Saturday, 22 October 2011

In Concert: The Barron Knights, Newport Riverfront, 2011

“We’ll kick off with some rock n roll and then have some fun!” promised Barron Knights founder Pete Langford at Newport Riverfront on Friday evening and it has to be said the band known by their peers as “The guvnors” certainly delivered.

The Barron Knights now in their 50th year are one of the few acts to have toured with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones during the 1960s. Initially a serious pop act, they made their name internationally in the 1960s and 70s as a pop act that parodied the popular hits of the day through medleys such as Call Up the Groups and A Taste of Aggro.

Visitors to the Riverfront on Friday evening sampled these delights once again from the alternative to The Searchers Needles and Pins (Saucepans and Tins) via Brotherhood Of Man’s Angelo (Greasy Joe) to Boney M’s River’s Of Babylon (There’s A Dentist In Birmingham).

Pete Langford along with Len Crawley on Keyboards, Mickey Groome on Bass  and Lloyd Courtenay on drums kept the audience smiling for over two hours with parodies and perfect tributes to the likes of The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers and The Four Seasons.

The group also delighted in delivering cheeky parodies of David Bowie’s Space Oddity (Birth Control To Ginger Tom) and The Windmills of Your Mind (Poem for The Aged) while delivering pitch perfect covers of Eddie Cochran’s C’mon Everybody and The Coasters’ Yakety Yak.

A roar of excitement went up from the audience when it was announced The Barron Knights may return to Newport next year and with the smiles the band raised on Friday night that certainly isn't a bad thing!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

In Concert: Glen Campbell, The GoodbyeTour, St David's Hall, Cardiff, 2011

Earlier this year, Country music legend Glen Campbell announced that he had being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and would be retiring from the music business after his next tour

So as Glen Campbell's Goodbye Tour reached St David’s Hall on Sunday evening it was of little surprise that fans turned out in force to see him.

Opening for Glen was the band Instant People which featured Ry Jarred, Siggy Sjursen and three of Glen’s children Ashley Campbell (who looked delightful playing banjo in a red dress) Cal and Shannon. The band played several new country stylised numbers including the upbeat Abbott Waits, Into the Wonder and the powerful ballad Waiting On Sunday. After a break of 25 minutes, the band returned to the stage with an extra musician in the shape of long time Campbell collaborator T.J.Kinster.

Then Glen Campbell appeared on stage as the audience gave him a standing ovation. Looking every inch the all American country star in a dark suit Glen joked “I like adulation. That’s why I learned to play guitar”, before continuing “I am happy to be here of course!”

For the next hour and twenty minutes, Glen performed a mixture of classic hits including Gentle on My Mind, Galveston and Southern Nights as well as New Country flavored tracks from his new album Ghost on the Canvas. The highlight of the evening was Glen’s fabulous instrumental guitar “duel” against daughter Ashley’s banjo playing.

The concert rounded off with classic hits Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy before Glen returned to the stage for an encore and saying of his Welsh fans “These are Amazing People.” From an awesome man that was quite a compliment.

  • This review by Andy Howells was originally published in The South Wales Argus during October 2011.