Fox Lowe Arts Centre, Leek
Oh the irony. Chip Taylor is a hero of mine and I found out he was doing a short tour of the UK. His Birmingham date at the Kitchen Garden Cafe was on Monday night and I couldn’t go because it clashed with tickets I had for Dawes in London. As it was I couldn’t make the Dawes gig due to work but could have made the Brum date.
As it was I had the bonus of a gig in a splendid venue I not been to before but which I will certainly go back to.
Lovely acoustics, friendly people and great beer. Chip is something of a legend in my house – writer of Wild Thing and Angel of the morning are enough to have earned him a decent living but variously he has been a professional gambler, an attempt at being a professional golfer and a Whiskey Salesman which is the title of his most recent album. For 79 he looks in good shape. Accompanied by that youngster John Platania at a mere 71 and a Norwegian keyboard player Goran Grini who is a whippersnapper nearer to half their age group. It was a lovely mellow show with songs played from Black and Blue America, Little prayers trilogy and the recent album. Of course everyone wanted to hear the hits and they duly obliged with really excellent harmony vocals on Angel. Chip told us that since the advent of Spotify his star has very much been in the ascendency and he is selling more records now than he ever did. He released an album called F**K all the perfect people which did okay but couldn’t get any radio play because of the title of the song. A couple of years after its release he got a call from his management saying that the song had gone viral and was no.9 in the most played songs on Spotify at one time. This as a result of it appearing on a playlist entitled Life Sucks. The song was played and it is a beaut. He threw in a Johnny Cash cover Cry Cry Cry and named checked Merle Haggard in the final I wasn’t born in Tennessee which had everybody wanting more from this unique man and to my ears a great artist.
Sadly never saw him with Carrie Rodriguez but did see him with Kendal Carson. This trio line up is excellent – the quiet interplay between Platania and Grini at times was exceptional. You could hear a pin drop.
Rapt – Chip is a great raconteur and his between song tales of writing in the Brill Building at the same time as Carol King et al was fascinating. I am pretty sure he would have some ribald tales to tell but
he strikes me as too much of a gentleman to dish the dirt.
It made me think..
Nights like this are hugely enjoyable. I was flying solo but a nice bowl of pasta and a glass of red beforehand made this a lovely night.