13 July 2009
Got back from Amsterdam at 7.30 am feeling very fragile after only a couple of hours sleep in twenty four hours I was confronted by the surreal yet familiar sight wearing a bowler hat,stick insect thin,staggering precariously and talking to himself- a kindred spirit who turned out to be Spirit from the fantabulous of Alabama 3 fameWe passed like two (spaced) ships in the night.
I’ve just got back from the Bos Pop festival which is located somewhere in the wilderness two hours away from Amsterdam.A gentle event,it has expanded rapidly and regulary changed location over the years,
A fairly eclectic bill it included Beth Hart,Paul Carrack,Lucinda Williams,a Rammstein tribute band.The highlights for me were Jeff Beck,Tesla and Chickenfoot.Sixty five this month;Beck has entered a new creative peak and although his set was trimmed down to a measly one hour managed to fit in his diverse pallette to an appreciative audience.Loads of musicians including Chad Smith sat at the side of the stage transfixed as they watched the master in action.
Not impressed with the inclusion of tribute acts Beck still gave the event two hundred percent..I personally would have loved to have seen him do a death metal version of Hi Ho Silver Lining with the vocalist from the Rammstein tribute band.After the show we had a chat about his recent Albert Hall show and the decison to incude Hi Ho Silver Lining in the encore with Dave Gimour.I asked him if he had heard the track where Massive Attack sample the bass line from Billy Cobham’s Stratus(a highlight in Becks show).He had and he hates it saying ;”It cut’s off before Jan Hammer starts playing.Can’t see the point of it.People should listen to the original.”
Chickenfoot were one of those concepts that could have gone horribely wrong.Groups containing members of other succesful outfits can suck(as in Jack White’s new Arto Farto project-Dead in the Water).Chickenfoot works because everybody is doing it for the right reasons and Hagar’s case(thanks to the millions he’s made from his investments he’s made in property and Tequila)because he wants do.
A real Classic Rock good time band in the mould of Van Halen in their prime,their unpretentious,upfront,no nonsense approach is getting ecstatic response from audidences everwhere they play.Standing at the side of the stage I was constantly being targeted by former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony who kept trying to ply me with vintage Cabo Wabo tequila throughout the show(until he and Hagar finished the bottle).The audience were suprisingly young and knew every song even though the album has only been out a month.
The evening ended at the Schipol Airport Sheraton arguing with my good friends from Tesla .It was Beck vs Page,Beatles vs Stones into the wee hours.Why do Americans take the Beatles and Zeppelin so seriously? Or maybe why do we take our abundance of homegrown talent for granted.This debate will rage on…