sexta-feira, 9 de novembro de 2018

64 Spoons - Landing On A Rat Column

64 Spoons - Landing On A Rat Column - 1992

64 Spoons (also known as The Legendary 64 Spoons, or simply The Spoons) were a British pop and rock band during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Alhough the band never met with commercial success, they were the launch pad for Jakko Jakszyk and Lyndon Connah.

64 Spoons was formed by Lyndon Connah and Tam Neal, a pair of multi-instrumentalist friends who had been writing songs since the age of 10 (Tam having trained at the Royal Academy of Music). Their studies brought them into contact with Andy Crawford, a Royal College of Music flautist and classical guitar player with an interest in Early Music, but who also played bass guitar on the side. Coalescing around a line-up of Connah on drums, Crawford on bass and Neal on keyboards, 64 Spoons began playing concerts in and around their home base of Watford, Hertfordshire in 1976.

One of the band's early audience members was a teenage musician called Jakko Jakszyk (generally known as "Jakko"), who had been drawn to the band by "the ludicrous complexities of a fifteen-minute number called Life Is Unsaid". Despite his youth, Jakko had already fronted his own band - Soon After - which his self-confessed "dictatorial tendencies" had ultimately reduced the band to a lineup of "two screaming lead guitars and a trumpet", the latter played by former National Youth Jazz Orchestra musician Ted Emmett. Despite feeling that he was out of his musical depth, Jakko was soon installed as 64 Spoons’ lead singer, guitarist and frontman, using his "insecurities and arrogance" to spur the band on. With Jakko now also contributing to the songwriting, the expanded 64 Spoons line-up produced a whole set's worth of new material. Despite this, Jakko abruptly quit 64 Spoons after the first concert with the new line-up, having chosen to join Warren Harry’s punk/pop band (which had the advantage of already having a recording deal with Bronze Records). Before leaving, Jakko recommended Ted Emmett as his replacement.

However, Jakko’s tenure with Warren Harry was short-lived and musically unsatisfying (he had done it mostly for the money) and by 1977, he had rejoined 64 Spoons. Retaining Emmett (on trumpet and backing vocals) and continuing as a five-piece, the band spent the next three years touring and playing around the United Kingdom in small venues, building up a reputation as an interesting cult act. With punk rock now in fashion, 64 Spoons had to work hard to "justify" their progressive-rock-styled virtuosity. Jakko would later recall that the band had "somehow survived for a number of years by working our arses off and attempting to make our musical vision more palatable. We did this by making the whole thing theatrical. Ridiculous set pieces that involved various band members dressing up, coupled with an almost Dada-esque approach to audience participation."

Live gigs were animated affairs, with the band employing any entertainment tricks they could to keep the gig going. Neal and Connah frequently swapped roles between keyboard playing and drumming. Pete Goddard of Facelift magazine remembers a show at the Palace Theatre in Watford as "one of the finest and most ludicrous shows I've ever seen", with the band making full use of the theatrical facilities, up to and including flying themselves around on stage hoists. Thanks in part to Jakko’s incessant promotion, the band attracted numerous fans both in and out of the industry (including several of the band’s own heroes such as Bill Bruford and Dave Stewart). However, this did not translate into success. According to Jakko, the band had "management, an agency; record company interest and we worked all the time. It just didn't go that one step further. Some kind of bad luck always seemed to befall us, just when we looked like getting our big break."

By 1980, 64 Spoons was nearing the end of its life, plagued by insecurity, internal bickering and feeling ever more at odds with British musical fashion and critical taste. The band went through several developments involving changes of presentation (via "a series of haircuts that would frighten a gibbon") and a change of name (shortened to The Spoons). There was also a change of line-up: Jakko recalls that "in another inspired piece of career based decision making, we… sacked Ted (Emmett). We felt that the trumpet was a stupid, outmoded and ultimately unfashionable instrument to have in a pop group. Ted joined The Teardrop Explodes." This was a cruel irony, as The Teardrop Explodes were, at the time, enjoying the very success which the newly rechristened Spoons were aiming for.

None of these efforts made any difference. Following a particularly disastrous gig outing to Oldham and Carlisle in May 1980, the band played a couple of final gigs and then folded for good. Jakko subsequently commented "They say that success is largely down to timing. Well, we timed it perfectly. We were the wrong band at the wrong time."

A one-off 64 Spoons live reunion was planned in the mid-1990s but never happened. However, various 64 Spoons members still keep in touch and work together. Jakko and Lyndon Connah, in particular, are frequent collaborators (predominantly on Jakko’s projects).  

01. It's All Overture
02. Aggressive Travelling
03. Fat Chance
04. Ich Bin Heidi
05. Nib
06. Tails In The Sky
07. Ivory Ball
08. Plonder On
09. Weird Granny
10. It's Only A Party
11. Dear Clare
12. Lens
13. Five Miles
14. Julius Caesar
15. This Old Man (Live)
16. Do's & Don'ts Of Path Laying
17. Landing On A Rat Column (Live)


terça-feira, 6 de novembro de 2018

Gaetano Letizia & The Underworld Blues Band - Beatles Blues Blast


Gaetano Letizia & The Underworld Blues Band - Beatles Blues Blast - 2018

Gaetano Letizia, known as Tom, has been playing, writing and performing in his own blues and jazz groups internationally for over 30 years. After more than 10 CDs and stellar revues in Guitar Player, Downbeat and more, decided to finally do some cover tunes and picked the Beatles just to have fun. Beatles Blues Blast is a fun batch of the best Beatles jamming tunes. We went wild and had a blast. We know you will too.

01. Come Together
02. Do It in the Road
03. Drive My Car
04. Money
05. Tax Man
06. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
07. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
08. I Want You
09. And I Love Her
10. Can't Buy Me Love
11. You Can't Do That
12. Yesterday
13. Get Back
14. With a Little Help from My Friends
15. Birthday
16. Blackbird
17. A Day in a Life


sábado, 3 de novembro de 2018

Jakko Jakszyk - Mustard Gas And Roses (Re-Re-Post)

Jakko Jakszyk - Mustard Gas And Roses - 1994

By Brian Steffensen,
It is great to have Jakko on the Archive at last. This is a wonderful Prog related album with Canterbury Scene influences. I say this because some of the tracks are clearly more pop rlated, but definitely with heay progressive rock influences. This music is very much in the Gaskin and Stewart / Caravan category of Prog Rock. There are some incredible instrumentals here. Just listen to "Devil's Dictionary" and you'll realise that this some of the best melodic jazz fusion meets Canterbury prog rock around. "when We Go Home" is another classic with well constructed melody and rhythm patterns with meaningful lyrics. Some of the other tracks do not come to standard of the two tracks, but are still very enjoyable to anyone appreciates good rock music.  

01. Just Another Day        
      Backing Vocals - Sam Brown
      Piano - Lyndon Connah
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

02. Little Town        
      Bass [Fretless] - Andy Crawford
      Synthesizer - Richard Barbieri
      Vocals, Guitar, Programmed By - Jakko

03. The Devil's Dictionary        
      Bass [Fretless], Bass [Tapped] - Ed Poole
      Drums, Percussion - Gavin Harrison
      Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

04. Damn This Town        
      Double Bass - Danny Thompson
      Drums - Gavin Harrison
      Synthesizer - Richard Barbieri
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

05. The Borders We Traded        
      Vocals, Programmed By - Jakko

06. The Perfect Kiss        
      Drums, Bass - Gavin Harrison
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

07. Saddleworth Moor

      Keyboards, Flute - Jakko
      Synthesizer, Other [Additional Atmospherics] - Richard Barbieri

08. Learning To Cry        
      Bass [Fretless] - Ed Poole
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

09. A Handful Of Pearls        
      Bass [Fretless] - Mick Karn
      Percussion - Gavin Harrison
      Steel Guitar [Pedal] - B.J. Cole
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

10. Then And Now        
      Double Bass - Danny Thompson
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

11. Mustard Gas And Roses        
      Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko

12. We'll Change The World        
      Bass [Fretless] - Mick Karn
      Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By - Jakko