This is the post excerpt.
My name is Tony Shelley, and this blog is mostly about my record collection, but with some sidesteps into gigs I’ve attended, some memorable and not so memorable expreiences, and my time as a shooter (photographer) of musicians, bands and concerts.
This is a fairly recent Lomographic image of myself with Art Whitiker (my oldest friend) and John Toye a fellow shooter. Art turned me onto the band ‘Comus’ in the early 1970’s and I will be blogging about them in the near future. But you will hear a lot about a great mate of mine, somebody I’m very close to called Chris Green, a shit hot drummer, great designer and all round decent guy. Enjoy the blog, let me know what you think, good or bad.
I first saw Silverhead when they opened for Humble Pie at Leicester Polytechnic, in the winter of 1972. Their stage presence was electric and they blew the Pie off stage. The second time I witnessed their fabulous sound was when they supported Nazareth in 1973.
This recently released CD (with extra tracks, some live), holds up today and is as good as anything around. It also contains a booklet which is rich in band information and history. For anybody who has any interest in early 1970’s rock, look no further than this debut album from one of the greatest bands, if not the greatest band of their generation.
I saw the ‘Band Of Friends’ several years ago at ‘The Musician’ in Leicester. It brought back a lot of happy memories, as this essentially is a tribute band palying the music of the late, great Rory Gallagher. The CD package includes a DVD of one of the band’s live performances.
Overall I was a little disppointed with the gig I attended, it lacked fire and the sound was pretty awful. Nevertheless, I’m glad I went and I do play this from time to time, but nowhere near as much as stuff from the great RG himself.
I have been a loyal fan of The Yardbirds since the mid 1960’s. More than any other band of the time (I would say), they were part of the ‘scene’, and even made an appearance in the popular film of the time ‘Blow Up’. They had various lineups including Jeff Beck, but for me it was the Jimmy Page era that produced their finest work. In the mid 1990’s, founding members Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja reformed the band with a different line-up, fronted by the incredible vocalist John Idan. I saw them live about eight years ago and they were fabulous. This CD (a live recording), is worth a listen, before to dig into the band’s past glories.
The first time I heard Jimi Hendrix, the sky fell on my head and I was hooked forever. That’s probably just a little on the romantic side, but that’s exactly what it felt like back in the classroom in New Parks Boys School, watching the music teacher rip him off the turntable in disgust. Such was the tolarance and cultural diversity of a 1960’s secondary modern shit hole. If you’ve never heard the brilliance of Jimi Hendrix, this is the album to begin with for it’s the ‘Experience’ at it’s very best.
A recent aquistion to my collection, as I’m in the process of collecting all of Uriah Heep’s albums. This was their first release in 1970, which set the stage for heavy riffs and no-nonsense, stripped down beautifully raw heavy rock. They did amazingly well in America, went through many personnel changes, and are still around today. The remix of this album, with extra tracks has taken nothing away from my original enthusiasm I felt all those years ago, when I saw them perform at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester, shortly after ‘Very Eavy, Very Umble’ was released.
Released several years ago after the death of original Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord, ‘Now What’ acts as a fine tribute (I think), to one of Leicester’s finest and most talented sons. It was also the first Purple album to obtain a respectable chart position in the UK for many years, and is full of great hard rock sounds, equal in my view to their most well know tracks in the early 1970s’. We could be seeing the end of one of the greatest rock bands ever, for as I write, the rumors of the band retiring for good are widespread. However, their back catalogue (of all the different lineups) is well worth investigating.
Robert Plant’s ‘Band Of Joy’ is a very interesting album but I have to say it’s not a great favourite of mine. Too lightweight, and just a little bit self indulgent for my taste. Plant is without doubt one of the greatest vocalists of all time. His work with Led Zeppelin was always outstanding, same can be said for some of his solo work in the 1990’s, but this goes absolutely nowhere for me.