, energetic live performance I've ever seen. They had to leave the stage after 10 minutes because the crowd had collapsed the barrier. Pure, unadulterated power and joy!!!

2. Marillion with friends from the orchestra, 2019, I've always preferred their more melancholy songs, and although many rock bands have played with strings/orchestra, to my ears this is the best, most perfectly integrated attempt and it works wonderfully. I saw them in Southend, and was so impressed I immediately sourced some tickets for the following weeks RAH gigs. Sublime,

 

 

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Would also go with Marillion... Odeon New St, 1983, a week or two after "Script..." had been released, they were still a bit of an unknown quantity. In almost 40 years of gigs I have never seen anyone hold the audience in their hand completely entranced the way Fish did that night, simply stunning.

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Live, a few things have gobsmacked me:

1981, Rory Gallagher playing the mandolin.

~1984, Jim Lea playing Purple Haze on his bass.

2019, Tim Blake on theremin with Hawkwind.

Recordings?

There's some amazing stuff on Birds of Fire, especially when Mclaughlin trades licks with Jerry Goodman. I don't know what's going on, it's like trying to catch a flame.

Plus last night I was listening to the radio and Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower came on. The textures and sounds in that song don't sound like a musical instrument, it's more like the planes of the universe shifting against each other and letting infinity weep through.

 

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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18 hours ago, MrCrane said:

Surprised the late Pete Zorn's mandolin survived this.

 

The pair of them are channelling Robert Fripp at a few points in there 🙂

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Two that stand out for me:

Herbie Hancock in 2005 at The Barbican. Both him and his band were unreal! I don't know the name of the bassist but he was all over the double bass and a 6 string bass guitar like it was nothing - he may as well have been playing a ukulele. Both his superhuman musicality and physical endurance left me awestruck. Also the drummer looked about 14 - hilariously, and was also a total monster on his instrument. I remember thinking how is this possible?

Secondly, Mars Volta at The Barbican in Summer 2008. The intensity and commitment of the performance and the craziness of the music was exhausting and exhilarating. Juan Alderete de la Pena holding it down on bass with class and taste throughout amidst all the Latin prog rock mayhem. Wow....just wow.

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Zappa at Hammersmith Odeon   '78, as below, didnt find live footage

 

The Tubes at Hammersith Odean '81.  Sadly  , no live footage i can find from that year at Hammy.

 

Edited by fleabag
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On 22/11/2020 at 20:55, Old Man Riva said:

Slack jawed and a bit teary, if I’m honest... 

Excellent call. Just the control of the trem arm is insane.

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On 22/11/2020 at 20:55, Old Man Riva said:

Slack jawed and a bit teary, if I’m honest... 

I have done a gig with Jason Rebello, the keyboard player on this. He is a monster. 

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