Saturday, 14 April 2012

Keith's Big Birthday Bash - Here & Now

With a couple of good friends as company the journey from the forest to the smoke passed in no time at all; soon we arrived in Kingston and the Fighting Cocks, our venue for the evening. 'Here and Now' the band we had come to see. It was Keith da basses (bass player of afore mentioned beat combo) 60th birthday and a performance of quality was anticipated.

I first saw Here and Now in Southampton 83', supported by the Cardiacs; struck by their music and what they had to say, they featured heavily on the sound track of my formative years and continue to be frequently played. Through the years the band's members has come and gone, and come again, the music has evolved and throughout it Keith da bass has remained consistent as have the quality of his bassmanship. So, it would've been rude not to make his birthday bash. All portents were for a fine performance, and we were not to be disappointed.

The Venue, a bikers pub was suggested, was small and busy; the performance area was bijou and intimate, the stage, as it was, a few inches high, had nowhere near enough space to house a solo singer of diminutive proportions, let alone a band. Still. First appeared Redbus Noface, the support, they were fun, some good tunes delivered in a sort a furious psychedelic rock style; which was nice. But, then the main event. The tiny stage area quickly filled up as the (currently 6 member) Here and Now band filed on; Mr Keith the Bass, Dino Ferrari (who I'd not seen play for more years than I can remember), Nik Nimbus, Mark Robson, Andy Roger and Slim Verhoef. The set was well chosen, covering their catalogue from the 70's onwards, tracks like; What you see is what you are, or from 77's 'Floating Anarchy', Ali Barba, Opium for the People, then there was the 'Fantasy Shift' era, Secrets, Jacques Cousteau, and later tracks like Speed it up. Half way through an exotically dressed dancer appeared at the front of the stage in the form of 'Angel Flame', who danced and expressed herself to the music in a very pleasing manner. The crowd were right up for it and enjoying the show no end, the band too appeared to be enjoying it, the sound was great, the musicianship was of course top shelf; the whole thing was just sublime. But we weren't finished yet. For the final number saw former Here and Now knob twiddler 'Gavin Da Blitz' take to the stage to blast out 'Flouting Anarchy Radio'. Bloody marvelous really.

Here and Now never fail to deliver and tonight's performance was no exception. I hope Keith enjoyed his birthday as much as we all did; you know, we should celebrate stuff more often :o)

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