Updated: 13 Jan 2008
DAVE COUSINS & THE BLUE ANGEL ORCHESTRA
CLARENDON HOTEL, DEAL, 16 DEC 2007
A few quick comments from Sunday afternoon's Blue Angel Orchestra show. Hard to believe that these guys have only played together a handful of times, they're really cooking. A bigger PA than the Astor Theatre one for a much smaller room space meant that we were in for a loud occasion, but the Clarendon is a big noisy Sunday lunchtime pub with lots of chattering in the background, so that was a good thing for those there primarily for the music.
Newly added to the set were two of the rockier numbers From Boy In The Sailor Suit - "Mother Luck" and "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights", joining "Hellfire Blues" and "Skip To My Lou" as tracks which live really transcend their studio versions by leaps and bounds. It was amusing to watch Miller looking for one of these in his "cheat book" but, unable to find it, just shrugging and getting on with it - quite seamlessly as it turned out.
Surprises (welcome of course) were Cousins Cronk and Cutler opening the second half with the crazy fiddle version of "The Shepherd's Song" which we saw at Chatham; and "The Young Pretender". Miller got two lead spots - great to see "House Of The Rising Sun" back again.
I've said it before but it's worth saying again: BAO benefits hugely from a really rock solid rhythm section - Chris Hunt, as I agreed with George at the bar, just makes it look so easy, with a smile and a nod to DC as he pulls off little flourishes; and of course we all know how good a bass player is Mr Chas Cronk! And with two sublime instrumentalists in Ian and Miller, and an excellent set of songs to draw from off the new album (be nice to see a couple of older Strawbs or DC numbers work their way in - no Blue Angel ?) the BAO can't fail to be interesting melodically.
WOT ? NO ENCORE ?
Photos by Dick Greener - more pix from Dick.