As anyone who had skimmed through my blog will know I am a fanatical music fan and have been so since about the age of 14. Since then in a time span of 50 years I have attended a wide variety of concerts taking in all genres of music.
Whilst reflecting on this the other day I began to think who is the greatest act I had ever seen……….and I couldn’t really make my mind up. So taking in all the genres of music I love here are some of my favourites…………….
Sam & Dave – who headlined the Stax soul tour of the UK in about 1966. Soul music was beginning to be recognized at that time and I saw them headline at the old Odeon cinema in Manchester. Their stage act was dynamic and we in the UK had never seen anything like this before (thing Frank Ifield etc) and when they concluded the act with Soul Man it simply brought the house down.
Jimmy James and the Vagabonds – they were one of Britain’s best R&B bands back in the 60s and their defining performance for me was at Southport Floral Hall, cant remember what year as it is so long ago but the sheer excitement they generated playing British R&B / Soul music.
Four Tops – again seen at the Odeon in Manchester on their first UK tour and who were the slickest, most professional group I have ever seen. Moreover, in Levi Stubbs the lead singer they had the greatest voice produced by the Tamla Motown company and indeed, some would say possibly the finest voice in pop / rock music (whatever term you wish to use).
USSR State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arvid Jansons at Sheffield City Hall in the late 1980s. They concluded their programme with a staggering performance of Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony, which got a standing ovation. What I also remember is the orchestra being marched on to the stage by KGB handlers………ah, the good old days of communist rule!!!!!
Ornette Coleman & Prime Time – this was his heavy rock phase with two drummers, electric basses and guitars, seen at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (again mid 1980s). The sheer volume of the music virtually lifted you out of your seat and quite a few in the audience walked out after about five minutes but for me it was an evening of thrilling, driving music.
These are just some of my experiences and I shall return at a later date to consider more……………